My life in travel: Andrew Strauss

'I find safaris incredibly relaxing. It's hard to be thinking about home there'

Former England cricketer, Andrew Strauss, is offering coaching at SportFest, in collaboration with Super Skills Experiences, from 2–3 August at the Wormsley Estate, Buckinghamshire (

First holiday memory?

Kruger National Park. I lived in South Africa as a child and we went on safari in our car. The thing I remember most is looking for wildlife out of the window. If either my sisters or I spotted anything, we would get a prize.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I haven't done a huge amount of travelling here – summers in England have usually been spent playing cricket – but I do love the Highlands of Scotland, for the beautiful, remoteness of it. It's completely timeless. In the summer, it stays light so long and you get beautiful colours.

I also love being at home in Marlow in Buckinghamshire. There's been so much time in the past 15 years spent touring, that home is a pretty good place to be.

Best holiday?

Phinda game reserve in South Africa, with my family. We had our own guide and it was just an incredible experience, staying in a beautiful safari lodge with a pool. The kids loved going out looking for insects and we all saw incredible wildlife. We had breakfast by the lake one morning and just over the other side of the waterhole, we spotted some lions, which was a special thing to be able to do with my kids.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Travelling on cricket tours has made me appreciate how lucky I am. There are so many people who can't even dream of going on holiday. It's hard being away from home sometimes, but it's good to have the means and the opportunity to do so. New Zealand, Australia and the West Indies were some of my favourite stops. However, they almost blend in to one another because you're working, but you do get a couple of days off to explore.

Ideal travelling companion?

My family and my golf clubs. We once went to a resort called Zighy Bay in Oman, which is a stunning hotel, one of the best I've ever been to. Everyone had their own private villa on the beach, with an incredible mountainous backdrop. If I was going away with my clubs, I'd take them to Quinta do Lago in Portugal, which has great courses and is also good for the kids.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

None of the above. I prefer seclusion and escapism in places with beautiful scenery, somewhere off the beaten track. Safaris sum it up for me: you're sitting down with a fire going, watching the sunset and you're completely remote – I find it incredibly relaxing. It's hard to be thinking about what's going on at home when you're in that environment.

Holiday reading?

I'm a big non-fiction person, so any books on history, sports and psychology. I'm reading a good one by Malcolm Gladwell at the moment, called David and Goliath, about underdogs. I've loved his previous books, such as Outliers, so he's a really interesting guy to read.

Where has seduced you?

For my wife's 40th birthday we went to a tiny hilltop village in Italy called Casperia and stayed at a beautiful little B&B called La Torretta. The scenery was extraordinary and it was just a great, fun few days. It showed me the authentic Italian lifestyle.

Worst hotel?

In Cuba, about 10 years ago. It was a beautiful place, but the hotels definitely needed some work. The five-star we stayed in was probably more two-star. When you're going to Cuba you know what you're getting: it was great to see some of the old American cars and the whole place was a bit ramshackle, which is part of the appeal, but the hotel didn't live up to what it said in the brochure.

Best hotel?

The Oyster Box in Durban, South Africa. It's an old, colonial-style building right on the beach with beautiful views. It had a cinema room with popcorn for the kids and was just tastefully done.

Favourite drive?

Through the mountainous terrain in St Lucia, from the airport down to Rodney Bay, past stunning views of the ocean and rainforest. At times, you feel like you're in Jurassic Park.

Best meal abroad?

A restaurant called El Tinars in Girona. Some friends recommended it and the quality of the food was outrageously good. They served tapas and authentic Spanish food. Everything about it was fantastic and flavoursome.

In terms of a location, the Cliff in Barbados is up there, too. To be perched on the edge of a cliff, listening to the sounds of the waves, with great service and fantastic food, is pretty special.

Where next?

Having spent lots of this year in Australia, I'm looking forward to summer in the UK.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments