My life in travel: Angela Rippon

'If there's something to see, I'm there'

Angela Rippon presents Holiday Hit Squad, a new four-part series which continues this Wednesday at 8pm on BBC1.

First holiday memory?

Camping with my parents near St Ives. It was still a tiny fishing village then. I remember we had some glorious weather, then suddenly it poured. Being in a tent was not much fun, so we packed everything up and went home.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Dartmoor is my secret getaway. I love the freedom, the expanse and the solitude of the moor. I love walking or riding across all that glorious countryside and the contrast of ancient wooded valleys.

Best holiday?

A barge holiday in France from Narbonne to the Camargue National Park. I'd been working at a pretty frantic pace, so it forced me to slow down. It was the most relaxing way to spend 10 days, rolling through vineyards, stopping in small villages, playing boules in the evenings, eating well and drinking wonderful French wine.

What have you learnt from your travels?

How to pack well. I can go away for a week with a really tiny suitcase. The other thing is not to panic. Whatever happens, there will be a solution.

Ideal travelling companion?

A film crew –especially if you've got a good director, cameraman and a sound recordist who take a delight in everything. You get so much more from a trip with people who are looking for the great shots to make a film look wonderful.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

All three. If I'm smothered in suntan lotion, I can lie on the beach all day. Equally, if there's something fascinating to look at, I'm there. Through presenting the Holiday show, I've also done things that require adrenalin, like diving with great white sharks, swimming with killer whales and abseiling down Table Mountain.

Greatest travel luxury?

My very own ski instructor. They would take you to places you wouldn't otherwise see and you'd become a lot more adventurous.

Where has seduced you?

Bhutan. The people are wonderful, the country is stunning and the whole place has a calming effect.

Better to travel or arrive?

I do travel so much for my job, it's now like getting on and off a bus. Travel is a necessary part of the journey, but arriving is the real excitement for me.

Best hotel?

Dwarika's in Kathmandu. It was built by somebody who collected all these beautiful old doors and window frames from across Asia. It's like a tiny village inside. There are trees and running water everywhere. I like hotels to be calming, comfortable and characterful – this one had it all.

Favourite walk?

The Walkham Valley in Devon. In spawning season, you see the salmon running up river, with otters and kingfishers. It's a birdwatchers' paradise.

Favourite city?

Paris is one of those cities where you can just walk for hours. I always go to the Musée d'Orsay and just stand in front of the Impressionists. I'm definitely a Left Bank girl, especially the stretch that runs along the Seine towards the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Where next?

New Zealand. Specifically, to a town called Rippon where there's a vineyard that was set up by a woman called Emma Rippon in the 1800s. It still produces the most stunning organic wine today. I serve it at my dinner parties and am in touch with the owners, so I'd love to see it for myself.

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