My life in travel: Austin Healey

'I'm the sort of person who would rather wear one T-shirt for the whole holiday'

Former England rugby union star Austin Healey is co-founder of SuperSkills Experiences which offers sports coaching holidays. He is at Forte Village Resort in Sardinia from 12–19 April (

First holiday memory?

Being in the back of a 4x4 in Malta, on the top of a hill, when my dad forgot to put the handbrake on and the car started rolling forward towards the edge of a cliff. My mum had to jump back in the car, as it was running away with me, my dad and my sister in the back. She pulled the handbrake on to stop us from going over the edge.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Home. I live in a little village just outside Oakham in the East Midlands. We're very fortunate to live in a holiday destination. It's very picturesque and quite hilly, with good places to go walking with dogs and not many cars on the road. It's quite idyllic really.

Best holiday?

Sainte-Foy in the French Alps. It's the best place I've ever been skiing. We stayed at The Peak, which is a chalet right at the base, right next to the lake.

The resort itself only has two bars really and a few restaurants, so it's relatively quiet, but there's loads to see and it's got a nice, easy feel to it. You don't feel rushed into anything. People who go there have a secret pact not to tell anyone about it – which I think I'm breaking now by saying how good it is!

Amazing place: the Colosseum in Rome Amazing place: the Colosseum in Rome Ideal travelling companion?

My wife. Our very first holiday together was in 1993. We went to Olu Deniz in Turkey, which was pretty undeveloped then, compared to what it's like now.

It was a beautiful place and the whole holiday only cost £350. We went for two weeks and just had an amazing time. We've been on holidays since where we've spent lots of money and done amazing things, but that Turkey trip would be up there as my best.

Greatest travel luxury?

I'm the sort of person that would be happier if I was wearing one T-shirt and one pair of shorts the whole time on holiday. I'm not a massive fan of getting dressed up. My ideal day is to get up, mill around a little bit, lie around a lot, have a few beers and still be in the same clothes when the sun sets, with a beer and a pizza on the beach.

Holiday reading?

I don't read on holiday. I work hard when I'm at home, so I go on holiday with my four kids and I want to spend every single moment of every single day, messing about in the pool and eating ice cream with them. I don't want to sit down for an hour and read a book.

Where has seduced you?

Sardinia. I've been going there for 25 years and I now run sports camps at Forte Village Resort. It's a holiday where nobody compromises. When you've got four kids and a wife, usually somebody has to make allowances. But in Sardinia, my kids get to play sports all day, go swimming in the afternoon and watersports in the early evening. I get to coach other kids playing rugby and then play five aside for England against Russia and Italy in the evening.

Worst travel experience?

Losing my daughter in a swimming pool in Portugal. I was watching the kids while my wife had gone to get a coffee. My daughter stepped down a step, which took the water level above her head. I couldn't see where she had gone, but eventually I spotted her under the water. That'll stay with me forever. It felt like 10 minutes, even though it was probably 20 seconds.

Favourite walk?

That first walk when you arrive on holiday, take off all your footwear and walk along the beach on the edge of the water. It could be in Greece, America or Sardinia, just as long as the sun's out and I've got an ice cream or a beer.

Best meal abroad?

At the Butcher's Block Steakhouse in Johannesburg. I've eaten all sorts of food there, but the best meal was grilled langoustines with a chilli dip. Also, Canico in the Algarve. It's in a cave, on the beach in Alvor near Portimao, and it's amazing.

Favourite city?

I'm not one for sightseeing, but wherever you are in Rome, there's something interesting around the corner. It's an amazing place, with little bars everywhere and coffee shops. It's a brilliant place to go with your wife.

Where next?

I'm going skiing in Sainte-Foy and then to Sardinia in April with my sports camp. After that, I'm doing loads of cycling in Switzerland and Italy, then maybe the United States later in the year.

Read more
My life in travel: Jonathan Edwards
My life in travel: Tim Henman
My life in travel: Sally Boazman
My life in travel: Helen Skelton  

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
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

    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
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam