My life in travel: Carol Kirkwood

'LA was great: you could be at the Getty one day and in Santa Monica the next'

Carol Kirkwood is a weather presenter, best known for forecasting on BBC Breakfast.

First holiday memory?

Jersey. We stayed in St Helier and it was my younger brother's birthday so we took him to the zoo as a treat. I come from the Highlands, where there were no zoos, so I remember thinking: 'Wow! Look at these animals!'. The one that really sticks in my mind was the orangutan. I'd never even seen a monkey, much less an orangutan, so it was special.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Morar, on the west coast of Scotland, has the most beautiful beaches. It's known for its silver sands, because the sand is so fine it seeps through your hands like in an egg timer and glistens when it's sunny. There are these big dunes too, which we used to roll down as kids.

Best holiday?

The Maldives. You can justify being lazy because there's not a lot to do but wander out of your accommodation, eat loads of fresh fruit salad for breakfast and then head to your sun lounger to take in some rays, read your book, and listen to music. It's just so relaxing and you don't feel as if you've got to suddenly scoot off and look at the culture.

What have you learnt from your travels?

That I really don't need to take so many pairs of shoes. I used to take shoes for every eventuality, but you can really trim down to three or four pairs: nice ones for the evening; trainers in case you do anything energetic; flip flops for the beach; and comfortable shoes for a city break.

Ideal travelling companion?

My friend Sue. Forget partners, they're a pain in the neck. I like going with Sue because we like a mixture of culture, shopping, relaxing, and going out for a nice evening meal. She's also brilliant at organising trips, so all I have to do is rock up.

We went to Paris on a shoestring, just to see if we could do it, and also did a more extravagant one to Los Angeles last year, where we hired a car and went off like Thelma and Louise.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I love both culture and the beach, so Los Angeles was great because we could go to the Getty museum one day and be in Santa Monica the next. We got caught up in the glamour of it. We also did some really dreadful things, that all the girls would do, like hunting down Eva Longoria's restaurant, Beso in West Hollywood, and having a meal in there.

Holiday reading?

I don't read Tolstoy or anything like that when I'm on holiday. It's shameful, but I like rom-coms, magazines and easy reading. My partner's more cultural though, so I'll pick up what he's been reading. My favourite book that he ever passed on was by Stella Rimington, the former director general of MI5. I love that kind of thing as well.

Where has seduced you?

I go to New York every year just before Christmas with my sister and love it. I love the shopping, the razzmatazz, and going up the Statue of Liberty. But it's particularly special at Christmas, because of the ice rinks and all the traditional window decorations. We normally go the day after Thanksgiving, which is Black Friday, when there are millions of sales on. Normally, it snows too, which really gets you in the mood for Christmas.

Worst travel experience?

A flight to Sydney, en route to a wedding in Hamilton Island. I'd been working during the morning, then hopped on a flight at 10pm, had something to eat and fell asleep. When I woke up in Singapore, I looked down and thought 'Whose legs are those?!' They had swollen up from my knee to my toes and my legs were gigantic.

It took three days of doing an awful lot of walking to get them back down to normal. After that, I went straight out bought DVT socks and always wear them now.

Favourite walk?

Dartmouth. I was there recently for the first time and the weather was absolutely fabulous. The views as you walk along the coast are stunning and you get lost in time as you wander along past beautiful scenery.

Best meal abroad?

The chateaubriand I ate at a five-star hotel in Dubai. It was a very romantic evening, which always helps, but the food was cooked to perfection and washed down with some beautiful wine. There was love in the air that night.

Favourite city?

I just love everything about Bath. The shops, the Roman elements, the baths themselves, the countryside around. I like being a tourist there.

Where next?

I'm going back to New York again just before Christmas, and to Las Vegas with some of my colleagues from BBC Breakfast – Sally Nugent and Steph McGovern, who do sport and business. What happens on tour, stays on tour!

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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
  • Get to the point
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

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own