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?
Travel
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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £32,000 Uncapped

    £22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £10,000 Uncapped - Part Time

    £7500 - £10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness chai...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

    COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Digital Marketing Executive (CRM, Eve...

    Recruitment Genius: Receptionist / Sales / Customer Service Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: The role is likely to be 4on 4 off, days and ...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones