My Life In Travel: Christopher Lee, actor

'In Finland, you can drive for hours without seeing anyone'

First holiday memory?

When I was very young – around the age of nine – my family used to go to a house in Somerset that my stepfather rented every summer. There was fishing, lakes and riding.

Best holiday?

I haven't had a holiday for so long, it's difficult to pick one. However, three years ago, my wife and I went to South Africa. We stayed in a very nice hotel just outside Cape Town, and I played a lot of golf.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Somewhere like Exmoor. I love rugged, wild places like that, particularly where there aren't many other people about.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Getting to know the countries I've visited – the only country I haven't been to in Europe is Albania, so I've seen many different places. I try to learn the odd phrase in the language of the country I'm visiting, too.

Ideal travelling companion?

My wife. We travelled apart until our daughter was 16 because we felt she was too young to fly; it wasn't pleasant at all.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I enjoy holidays in places such as Stockholm, a city I know very well. My favourite country is Finland, because once you get to a certain point, you can drive for hours without seeing a single person. I love peace and quiet, something I don't get very often.

Greatest travel luxury?

I've only done it twice – flying by private plane. Once was with the author Sydney Sheldon from Cairo to London; and the second time was from London to Copenhagen for one of the Lord of the Rings premieres. That's the way to go, believe me!

Holiday reading?

I enjoy things that are easy to read, thrillers mostly. I don't read much; if it's a long flight, I try to doze – not very successfully though.

Where has seduced you?

The most beautiful country I have ever been to in my life is New Zealand. It is absolutely gorgeous and has everything you can think of. I went four or five times when we were filming Lord of the Rings; we were based in Wellington. The people are very nice, too; I envy them, living at the end of the world as they do.

Better to travel or to arrive?

I don't really like long flights any more – I find them too tiring. Flying always involves the same things these days – huge crowds at airports, waiting around, late take-offs, weather problems, and so on. I don't really enjoy travelling, I don't imagine anyone does except young children.

Worst travel experience?

Flying from Washington to Charlotte, North Carolina, years ago on Eastern Air Lines. It was only a 45-minute flight, but I have never known anything like it – including during the war when I was shot at in planes. The turbulence was incredible, nobody moved. Because we were flying over mountains, we had to keep to a certain height and we couldn't fly out of the storm. It was horrendous. The man sitting next to me got through at least 10 miniature bottles of whiskey, but I didn't have anything.

Worst holiday?

The saddest country I went to was Romania, years ago, during Ceausescu's rule. But I haven't been there for a long time. I can't recall visiting any countries I hated.

Best hotel?

The Oriental hotel in Bangkok is pretty spectacular.

Best meal abroad?

A meal at La Tour d'Argent in Paris. Thankfully, I didn't have to pay for it.

Dream trip?

I would love to go to China, parts of South America and Cuba. But it would have to be in a certain degree of comfort.

Favourite city?

Stockholm, without a doubt. It's a lovely city on the water, with wonderful old streets and buildings; I always enjoy going back.

Where next?

I'm going to Germany for Unicef.

Bond Season is on Sky Modern Greats HD, until 28 February

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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Recruitment Genius: Centre Manager

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Accountant

    £28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before