My life in travel: Eamonn Holmes

‘I’ve neglected colder climes for too long’

First holiday memory?

The glens of Antrim in Northern Ireland. We used to go to a very small seaside village called Cushendall, reached by the most amazing journey along the coast road. This was 1964, so we would pack our tin buckets and spades and our new Ladybird clothes from Woolworths, and check into the Thornlea Hotel for two weeks.

I have an incredible affinity with the coastline of Northern Ireland, but especially its World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway. I was lucky enough to grow up with these magical basalt stepping stones right on my doorstep, but it’s something that everyone should see.

Best holiday?

Monument Valley, along the Arizona-Utah state line. I am a western film aficionado, particularly the films of John Ford – so it was like stepping back into the landscape of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and The Searchers. Most things I’ve seen in life don’t live up to my expectations, but Monument Valley really took my breath away. We camped out in the desert, rode horses and met Native American tribes – it was the best holiday I’m ever likely to experience.

What have you learnt on your travels?

That travelling sucks. I find airports, planes  and security horrible. The longer I do it, the  more I dislike it. There’s no glamour in travel any more. We’ve lost the idea that it’s a special thing, where you get treated nicely. I’m on a plane most weeks, but I’ve found myself turning down jobs recently, because I can’t stand going through airports.

Ideal travelling companion?

I’m looking for one at the moment! I love going on cruises, but my wife can’t go because she gets motion sickness. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life going on the standard Mediterranean seaside holiday, but I don’t really have a family that has the travel bug. I’ve even played gooseberry with my best friend and his wife on a cruise to Alaska, because nobody would come with me. We had a wonderful time – seeing icebergs and going on helicopter flights.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

None of the above. I like my comforts and I need television wherever I am. From my years presenting the Holiday show, I’ve seen all the culture I ever needed to see. Now I just want a good hotel where I can relax.

Holiday reading?

I like everything that would bore most other people. Factual books, political autobiographies, movie-star biographies and historical novels.

Where has seduced you?

Marrakech. I went in October once, when the air was fresh and crisp. I loved that the city was crazy, colourful and a bit smelly, with the Atlas mountains all around, capped with snow. I think autumn in general is a beautiful time to visit a place, whether it’s here in the UK or abroad.

Worst hotel?

A guesthouse in Margate. The carpet was so sticky it was as if they were trying to catch mice. The mattress was stained and filthy. It was ghastly.

Best hotel?

The Turnberry, outside Ayr in Scotland. We were driving from London to Stranraer to get the ferry over to Belfast for Christmas and a huge storm hit. We couldn’t cross for three days and had a dog with us, but luckily the Turnberry took us in. Nobody does pomp like the top Scottish hotels. Impeccable service, beautiful landscape – it turned out to be a really enjoyable experience.

Best meal abroad?

I generally overdose on seafood on holiday, because I don’t necessarily cook it at home. I’m never stuck for a good fish dish in Portugal – they do wonderful stews, monkfish and baked cod.

Favourite city?

Cape Town for the coast, the wonderful climate and the stunning views of Table Mountain.  I remember seeing people in suits on Blouberg Beach kicking off their shoes and throwing down their briefcases after a day at work. It was amazing to watch.

Where next?

No plans yet, but it would be nice to spend Christmas somewhere where there’s snow and log fires. I think I’ve neglected colder climates for too long.

Eamonn Holmes is working with Tourism Ireland to promote the new Giant’s Causeway visitor centre in Northern Ireland (discoverireland.com).

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: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

    £14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

    Recruitment Genius: Network Executive - Adrenalin Sports - OTE £21,000

    £19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for an exciting...

    Guru Careers: Product Manager / Product Marketing Manager / Product Owner

    COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product Owner is required to jo...

    Guru Careers: Carpenter / Maintenance Operator

    £25k plus Benefits: Guru Careers: A Carpenter and Maintenance Operator is need...

    Day In a Page

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
    RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

    RuPaul interview

    The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
    Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

    Secrets of comedy couples

    What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
    Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

    Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

    While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
    The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

    The best swimwear for men

    From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
    Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

    Mark Hix goes summer foraging

     A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
    Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

    With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

    Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
    Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

    Aaron Ramsey interview

    Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
    Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

    Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

    As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
    The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

    Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

    Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
    A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

    A Very British Coup, part two

    New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms