My Life in Travel: Emily Woof, actress

'I love walking in the Lake District'

First holiday memory?

Because my dad only took one day off a year at Christmas, we didn't really have holidays when I was a kid. My parents told me that they once tried to do a camping trip when I was a baby, but I got measles so we couldn't go. Our only family holiday was in a deserted valley just behind Ullswater that was full of wild deer. Someone had lent my parents a very old hunting lodge and I remember that it was full of candlesticks that were made out of deer's legs; it was quite gothic. It was April and it snowed and my dad got 'flu.

Best holiday?

In New York with Hamish [McColl], years before we got married. We stayed at the Paramount Hotel and we were just stunned by the experience. We drank Bloody Marys and went ice-skating in Central Park; we felt we were at the centre of the universe – it was magical.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

The North-east coast, between Alnmouth and Berwick-upon-Tweed. It has an emptiness to it that I love.

What have you learnt from your travels?

No matter where you go, you always take yourself with you. I think it's the people that matter, not the place.

Ideal travelling companion?

There's not a particular person, but it would be someone with whom I feel very relaxed and excited at the same time.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Now I have children I spend a lot of time on beaches, but sadly not bumming around. It's quite industrious – building sandcastles and body-boarding. I don't get the chance to lie around.

Greatest travel luxury?

What sort of travel luxury does one need – silk knickers? For me I think it's probably money.

Holiday reading?

I don't read so much now, but I did manage to read a selection of Zen Koans on a recent holiday in Cornwall. They're about Zen Buddhism and are pretty short which is why I managed to read them.

Where has seduced you?

India; Tamil Nadu in particular. I went when I was 17 and it was such a life-changing experience that it has stayed with me. I was there for about three months and then I travelled around, exclusively on epic bus journeys, and ended up in Nepal. There were some near-death experiences but it was just incredible.

Better to travel or arrive?

Definitely to travel; I like being in motion. If I get stuck when I'm writing, I'll sometimes get on a train; I like feeling the land passing by and it can be quite inspiring. However, with children, arriving is definitely better.

Worst travel experience?

Hiking alone in the Himalayas and being told by someone I passed on a path that there was a man-eating tiger in the vicinity. I wasn't sure if it was a joke or not and I walked on in terror for the next two days.

Worst holiday?

A hotel in Jamaica that was exclusively for couples. There were lots of couples-oriented events and entertainment and a perimeter fence, so it felt a bit like being in prison.

Worst hotel?

A little place near Stroud in the Cotswolds where they welcomed dogs. When I was staying, there were 20 dogs, which was too many for me.

Best hotel?

The Paramount in New York. Hamish and I were just in awe of the Philippe Starck interiors and the glamour of it all.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive

My favourite walk is Helvellyn in the Lakes. I first walked it when I was about six and it's something I do regularly; I love its wide expanse. I remember learning at an early age that you could land a plane there, which stunned me for some reason. My favourite swim is also in the Lakes, in a small pool in a valley called Greenburn.

Best meal abroad?

At a Mexican cantina in Santa Barbara, California. It's just a little shack and very cheap but it's renowned – the food was incredible.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Open the windows and then go for a walk.

Dream trip?

To horse-ride across Uzbekistan. I can't horse-ride, but this is a dream!

Favourite city?

New York, for my fond memories and also the instant buzz you get there.

Where next?

To Edinburgh for the book festival and then Wastwater in the Lakes for a family holiday and then maybe Uzbekistan – who knows?

Emily Woof will be appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Monday 16 August at 6pm (edbookfest.co.uk).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Sales Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...

    Recruitment Genius: PCV Bus Drivers

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - York

    £18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - Y...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project