My Life In Travel: Honor Blackman

'I'm getting to the point where two rooms in a museum is enough'


What is your first holiday memory?

What is your first holiday memory?

Going to Littlehampton, where we used to holiday. We had a month there, because my father was in the civil service. I can remember standing in a bus shelter in the pouring rain, and that we were allowed candy floss at the end of the holiday if we had behaved.

Best holiday?

The one that really stands out was when Maurice [Kaufmann] and I went to Tobago (top right). We rented a little cottage surrounded by gorgeous trees and flowers. The most beautiful birds used to sit on the veranda. Tobago is the only place I've managed to overcome my fear of putting my head underwater because the fish were so fantastic.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I'm very fond of Norfolk. My husband came from there and the kids love it. Devon is beautiful, too.

What have you learnt from your travels?

That I hate everything about airports from getting there to taking off. I've travelled around the UK a lot recently and have discovered that I really like trains. If you're in the quiet carriage, nobody can get hold of you and you can relax.

Who is your ideal travelling companion?

Bill Clinton. He's attractive, funny and the conversation would be fascinating. We would also get fabulous attention wherever we went.

Are you a beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I love beaches and a certain amount of culture. However, I'm getting to the point where two rooms in a museum is enough for me. I was at the Louvre recently and I thought my legs were about to drop off. You can't appreciate places like that, because there's too much to take in.

Greatest travel luxury?

I have a Calvin Klein travel handbag with four compartments that fold up. You can keep your tickets, passport and documents all together.

Holiday reading?

I'm the slowest reader in the world, because I perform it all in my head. I'm in the middle of the thickest book, which is called No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It's about the Roosevelts, and is fascinating.

Where has seduced you?

South Africa is the most beautiful country I have been to. Canada is also hugely underrated.

Is it better to travel or to arrive?

To arrive - no question.

Worst travel experience?

I was in New Zealand doing a play once. A friend from the cast and I had decided to visit the South Island on our day off, but we had to be back the next day for a performance. When we were due to leave, the plane attempted - and failed - to take off four times because of the crosswinds. Several people were violently ill. We ended up travelling back in the belly of a Bristol freighter, which had previously been full of sheep. When we arrived, people were cheering.

Worst hotel?

There hasn't been a particularly awful one, although there have been plenty of very bare hotels with couples humping next door.

Best hotel?

I don't stay in very grand hotels, but the cottage that we stayed in on Tobago was wonderful.

Best meal abroad?

The lamb in Cyprus. They put it in the oven for days and it's quite wonderful; it comes out falling apart - I don't know how they manage it.

What is the first thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

I like to look around and see where I am; you can't really appreciate anywhere unless you're on two legs.

Favourite city?

Paris, because it's so beautiful.

Where are you going next?

On holiday to Florida. I've never been, apart from to a film premiere in Miami, so I wasn't really paying attention. We're going to the Keys, which I'm very much looking forward to.

Honor Blackman will be in conversation with Richard Digby Day at the Theatre Museum in London (020-7943 4700; www.theatremuseum.org.uk) on 1 May. Tickets cost £6; booking is advised.

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