My Life In Travel: Judith Chalmers

'Swimming on the Great Barrier Reef was wonderful'

First holiday memory?

Being driven around Devon in a Morris Minor Traveller by my father, with a rabbit hopping along side us beside the tall hedges. Also going to Looe in Cornwall and having fresh crab sandwiches, which must have been very sophisticated. I remember Cornish ice cream, too, and that no ice cream has tasted as good since.

Best holiday?

The best holidays are with family; we go to Devon to spend time with our six grandchildren in the summer. Aside from that, a country that my husband Neil and I love is New Zealand, where we try to go every couple of years.

One of the best holidays we have had there was on a sheep station and in Marlborough and the wine country. Eighteen months ago we drove right down South Island, too. We went across to Stewart Island, where a lot of New Zealanders haven't been.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

It has to be Devon, but I also love Scotland. I remember a lovely holiday when Neil and I drove around the east coast. At Crail we stopped at the harbour where we saw a little shed with a sign that said fresh lobster was available. We bought one that was cooked right there, then we went off to get a bottle of wine and plastic cups and ate and drank by the harbour. That's what is great about Britain – that you can enjoy such delicious, fresh produce on the doorstep.

What have you learnt from your travels?

I'm very fortunate to have done Wish You Were Here for 30 years – I got to see so much of the world and discover how different it is. I love sitting in cafés, watching people go by.

Ideal travelling companion?

Neil. He's marvellous because we enjoy the same things – eating nice food and drinking wine and seeing lovely places. We've been married 45 years so we know what we both like.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

If I had to choose it'd be beach bum. When we first started doing Wish You Were Here it was in the days of just lying on the beach with lemons and oil. These days, a holiday for me has wonderful beaches somewhere, but I don't sit in the sun like I used to. I like a bit of culture too.

Greatest travel luxury?

I love my luggage; I've always wanted to have a luggage label named after me! Other than that, it's mascara and lipstick.

Holiday reading?

I've just finished Victoria Hislop's book The Island, which is about Spinalonga. It's fictional, but there's so much fact in it about the island, which used to be a leper colony. I enjoy Douglas Kennedy and Nicholas Coleridge for wonderful gossipy stuff and I also catch up with newspaper supplements.

Where has seduced you?

It has to be New Zealand. I never realised anywhere could be so beautiful. It's so empty too – I love the peace and scenery. We do like South Africa, too, particularly Cape Town. And I recently went to the Maldives – I've never known such restfulness as I did there.

Better to travel or arrive?

I like both. I still get an excitement when I get to the airport, believe it or not. I find British Airways fantastic and I love travelling with them. When I've been in far-flung places and arrive back at the airport and see the tailplane, it's reassuring.

Worst travel experience?

On a filming trip in South America. We were in the desert in Chile and very quickly went up to 5,000m to film geysers in Bolivia. I developed altitude sickness, which coupled with the smell of sulphur wasn't good. I got to the hotel after filming and it was very basic indeed. When they were showing us to our rooms, we stopped at one, which I took to be mine, but the manager told us it was for all of us. I was desperate to have a shower, but it was just a bucket of water. It's all a notch on the belt though.

Worst holiday?

The only place that disturbed me was Rio, some years ago, because of the crime and theft by youngsters and the poverty. However, I've been back since and absolutely loved it.

Best hotel?

I love La Residencia in Deia, Majorca, where we had our own swimming pool. I read more there than I do when we go to our home in Portugal. The breakfast was delicious and we had a great foodie time there. I also like the Four Seasons chain and the Ritz-Carlton in New York and Singapore.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

Swimming on the Great Barrier Reef was wonderful and I also love swimming in the turquoise water of Caribbean Sea. In Barbados I would walk along the beach from the Treasure Beach hotel in the early morning and watch the Bajans having an early morning bathe, with all the chatter about cricket and weather.

Best meal abroad?

It might have been lobster in New Zealand. We'd get lobsters from pots on the beach and cook them fresh and simply.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Look at the view.

Dream trip?

I'd love to go to the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. It's just such a long way to go. And I think I might like to go to the Maldives again.

Favourite city?

New York, because it's so vibrant. Neil and I love musicals so we really enjoy going to Broadway shows. We were recently on a Saga cruise down the Eastern seaboard and stopped off in New York to see Hairspray. My other favourite cities are Sydney and then London.

Where next?

Devon, to stay with the children and go and enjoy all the fresh produce there.

Judith Chalmers is supporting Sainsbury's Eat Britain campaign, visiting some of the 17,000 farmers and suppliers supported by the supermarket and championing their produce. She is encouraging Britons to holiday at home this year and 'Eat Britain' ( sainsburys.co.uk/food ).

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
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
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Graduate Sales Executive / Junior Sales Exec

    £18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Sales Exe...

    Web Developer / Software Developer

    £25 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Web Developer / Software Developer is needed ...

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Day In a Page

    Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

    The phoney war is over

    Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
    From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

    Salomé: A head for seduction

    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
    From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

    British Library celebrates all things Gothic

    Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
    The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

    Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

    The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

    In search of Caribbean soul food

    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
    11 best face powders

    11 best face powders

    Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
    England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
    Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone