My Life In Travel: Mark Radcliffe. BBC broadcaster

'The Lake District is unbeatable'

First holiday memory?

I vividly remember being at a hotel in Llandudno and being horrified to learn that children ate separately from their parents. I also remember getting prickly heat on a holiday in Bournemouth and sitting down to meals with a big bottle of calamine lotion on the table.

Best holiday?

Kerala. I went with my wife, Bella, and we did one of those backwater cruises on a rice barge with another couple. There was a bedroom on either side of a dining area and each one had a little deck with a pair of wicker chairs. We stopped at little villages where kids would run out to see if you had sweets and pencils. It was lovely.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I like walking and I've gone to the Lake District since childhood. I have done the Coast to Coast Walk, and walking over the top of the Lake District is pretty unbeatable. I also love Anglesey, which I walked around a year ago – the crags, the beaches and the cliffs are still a little bit of a secret. It's a spectacular slab of landscape that changes a lot in a relatively small area.

What have you learnt from your travels?

It's good to travel because you find out that there are people who see the world in an entirely different way to you. The other thing I've found is that if you walk and feel dwarfed by the landscape, all your problems seem to fall into perspective. It's also amazing to see how far you can get by putting one foot in front of the other. You turn around and see the distance you've covered and often it's pretty astonishing.

Ideal travelling companion?

My wife. I'm not a natural traveller; I wasn't born with wanderlust. But she's great at organising and enjoys the administration of travel. I like to be told on the morning where we're going – I work on a need-to-know basis.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I don't feel the need to hurl myself off cliffs, though I do like being bashed about in boats. I'm a bit of both of the other two though. We went to Egypt and I didn't feel like I needed to see every single pyramid, but in Sharm el Sheikh I found that after four or five days of being on the beach I got a bit itchy.

Greatest travel luxury?

I've got one of those e-readers, which I like. I have to get someone young at work to download books onto it for me though – I'm not very good with gadgets. But now I've mastered it I feel terribly proud and modern and read it quite ostentatiously.

Holiday reading?

My favourite books are those that create a little world that you can get lost in for several weeks. I remember reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, which is about two magicians and is really odd. I also loved Company of Liars by Karen Maitland, which is about a group of misfits gallivanting across England in the Middle Ages.

Where has seduced you?

I am constantly seduced by England. I love parts of the Cotswolds – those little bridges over the River Windrush are still really enchanting, and I love having afternoon tea in pump rooms.

Better to travel or arrive?

Definitely to arrive; I get no joy from travelling. I've got three children of various ages, so you're always hoping for no delays and listening to "are we there yet dad?". I'd probably get to the airport the day before if could because I don't relax until I get to where I'm supposed to be.

Worst travel experience?

About three years ago, my wife took one of our daughters to a wedding somewhere and I took our other two daughters to Eurodisney. On the way back we got to the airport to find that Air France had gone on strike. I'm not fantastically resourceful so we were stuck at Charles de Gaulle airport with no means of getting home. Luckily I had a mobile phone and a credit card, so we eventually got a train to the Gare du Nord then another to Lille, where we stayed for a night, and got the first Eurostar the next morning then travelled north from Euston.

Worst hotel?

I remember staying in a dreadful hotel in Criccieth in Wales. It had every cliché in the book, with wallpaper in the heaviest 1970s patterns. For breakfast you could have bacon and egg, or sausage, or tomato. You actually had to choose between them. How mean is that?

Best hotel?

We stayed in a really nice boutique hotel off the main square in Tallinn, Estonia. It wasn't particularly luxurious but it was in a great location.

Best meal abroad?

Recently we had an amazing meal in Cairo at the Mena House Oberoi, which overlooks the pyramids. It has been there for years, before there was much tourism there, and it felt like a place of linen suits and the Man from Del Monte. We ate at an Indian restaurant on Valentine's Day, which was really atmospheric.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

An amazing drive is on the west coast of Scotland. When the weather is good it's amazing because there's nobody there and the lochs and beaches are spectacular. I drove up to Applecross Bay and the road really twisted and turned, in bright sunshine. We swam in the bay, which was comparatively warm because of the Gulf Stream. I also walked Hadrian's Wall last year and the central part of that is a fantastic place to walk. You're on high ground and you feel very close to the history of it – you really get the sense that people had physically hauled those stones there.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

I like to watch and feel a place, so I go for a walk and find somewhere to sit with a drink.

Dream trip?

I would really love to see more of India, particularly the really grand hotels of the days of the Raj. I'd like to travel around by train.

Favourite city?

Rome. It is the most extraordinary city with history at every turn, great food, culture, architecture, art and romance.

Where next?

Center Parcs in the Lake District with all the kids and my granddaughter. Then we'll go to Anglesey and Cornwall, taking in Glastonbury and the Cambridge Folk Festival on the way.

Mark Radcliffe narrates a new series, 'I'm in a Rock n' Roll Band!', starting tonight on BBC2 at 9.40pm

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

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

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week