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News & Advice

My life in travel: Paula Radcliffe

'Los Cabos in Mexico has beautiful beaches where I could run for miles'

Marathon runner Paula Radcliffe has launched a jogging map around the capital with the InterContinental London Westminster hotel, (intercontinental.com/westminster).

First holiday memory?

Camping with my parents, usually in Pembrokeshire or Scotland and then later France, when I got a bit older. I always remember it being a lot of fun. Mum and Dad would try to get us to do some cultural stuff, but we'd also have fun on the beach: running around, horse riding.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

We live in Monaco now, so I always love coming back to London. Especially because my children, Isla and Raphael, are just about old enough to appreciate the sights.

Best holiday?

Cove Atlantis in the Bahamas with my husband Gary, Isla and both sets of grandparents, because it was their 40th wedding anniversary in the same year. It was nice to share a family holiday.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Pack things that you can wear lots of ways, that wash out easily. Put toiletries in a waterproof bag, so they don't leak over everything. And, I always keep my racing kit in my hand luggage, just in case my suitcase gets lost.

Ideal travelling companion?

My husband and my kids. They are my best friends. It's nice seeing the delight on my children's faces when they discover new things. I took Isla to Ethiopia when she was very little. I was going for the Great Ethiopian Run, so it was just for a long weekend, but she still remembers bits of it.

As a child, she didn't see any difference between herself and the local children. I would like to take her back now and really show her that not all children are as lucky as her.

Greatest travel luxury?

iPads are pretty essential with kids, especially on long journeys.

Holiday reading?

Anything and everything. I remember going camping when I was younger and having to take my own bag full of books. I would take at least 10 or more for a two-week holiday. I've now got a Kindle, which makes packing a whole lot easier. Recently, I've read books by James Patterson, Karen Rose and Lisa Gardner.

Where has seduced you?

Japan. I love the food and really respect the Japanese people for their ideals and customs. I've raced in Tokyo, but I've also visited rural parts too and Kyoto to see the temples.

Worst travel experience?

Getting stuck at Heathrow for three days trying to get out to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a training camp. I was with Isla and had a very small, limited supply of nappies and food in my hand luggage. On your own you can deal with it, but it becomes a nightmare with little kids.

Best hotel?

Las Ventanas al Paraíso resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. I went there after running the New York Marathon in 2004. It's got beautiful beaches and sandy trails where I could run for miles. You could get into the town for shopping in the afternoons or for the nightlife. It was beautiful.

Favourite run?

Around Central Park in New York and Hyde Park in London; along the coastlines of Pembrokeshire and Northern Ireland and through the trees of Delamere Forest in Cheshire.

Best meal abroad?

Maya Bay Restaurant in Monaco. It's a Thai-Japanese place just off the beach.

Favourite city?

New York. The first time I went in 1995, Gary and I walked all over Manhattan before my race and explored. I love the buzz and the vibrancy.

Where next?

We want to try to meet up with my brother, who lives in Australia with his family. I don't know whether we have time to go all the way there, but we might meet somewhere in the middle, like Dubai.