My Life In Travel: Sharron Davies

'My favourite Olympics was Barcelona – but London 2012 has overtaken it'

First holiday memory?

Cornwall. I grew up across the border in Devon, so we didn't go particularly far – but it was always nice to relax on the beaches. I must have been quite young, because when I got to about 10 all summer holidays stopped due to my swimming.

I still have a place there today. The moment I have some spare time, I take my own children down. We go to Kynance Cove on the Lizard peninsula. There is the most amazing little café on the beach. Even in the middle of winter, it's just magical.

Best holiday?

For pure unadulterated laziness, the Maldives. You can just be away from computers, telephones and humanity. All I did was swim and read books.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Cumbria. I was doing some work up there recently and it's just so beautiful. It was raining, but it didn't matter. That's the fantastic thing about the UK: it has so many amazing, beautiful, diverse places.

What have you learnt from your travels?

To appreciate things. I've travelled all over the world – from diving in the Great Barrier Reef, to New York and the Hamptons. I've seen the sights of Athens and been on safari in Africa. It's made me realise that I'm such a lucky girl.

Ideal travelling companion?

My children. I have three, ranging in age from five to 18. I took the little one to Walt Disney World in Orlando last year. It was amazing seeing his little face. In the summer, it gets very, very hot, though, and there are huge queues – so you have to pick the right moment.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

All three. I've bungee jumped, gone all over Italy looking at art galleries, taken wine holidays, and sat on a beach for two weeks. Rome is one of my favourite places. I love the history, the people, the coffee, the fashion – and there are beaches and places to swim fairly nearby.

Greatest travel luxury?

A good book. In the Maldives, I read every single one of the Harry Potter series. I also like a classic thriller or anything by Sebastian Faulks. It's been six months without reading due to the Olympics.

Where has seduced you?

The Hamptons. I go to New York and then escape to stay with friends on Long Island. It's picture perfect and very charming – they seem to cut the grass with a pair of nail scissors.

Best hotel?

I like staying in places that are interesting and unusual, rather than great big chain hotels. The Small Luxury Hotels collection has a really nice range.

Favourite drive?

The Pacific Coast Highway in California. I've done a couple of Winnebago holidays with the kids from San Francisco down to LA, which have been really fun.

Best meal abroad?

I had a lovely meal in Milan once. My husband at that time was an airline pilot – they always know the best places because they travel so frequently. We ate in a restaurant in the cellars, surrounded by all these amazing bottles of wine and the food just kept coming. It was delightful.

Dream trip?

I'd like to spend more time in Australia. I've been to Sydney for the Olympics and Melbourne for the World Championships, but it's such a huge country. I'd love to explore it more – especially Perth, because everybody talks about how lovely it is.

Favourite city?

At the moment, London. The city has done the most amazing job with the Games. Before 2012, my favourite Olympics was Barcelona – but London has overtaken it. It's very iconic and has this amazing backdrop. They've built fantastic facilities and incorporated the city well. It's great being part of the atmosphere and seeing all the smiley, happy people.

Where next?

I've promised my daughter a really lovely holiday some time at the end of the year. She'd like to go to the Maldives, because she hears me talk about it. Maybe I'll take her on a return trip to read some more books.

The Olympic swimming medallist is an ambassador for the "Join in Local Sport" weekend (18-19 Aug; joininuk.org) which encourages people to get active after London 2012

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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
  • Get to the point
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

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss