Rankin: My Life in Travel

'I always travel to Brazil if I get a chance. The moon smiles at you there'
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The Independent Travel

First holiday memory?

A family holiday on the east coast of Scotland. I remember my cousin Billy throwing a very large rock, which cut his brother Douglas's toe off in a small brook running into the North Sea in North Berwick.

Best holiday?

That's hard because I hardly ever go on holiday. I do, however, go on a lot of work trips. I had a fantastic holiday in the Scilly Isles with two other dads and our three kids about four years ago. We just walked, talked and flew kites the whole time.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Nairn in Scotland and the Scilly Isles in England. They are both such peaceful places - you have to get to the Scilly Isles by helicopter or boat and most of the islands don't have any cars. That can be bliss when you spend your life in planes, trains and automobiles.

What have you learnt from your travels?

You can always do some sort of deal to sort out a problem. Make sure you complain if you're not happy, otherwise nobody will know and they won't know how to improve their service.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I'm a beach bum although I have to say Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's motorbike adventure The Long Way Round has inspired me to do something exciting like that.

Greatest travel luxury?

Flying first class.

Holiday reading?

I like to read as much as I can on holiday. At the moment I'm reading lots of kids' books - my favourite authors are Anthony Horowitz and Eoin Colfer.

Where has seduced you?

Barbados is incredibly seductive - it's almost too sexy for my old bones! And I love Brazil, I'll always travel there if I get a chance; the moon smiles at you in Brazil.

Better to travel or arrive?

It depends how you're travelling but for me it's definitely better to arrive.

Worst travel experience?

Flying to New York for the first time when there were still smoking sections on planes. That was the most disgusting flight I've ever been on because I was sitting one row away from the smoking section. Another bad experience was having my wallet and plane ticket stolen on another trip to the States.

Worst holiday?

I haven't had a bad one in quite a while - you can usually fix a bad situation.

Worst hotel?

It's not a hotel, but the night train to Scotland is a pretty harrowing experience. It's almost like being locked in a cell for the night; I wouldn't recommend that to anyone, especially if you want a romantic weekend!

Best hotel?

I like welcoming hotels - the Sunset Marquis in Los Angeles is like my home away from home - the staff are so helpful. Some of my other favourites are Skibo Castle in Scotland, Soho House in New York, the Golf View Hotel in Nairn, St Martins in the Scilly Isles, The Anassa in Cyprus, One & Only Le Touessrok in Mauritius - and Babington House in Somerset is fantastic for a weekend break.

Favourite walk/swim/ ride/drive?

Driving in the Australian Outback is like being on a different planet - I felt so at peace out there. I also like the train journey down to Penzance because it's so beautiful; it's a journey I'm always so happy to make.

Best meal abroad?

Pretty much any meal in Italy, but there is also an amazing Italian restaurant in LA called Giorgio's. It makes a truffle pasta that melts in your mouth. I also once ate a dish in Reykjavik that was made with cod, banana and gorgonzola, which I'll always remember. It was delicious - but I wouldn't try it at home!

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Look out of the window - the view is very important to me.

Dream trip?

I'd love to travel around the coast of Britain - I love our coastline. I'd also like to travel across Africa and Australia.

Favourite city?

London, although I also love Glasgow and Edinburgh. Coming home to London is always such a special feeling. When I fly over it as the plane comes in to land I'm reminded why I love it so much. You can see history on every corner, the architecture is so haphazard and there is green everywhere. It's a perfect place to bring up a child because there's so much to do.

Where next?

I'm off to Los Angeles, then New York, then Rothesay on the west coast of Scotland to film a documentary for BBC Scotland. I'm going back to places I haven't visited for 30 years - where I used to holiday and live as a child.

Rankin's 'One Dress' project can be viewed at www.rankin.com