I’m sat with a gin and tonic in hand in the open sided communal lodge in Sable Alley. This is the newest lodge (opened in 2017) within the Khwai Private Reserve. The scene beyond was of a muddy lagoon with a pod of a dozen or so hippos who were now making quite a racket. Earlier they were quiet, lounging, semi-submerged in the water. But now dusk was falling, they were stretching their legs and...

Everyone who has visited the Seychelles even once knows the Beau Vallon beach on the north-western coast of Mahé. It’s a gorgeous ribbon of white soft sand set against a pretty floral backdrop. Plus it is famous for its superb diving opportunities. It’s a well protected area and government has banned building along the hemline, save for one solitary hotel that has been built directly on the beach: the Coral Strand Smart Choice Hotel. For beach lovers...

A new direct flight linking London and Nashville is an opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of three music cities. Nashville is country music, Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis and Memphis has soul. You’ll need to hire a car, turn on the stereo and enjoy the drive. From Nashville, Tupelo is around four hours, then Memphis is another two hours. If you’re feeling more adventurous then follow the Mississippi River south, exploring the land...

If you have seen the film “Call Me By Your Name”, a love story that takes place “somewhere in Northern Italy”, the likelihood is that it left you itching to experience the romance of the region for yourself. Although the tag line is vague we have pinpointed the locations in Lombardy in the northwest of Italy. This means all you need is three days to explore and be guided by the story of 17-year-old Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet)...

Linking Northern and Southern Europe, the Gotthard Bernina Circular Tour is the most spectacular way to cross the Alps by rail. It’s a marvel of engineering, using a combination of 55 tunnels and 196 bridges, blending into the landscape so successfully that it’s been recognised by UNESCO and is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its World Heritage award. I fly into Zurich and take the train to Lugano, a route only made possible when the Gotthard Tunnel...

Vietnam is a warm and wonderful country, one where east meets west and one where it’s cheap to eat and stay. There’s more than 2,000 miles of it, mostly between Hanoi in the north and Ho Chi Minh City (still often known as Saigon) in the south. They don’t let foreigners drive here – a good thing as there are 45 million scooters in a population of 92 million and the people who aren’t steering seem to be...

“Imagine the harmony of an orchestra, with no single instrument heard above another, this is what we aim for with our Weiner Gemischter Satz wine,” states Fritz Wieninger from his winery, in the sleepy outskirts of the Austrian capital. The vintners of Austria are a very passionate breed. They are a new generation of wine makers producing high quality products. They are represented across the four main wine regions of Niederosterriech (Lower Austria); Burgenland; Steiermark...

Nagasaki is situated in Kyushu, the third largest island in Japan and the most south westerly. Of course you can’t miss the Atomic Bomb Museum and Memorial, but other attractions include the restored Dutch Trading Post of Dejima, for 200 hundred years Japan’s only contact with the outside world and Glover Garden, a collection of 19th century colonial houses. There’s volcanic activity nearby, with eruptions as recent as 1990, and a mountain village of hot springs, perfect for...

Kyushu is the third largest island in Japan and the most south westerly. Most people visit Nagasaki and get no further but it’s worth exploring the rest of the island. There’s volcanic activity here, with eruptions as recent as 2018, and you can hike the rim of the world’s largest caldera crater. For something more relaxing immerse yourself in the largest collection of hot springs in Japan, eating food cooked in the steam, and don’t forget to pay a...