Where the experts holiday: Rosa Park

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Rosa Park – editor of quarterly  food/travel magazine Cereal – on Cornwall, Copenhagen and the Californian coastal town of Santa Barbara


 

What do you like to do on holiday?
It depends on where I am. If I’m in a big city, I fill my days with visiting modern and contemporary art museums, galleries, beautiful landmarks and historical sights, as well as finding restaurants and shops that locals frequent. If I’m on a beach holiday, I make sure to fully unwind. This means plenty of leisurely reading, going for scenic walks, enjoying fresh seafood and napping in the shade. If I’m in the country, it’s all about long drives amidst the bucolic setting and stopping off at pubs for drawn out meals.

 

Where did you last go?
I just travelled through Southern California with my family. We started in LA, drove up to Santa Barbara, and then headed back down to San Diego. Each place is alluring in its own way, but Santa Barbara is easily my favourite. I love its relaxed small-town vibe, pleasant tree-lined streets filled with charming boutiques and eateries, secluded beaches and sprawling ranches. I’d love to retire there.

Do you know where you’re going this year?
At the moment, I’m trying to decide between Santorini and Tel Aviv for a summer getaway. I’m also going to North America’s Pacific Northwest region at the end of summer, visiting Vancouver (Canada), Seattle and Portland. Then in early autumn, I’ll be in Paris eating, shopping and soaking in the arts for a couple of days as it’s been a while since I last visited. In October, I’m flying to Singapore and Seoul and am planning to stop by Bhutan or Cambodia on my way back to England.

 

Of all the places you’ve been to, what was your favourite and why?
Copenhagen. I adore this city. It’s so liveable – would move there tomorrow if I could – and its residents are what make the place.  Everyone is incredibly kind and friendly as well as effortlessly stylish and cultured. People-watching in Copenhagen is one of my favourite activities: I could sit at a café in Vesterbro for hours watching the world go by. Plus, I’m such a huge fan of Scandinavian design and cuisine, so being in Copenhagen is like being a kid in a candy shop.

Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been?
I’d like to travel extensively through Africa. I have my sights set on South Africa, Kenya and Mali.

 

In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
These days almost everything makes its way to a travel guide of some sort, so it’s tough to say but where I live is my favourite part of the country. I currently reside in Bristol but lived in Bath for a year before that (just a 10 minute train journey from Bristol) and these two cities of the South West are my great loves. Bath is a very tourist-heavy destination but I would advise visitors to skip the tour of the Roman Baths and the Royal Crescent and simply walk the town and explore every nook and cranny. My favourite bookshop in the world is in Bath, and it’s called Topping and Company Booksellers. It’s a bookshop out of a film; picture a long hallway filled with books from floor to ceiling where staff offer you tea and biscuits, which you can enjoy in any one of the corner tables as you peruse the latest titles. As for Bristol, the city has soul. It’s not necessarily the most photogenic of places but there is an impressive sense of pride and indie spirit and a day in the Stokes Croft area will show you just that.

 

How do you plan your holiday?
I do hours and hours of research before each trip. I ask friends who’ve already visited the destination for recommendations (which is often my most trustworthy source), look at every travel website and blog, read multiple guidebooks then narrow down my options from there.

 

 

 

How often do you go away?
I travel quite a bit. It is my job to do so, after all! I travel about once a month.

 

Who do you travel with?
I enjoy travelling with anyone who shares my passion for seeking new adventures and experiences. I’m fortunate in that my family absolutely loves to travel, as do most of my close friends, and of course, my partner – so I travel with all of them!

 

Where do you see tourism in your country, in 10 years?
I think tourism outside London, will continue to grow and thrive. Currently, visitors from outside the UK usually head straight to the Cotswolds when they want to travel outside London, but there is so much to see beyond the London/Cotswolds area of the south. I enjoy the more industrial cities and towns of the North and admire the beauty of the Peak District and the Lake District. And there is something very special about walking the beaches of Cornwall, enjoying country life in Devon or Dorset, and trekking through the New Forest. I love every part of England and want the world to see it too. In 10 years time, I think we’ll get there.

Rosa Park is the editor of Cereal Magazine. Volume 2 out now; Volume 3 to launch first week of June | www.readcereal.com

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