What do you like to do on holiday?
On holiday – I like caravanning with our dogs; this summer we are heading to Ireland for the wedding of Vincent Simone (my partner in Strictly Come Dancing) and his long-time partner Susan, then we will head off to the Galway coast. Lazy fortnight! I drive the van, an Autosleeper 4 berth. We’ve been to Germany and France several times, though this year it will be borrowed by family and go to several music festivals.
Where did you last travel?
“Down to London for my brother’s wedding. Expensive business, that – for two of us on the train, and overnight stay, it was nearly £400. On a previous occasion in London I dragged hubby to see both parts of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, a memorable occasion.”
Do you know where you’re going next?
“Next, I’m taking my 9 year old granddaughter to Crete, in May. She’ll be doing Ancient Greece in school, so that’s where we are heading. It’s an Adventure. When she did the Romans, we had an Adventure staying up near the Roman wall. If there wasn’t so much trouble there, we’d have had an Adventure in Egypt when she did the Ancient Egyptians, but the Atkinson Museum in Southport had to suffice.”
More recently, Edwina has cruised to Ephesus: “Been there several times, wonderful”
Of all the places you’ve been to, what was your favourite and why?
“My favourite…. was the South Pacific. Hubby and I talk on cruise ships; I must have done over 60 cruises but have long since lost count. The best was joining a ship in Valparaiso, Chile, and sailing across the Pacific Ocean, taking in Easter Island, Pitcairn, Tahiti, Bora Bora and several other magical places before landing in New Zealand, where we stayed for a few days before flying home.”
Which destination do you wish to travel to but haven’t been there yet?
“Hmmm. Crete has been on the list since I was a kid and read the Greek myths and Homer, but I don’t like anywhere hot and full of crowds. If I like it in May, I’ll probably go again. August we are cruising down the Rhine, another new destination we are looking forward to, though we’ve done most of the picturesque German towns by road at different times.”
In your own area, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
“Bring your boots and go walking. It’s called the Peak District for a reason, and every step rewards you with an astonishing vista. My favourite is up past Errwood reservoir; on the top there is an amazing view, like you’re standing on top of the world.”
How do you plan a vacation? (guidebooks/website/agents/friends etc)
“Mostly online: TripAdvisor is very useful, love reading the rude comments! Expedia.co.uk to check flights and hotels, and I often book via that site – found it very reliable. Trainline.com for UK trains and discounts, excellent. Caravan Club website for booking ferries, with a discount. Heading abroad, I’d take The Rough Guide, in book form, and carry it in my backpack at all times; it’s super for finding a decent cafe in the middle of unfamiliar territory, especially where there’s no wifi.”