Where the experts holiday: Phoebe Smith, editor of Wanderlust travel magazine and author of Extreme Sleeps: Adventures of a Wild Camper

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Some of the best travel adventures can be found right here in the UK says Phoebe Smith – editor of adventure travel magazine Wanderlust and author of Extreme Sleeps: Adventures of a Wild Camper


What do you like to do on holiday?
As a travel writer, I don’t really take holidays! But when I take a trip I like to have a bit of an adventure, whether that be walking up the highest mountain, spending time with locals to immerse myself into their culture or tracking the local wildlife – if there’s a story there I’ll find it!

Where did you last go?
Burma – to the Myeik Archipelago, a collection of 800 islands that has only just opened up to tourists.

Do you know where you’re going this year?
Not yet, lots of plans, but anything could happen…

Of all the places you’ve been to, which was your favourite and why?
That’s a really hard question. I love so many places for different reasons and my favourite changes all the time depending where I’ve just been! Last year I did have an amazing time in Nepal though, from the madness of Kathmandu to the flight into Lukla, walking among the Himalaya, meeting the incredible Sherpa –  I felt like I could have wandered there for months…

Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been?
There’s still so many, it’s hard to pick one. Right now with all the talk of the Winter Olympics I think it would have to be Russia, but somewhere wild like the Kamchatka Peninsula – the place intrigues me.

In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
As someone who wrote a book about wild camping around the UK, I’d have to say that visitors should spend a night in one of our wild places, under canvas. Dartmoor (in Southern England), Snowdonia (in Wales), the Lake District (in northern England) or the hills around Wester Ross (in Scotland) are all excellent destinations and each one of them beautiful.


How do you plan your trips?
I speak to tour operators and tourist boards as well as other writers and, of course, our readers to see what’s new, what’s changing and to get inspiration. Once I’ve decided where and what I’m doing you can’t beat a good guidebook for detailed information.

How often do you go away?
As often as I can!

Who do you travel with?
Depends what I’m doing really – it can be by myself, with a photographer, with friends or family.

Where do you see tourism in your country, in 10 years?
If you mean outgoing tourism, then I can see it growing. People in the UK love to travel and we’ve seen that, even in hard times, they won’t forgo their holidays. I love that people are getting more adventurous when they travel – I think that will continue to grow. It’s also great to see that more people are also travelling around in the UK too. I think everyone should experience being a tourist in their own backyard.


Phoebe will be sharing her hard won advice on how you can have an adventure in Britain – from wild camping on the summit of a mountain, to bedding down in a cave or finding shelter among the ruins of a WWII bomber – at the Adventure Travel Show on Saturday 26 January at 2pm. Phoebe will also be teaching at the Travel Writing workshops at the Adventure Travel Show on Saturday and Sunday  


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