Where the experts holiday: Jeremy Macdonogh, author of A Gap Year or Two

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Born in London in 1949, Jeremy Macdonogh studied history and philosophy at Cambridge University before embarking on the journey that would profoundly change the path his life was on. Here the author of A Gap Year or Two shares his travel highs and lows with Just About Travel readers


What do you like to do on holiday?
Everything I can. Culture – theatre, opera, cathedrals, castles, all of these. Food and drink all merit exploration. Beaches, too, even though they appeal to my wife a little more than me.

Where did you last go?
I last went to Lombok – an island in Indonesia, next to Bali. The neighbouring Gili islands are show stopping.

Do you know where you’re going this year?
We will be in Rajastan. My wife and I are planning on spending Christmas Day  in the Palace-hotel that starred in the James Bond film, Octopussy.


Of all the places you’ve been to, which was your favourite and why?
This is a hard question! I adored the Outer Hebrides when we stayed on South Uist. The lures of Palermo, however, are hard to beat, and the Palatine Chapel is eye-wateringly beautiful.

Which destination do you wish to travel to, but hasn’t yet been?
Everything I have heard about Iceland is attractive: volcanoes, geysers, Northern Lights… In summer it hardly grows dark and Polar Bears roam in the north.

A fourth reason is seeing the northern lights from the capital, Rreykjavik.

In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
I have a soft spot for Orford in Suffolk. It has three pubs, two of which boast rooms. It also has a castle and a little ferry that is happy to show off a dramatic coastline. Its strange ‘ness’ played a secret role in the Cold War. These days you can visit its ‘pagodas’, designed to collapse over the nuclear detonator factories.

How do you plan your holiday?
Family plays a concerted role. All websites and blogs are mined, plane fares are compared, exchange rates are double-checked. We select the least exhausting route. Only then do we chill out.

How often do you go away?
Typically I take one major holiday a year, nowadays. However when I was a businessman, I made 20 or more trips a year and was booked into a hotel of my employer’s choice. Now I can choose more freely.


Who do you travel with?
Going west, I favour Virgin Atlantic. Going east I like Air Malaysia. South? It has to be British Airways.

Where do you see tourism in your country, in 10 years?
Britain has so much to offer, yet I almost hope the East Anglian coast is never discovered. Norwich and Ely boast fabulous cathedrals, and Cambridge a vast treasure trove of medieval and classical colleges. Elsewhere The Broads are a wonderful alternative to Cornwall or the Lake District. It can only be a matter of time before the world comes to see them all in their spectacular glory.

Thanks Jeremy! A Gap Year or Two by Jeremy MacDonogh is available to buy on Amazon


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