INSPIRATION • February 2019
With British Airways now the official partner to England Rugby, The Club goes pitch-side to ask the players for their holiday inspirations
According to: Owen Farrell, fly half and centre
Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean, has long attracted those seeking palm-fringed beaches and luxury resorts, especially post-wedding. But this tiny island nation isn’t just for honeymooners – its crystal-clear lagoons, calm sea and year-round tropical climate make it extremely family friendly. The snorkelling and scuba diving is dreamy, while landlubbers can play golf, trek through lush forest and soak up the rich colonial history and local culture.
Owen says: "When the cold sets in, I like to escape to sunshine and a beach – it’s good to force yourself to just sit and switch off."
According to: Abbie Scott, lock
Canada is as diverse across its cities as it is its landscapes. There’s dynamic Toronto, French-speaking Montréal and Québec City, west-coast film centre Vancouver and capital city Ottawa. But for a dose of western hospitality, head to Calgary – the soaring skyscrapers may be the product of an oil boom, but cowboy boots are still the norm (go in July for the annual yee-hawing Stampede). The city is also the jumping-off point for the Canadian Rockies, known as nature’s adventure playground.
Abbie says: “Canada is amazing, especially around the Rockies. We went there to play the USA, Canada and New Zealand in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer. That was special because I’d played the season before in Edmonton, so it was like a home game with all the support.”
According to: Ben Youngs, scrum half
Any guidebook on Portugal will mention the warmth of the locals. No wonder they’re happy – the country has a temperate climate, abundant seafood and a world-famous fortified wine. Many visitors make a beeline for the Algarve’s golden beaches, but the capital Lisbon is a must for its cobbled streets, cafés and culture. And don’t forget pretty Porto, which entices travellers with its old-school character and cooler-than-thou hangouts.
Ben says: “I went to Quinta do Lago with my family – it has some stunning golf courses, but I spent most of my time in the pool with the kids, as most dads have to do on holiday!”
According to: Sarah Hunter, No. 8
The United States – a country on such a scale can’t help but tick every box. There are the exhilarating hubs of LA, Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami and New York City, plus 12,000 miles of coastline (driving along California’s shore-hugging Highway 1 is a must). And, in between, vast swathes of desert, prairie, mountain and canyon. The national parks are ideal for a wilderness fix. Many, like Rocky Mountain National Park – a short drive from the ‘Mile High City’ of Denver – offer hiking, biking, camping and riding.
Sarah says: “We went on a summer tour to Denver, which was incredible with the scenery and the Rockies in the background. We went white-water rafting and drove through the mountains. It’s a lovely place.”
According to: Maro Itoje, lock
From a wintery night cosied up in some of the country's oldest and most atmospheric pubs to a summer's day stroll through the city's sprawling, green spaces, London is a city for all seasons, and all kinds of travellers. With dozens of neighbourhood food markets and Michelin-starred estabilishments, it's a certified foodie paradise, while the culture vultures will love the literature hot-spots, multitude of museums and historic landmarks.
Maro says: "London's great – if I were visiting the UK for the first time, I’d spend all my time there. A night out in Soho is great – Archer Street and Sketch are first-class bars. I’m a sucker for southeast Asian food, so I love cool sushi restaurant Dozo, and there’s some great dim sum on Baker Street, too."
British Airways is England Rugby’s official airline partner and principal partner of Twickenham Stadium. To find out more, including how to earn Avios at Twickenham, click here