TRAVEL TIPS • May 2018
Be it a last-minute Euro-trip or nostalgic staycation, making the most of our long weekends is all the rage. Just in time for the May bank holidays, we ask a selection of top-notch travel writers and trendsetting Brits to share their weekend escapes
Scott Mills, BBC Radio 1 DJ
Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire is a small, sleepy town, but for the bank holiday weekend it has more than enough to offer. When you drive in you almost forget you’re in the UK; it’s the best beach I’ve ever seen in this country – and unsurprisingly one of the top coastlines in the world. St Brides Hotel is perfect for some quality time away and has the most amazing warm infinity pool, which overlooks the beach. There’s also a great restaurant on the ground floor where the food and décor make you feel like you’re in Malibu, rather than Wales! If you need to reconnect with a loved one but don’t have time to go abroad, this is the place to go.
Jasmine Hemsley, wellness expert and author of East by West (£25) published by Bluebird
Ibiza is my favourite spot for a weekend getaway, and perfect if you’re after nature and simple rustic food. I’m enchanted by the north of the island, home to blossoming almond trees, amazing fondue at hidden gem La Finca Can Suldat, and the island’s oldest restaurant, Es Caliu, serving traditional Ibizan cuisine. Grab a map and a little rental car and head to the gorgeous island of Es Vedra; I like to sit on the Cala d’Hort beach across from it and watch the sunset.
Nick Redman, Deputy Editor of The Sunday Times Travel Magazine
This bank holiday I’m returning to Istanbul, a city I lived in for 18 months in my mid-1980s youth and have never fallen out of love with. It’ll be my first trip back there since the snowy New Year of 2015/16, but this time I expect it to be balmy, with the mosques silver in warm sunshine and the shores of the Bosphorus Strait evergreen, the water deep-blue. That’s the view from the water’s-edge Four Seasons Hotel, where I’ll be staying and from where I’ll venture forth to rekindle my romance.
Laura Jackson, chef and co-founder of London supper club Jackson & Levine
I love getting away to Portscatho, Cornwall, where I got married last year. It’s a small fishing town on the south coast with rugged but beautiful beaches and some great food. Visit The Hidden Hut on Porthcurnick beach for locally sourced lobster and chips and get your coffee fix at Tatams coffee shop on the water’s edge, where you can look out for seals.
Zanna Van Dijk, fitness blogger and author of Strong, available to buy on Amazon now
I’ll be spending my bank holiday exploring my home country of The Netherlands. Luckily, I have tons of family scattered around there, so I can pop between them all, exploring the cities, eating lots of pancakes and going for walks in the countryside. My favourite spot is Delft, with the unmissable view from the top of the beautiful Nieuwe Kerk church and the indulgent poffertjes houses below.
James Forest, adventure travel writer
My long weekend will be spent in the jagged mountains of the Langdale Pikes in the Lake District for a 48-hour dose of outdoorsy adventure. I’ll kick off with a scramble up Jack’s Rake to Pavey Ark, followed by a hike to the glorious peaks of Harrison Stickle. After that it’s time for a post-walk pint at the Sticklebarn country inn and some well-deserved sleep at Great Langdale campsite. Day two will see a wander along the shimmering River Brathay and then coffee, cake and more coffee at Ambleside’s Rattle Ghyll Cafe.
Charlotte Swift, The Club editor
At this time of year, I need the sun’s warming rays, and nowhere feels easier to get to for that than the south of France. After the quick two-hour flight to Nice I tend to head west, and within an hour of landing can be enjoying a seafood lunch in the ever-seductive town of Antibes. However, for my next trip I’ll be going east for a stay at the legendary Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat, now a Four Seasons Hotel. The rooms, décor, food and service are as prime as you can imagine, the pool peers over to the Mediterranean – keep a look-out for the octogenarian swimming instructor who has taught a host of A-listers to swim – and the food is bikini-unfriendly.
Julia Bradbury, TV presenter and co-founder of The Outdoor Guide
I’ll be heading to the South Downs for some nostalgic five-star pampering at The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, whose past visitors include Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin. After a dip in the year-round outdoor pool, I'll be taking in the beauty of the Downs and majesty of the Seven Sisters, especially Beachy Head. This iconic white-chalk cliff walk is the perfect way to fill your lungs with plenty of the fresh stuff, and a stop-off at the Tiger Inn at East Dean will help you refuel. I recommend picking up great cakey treats for your hike at the café opposite the pub on the green.