Home Travel Author and broadcaster Charles Spencer recalls his travel adventures

Author and broadcaster Charles Spencer recalls his travel adventures


Author and broadcaster Charles Spencer recalls his travel adventures, which include going to Ibiza when he was seven – and sharing the beach with just a handful of people

Author and broadcaster Charles Spencer checks in to our travel Q&A

Author and broadcaster Charles Spencer checks in to our travel Q&A

This week author and broadcaster Charles Spencer checks in to our travel Q&A.

He talks about the most memorable place he’s visited, his favourite British historical site, his dream destination – and more.

MOST MEMORABLE PLACE YOU’VE BEEN?

Madagascar. The island is indescribably beautiful, with an abundance of nature, but it also has a residue of French colonial rule — with croissants and baguettes sold at street corners. 

FAVOURITE BRITISH HISTORICAL SITE?

Magdalen College Chapel, Oxford, which was the backdrop to my student days. I return quite often because of the beauty of the building and the attraction of the wonderful choral evensong.

YOUR EARLIEST HOLIDAY MEMORY?

When Charles visited Ibiza, pictured, when he was seven, he almost had the place to himself

When Charles visited Ibiza, pictured, when he was seven, he almost had the place to himself

Going to Ibiza when I was seven, long before it became the fashionable tourist destination that it is today. There were just a handful of people on the beach, and a bar in a hut run by a beautiful Austrian lady.

ANY OTHER UK SPOTS YOU’D RECOMMEND?

I was blown away by Lincoln, which is off the radar for many people. It’s an exquisite cathedral city with layers and layers of history, and it has a similar feel to Oxford and Cambridge.

FAVOURITE BRITISH WALK?

Strolling along Holkham Beach in North Norfolk. It’s very different to the usual ‘bucket and spade’ stretch of sand and has the lovely ‘big sky’ feel you find in that part of England.

HAS COVID SCUPPERED ANY TRAVEL PLANS?

Yes. My wife is Canadian and every summer for the past few years we’ve gone to the Muskoka Lakes, north of Toronto. It’s Swallows And Amazons but with a better climate, and gives you a wonderful chance to get away from it all in a beautiful, unspoilt setting.

A SILVER LINING TO NOT TRAVELLING?

Not going to airports, because most years I take 20-odd flights to the USA. I’ve also had the chance to reacquaint myself with the Norfolk of my youth.

Charles said Madagascar is the most memorable place he's visited as the island is 'indescribably beautiful, with an abundance of nature'

Charles said Madagascar is the most memorable place he’s visited as the island is ‘indescribably beautiful, with an abundance of nature’

TOP TRAVEL TIP?

My way to deal with jetlag is to just take it on the chin and go through the agony of the first couple of days in a new country.

WHERE NEXT?

I’d love to visit British Columbia and Vancouver Island, Canada, where I have relatives on my wife’s side. I hope to make it out there this Christmas.

DREAM DESTINATION?

I don’t know South America at all — I’ve only been to Argentina once on a business trip — so that’s my next wish-list destination.

  • The White Ship by Charles Spencer, published by William Collins, is out now, priced at £25. 

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