Europe

Explore Europe’s rich history in our content on Reading the Book Travel!

United Kingdom

The ultimate Christmas lights tour in London

There’s nowhere quite like London as Christmas approaches. Grand department stores, historic churches and elegant streets are thronged with locals and visitors alike; but it is the Christmas lights for which the city is particularly renowned at the festive season. If...

Celebrate Christmas and New Year in London like a local!

So you’ve done it. You’ve bought the ticket - you’re off to London for Christmas and New Year! But if you’re going to head to the UK at the festive season, you need to do it right. How can you celebrate Christmas and New Year in London like a native? What are the best...

Secret Britain: 7 home-grown destinations Brits love!

The UK is a deservedly popular spot on the tourist trail. Well, I would say that - I'm biased, as I have lived here all my life. But so many overseas visitors head for the same old places: London, Oxford and the Lake District, to name a few. But where do the British...

Ultimate Tower of London visit: Everything you need to know!

The Tower of London is one of the icons of the British capital. Still standing proudly on the banks of the River Thames, the Tower dates back to the 11th century and has been a bastion of the nation since the first stone was laid. But what is it like visiting the Tower of London, and why should you include it on your visit to the city?

Ulster travel: Discover the highlights of all nine counties

Ulster. The name of the province is synonymous with Northern Ireland, but did you know that Ulster province is made up of more than just the six counties of the north? Having visited every county in Ulster for myself, I know that each one has its own character and...

Slemish: St Patrick’s Mountain in Northern Ireland

I have been a regular visitor to Northern Ireland over many years, visiting the town of Ballymena, County Antrim. And anyone familiar with the approach to Ballymena will recognise Slemish. Towering over the surrounding flat landscape, Slemish is unmistakable and, when...

Little Moreton Hall: A Tudor timewalk

Few periods of European history have quite the splendour and mystique of Tudor England. The age of Henry VIII and his six wives, of Bloody Mary and Elizabeth I, the period is known for its violent history and religious upheaval, set against a backdrop of elaborate...

Traditional dance around the world

One of the joys of travel is to experience the best of cultures the world over. Music and dancing is a huge part of my life at home, and I’ve been lucky enough to experience it in many styles across the globe, sometimes as a display for tourists, sometimes in its most...

The Mourne Mountains: Northern Ireland’s southeast

If you are visiting Northern Ireland, you could do far worse than a day or two spent exploring the Mourne Mountains. Nestled in the far south of County Down, the stunning peaks (of which the highest is Slieve Donard at 850m, Northern Ireland's highest point) rise out...

Explore historic Ely, Cambridgeshire

The historic city of Ely lies just north of Cambridge, and within easy reach of London and the Norfolk coast. It makes for a great day out, but why should you visit? Ely Cathedral Dating from 1083, the crown jewel of the city is the beautiful Anglican cathedral which...

Ireland

Ulster travel: Discover the highlights of all nine counties

Ulster. The name of the province is synonymous with Northern Ireland, but did you know that Ulster province is made up of more than just the six counties of the north? Having visited every county in Ulster for myself, I know that each one has its own character and...

Slemish: St Patrick’s Mountain in Northern Ireland

I have been a regular visitor to Northern Ireland over many years, visiting the town of Ballymena, County Antrim. And anyone familiar with the approach to Ballymena will recognise Slemish. Towering over the surrounding flat landscape, Slemish is unmistakable and, when...

County Meath: Ireland’s ancient east

If there’s one thing that Ireland has by the bucket load, it’s history. From ancient to modern, there is so much to learn here that you could never do the country justice, but fortunately there are a few sights within a short drive of Dublin which allow you to...

The Mourne Mountains: Northern Ireland’s southeast

If you are visiting Northern Ireland, you could do far worse than a day or two spent exploring the Mourne Mountains. Nestled in the far south of County Down, the stunning peaks (of which the highest is Slieve Donard at 850m, Northern Ireland's highest point) rise out...

Portrush to Castlerock: Northern Ireland’s northwest coast

The part of the Northern Irish coast to the west of the Giant's Causeway is the province's holiday playground. With white sand beaches, caravan parks and coastal towns, it is a great spot for a family break, but it also has history and stunning scenery to explore. So...

Crossing the Irish border: what you need to know!

Ireland is a country divided in two: in the south and west, the nation of Ireland (often referred to as the Republic of Ireland to avoid confusion), and in the northeast the province of Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom. Both have plenty to do and...

Discover Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast

If you've been to Ireland and not visited the north-eastern counties, you have missed something special. Politically part of the United Kingdom and with a chequered history to match, Northern Ireland today is a peaceful place with much to see and do. And top of that...

5 Reasons you will love Northern Ireland…

Over the past 18 months I have been lucky enough to make regular visits to Country Antrim and the surrounding area, and have fallen in love with what I have found there. Often overlooked because of its history and separate status as part of the United Kingdom, it is...

Northern Ireland: The highlights of Derry/Londonderry

I was lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time last year in Northern Ireland - my work had taken me over there on a number of occasions, and if I'd enjoyed what I'd seen of it previously, I fell in love with the province over the course of the year. Much of my...

Albania

One day in Tirana: Taking the Kotor to Tirana bus

If you’re visiting the small Balkan nation of Montenegro, you will likely be focussing your trip on the popular coastal towns of Kotor and Budva. But if you fancy something a little different during your stay, why not take a day trip to Albania’s capital, Tirana?Drita...

Bosnia and Herzegovina

What to do in Sarajevo: The abandoned Sarajevo bobsled track

Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the heart of Europe’s Balkan region, has a chequered history and a wealth of highlights to discover. But one of the most unusual places to see in Sarajevo is hidden high up in the mountains behind the city. Left over from...

Top things to do in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

The Balkan country of Bosnia and Herzegovina attracted the world’s attention in the mid 1990s for all the wrong reasons. At the breakup of socialist Yugoslavia, ethnic tensions broke out between Serbians and the Bosnians of this small nation, leading to years of what...

4 perfect half day trips from Mostar, Bosnia

Nestled in the heart of the Balkans, the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina has had a recent history which was nothing short of tumultuous. Host to the incident which started the First World War (namely the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in...

Bulgaria

Sofia Airport transfer: Using the metro

Sofia,  Bulgaria's historic capital city, is definitely an up and coming destination. With an increase in low-cost flights from other parts of Europe, as well as some serious investment in tourist sites and infrastructure, it may still be a little off your radar - but...

Cyprus

Nicosia Old City: Cyprus’s divided capital

When I decided to go to Cyprus, one of the places I was most keen to see was the island capital Nicosia. Known as Lefkosia by the Greek-speaking population and Lefkoşa by the Turkish speakers of North Cyprus, Nicosia is a city divided, and one that has only been...

Cyprus in winter: why it’s the best time to visit!

The eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus is a popular holiday destination for European travellers. Boasting a hot, sunny climate, a long coastline and a status as EU and Eurozone member (in the south and west of the island, at least), its beaches fill during the...

Germany

Spending a day in Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt. It’s a German city which many have heard of, but which is often overlooked by visitors in favour of the more popular cities of Berlin and Munich to the south and east. But this historic, dynamic city offers a treasure trove of little-known sights to the...

Iceland

9 Amazing animal experiences from around the world!

For me, one of the most rewarding things about travel is the opportunity to view and photograph wildlife I could never see at home. In this post I share some of the most memorable - and unusual - animal experiences I have had on my journeys around the globe. What has...

Moldova

Best tours in Moldova: Chisinau to Tiraspol & Orheiul Vechi

I had the opportunity to visit Moldova in March 2016. It was a fluke, really. I was in Bucharest for work and, having already explored Romania on a previous trip, I was keen to go somewhere different. Moldova is one of those places which has fascinated me for years,...

Poland

Snowshoeing in Europe: Poland’s Tatra National Park

This post was originally published in May 2017. It's a Saturday morning, 31 December, and the sun is blazing in a blue sky as I strap on my snowshoes. I'm in the small town of Szczawnica in the far south of Poland, close up on the Slovakian border, and I'm about to...

Getting around Warsaw by public transport

The Polish capital, Warsaw, is an up and coming destination which is finally starting to get noticed. Combining a rich history with affordable prices, it's a great place for a city break. If you're on a budget (or even if you're not), check out this guide to getting...

Top things to do in Warsaw: The perfect Warsaw itinerary

Capital of Poland since the late 16th century, the historic city of Warsaw in eastern Poland has not always had a lot of love. Devastated by the Nazis in World War II, and one of the capitals of the Soviet Bloc for much of the 20th century, it has always played second...

Auschwitz: a photo essay

While I was in Poland I was lucky enough to grab the opportunity to visit Auschwitz. I had been to Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum in Jerusalem, back in September 2016 and really felt that Auschwitz was somewhere I needed to go to complete the picture of what I had...

Vegetarian in Poland? Here’s how to cope!

So I'm vegetarian. Or not really; I eat fish, which makes me a pescatarian, but that always sounds pretentious so I usually go with "vegetarian who eats fish". Which normally either (a) confuses people or (b) prompts them to say "don't you mean pescatarian"? But I...

Russia

Time of change: Russia after Communism

I've always been fascinated by other countries and cultures, and this fascination led naturally to a degree in foreign languages. What a lot of people don't know, however, is that my degree was in French and Russian. Whilst my French is fluent, sadly Russian didn't...

Sweden

A weekend in the southern Stockholm archipelago

If you are making an extended stay in Sweden's sparkling capital, Stockholm, or are looking for something a little different for your next visit, consider a weekend trip to the southern archipelago. Over 300 islands spread out from the city to the Baltic Sea, making...

The gentleman in the Stockholm café

My first trip to Stockholm was in summer 2003. It wasn't my first trip to Sweden; the summer before I had been to the south of the country, combining a few days in Copenhagen with a few more in its Swedish neighbour across the Öresund Bridge, the city of Malmö in...