With my travels, I see myself as trying to emulate the explorers of old: it was reading the accounts of individuals like Sir Francis Drake or Alejandro Humboldt as a teenager that inspired me to want to travel in the first place. Fast forward a couple of decades and I am a travel writer specialising in the South American wilderness (the Andes and Amazon Basin primarily).
My travel writing has appeared in the Independent, Telegraph, GeoSaison, BBC Travel, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Avalon Travel Publishing, Insight Guides and many others. My debut novel, Roebuck, is set in the South American jungle during the 1590s, and follows the misadventures of real-life gentleman explorer Anthony Knivet.
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"As a novelist: Historic Fiction
As a travel writer: Andes, Amazon, South America, Caribbean, Eastern Europe, UK, Adventure Travel, Hiking, Culinary Travel"
How did you get involved in travel?
"I always dreamed up travels as a child, tracing imaginary routes on atlases. As soon as I finished university, I headed off to Canada and spent the following 18 months travelling from there overland down through the Americas to Tierra del Fuego. Afterwards, I started writing about it: initially for local newspapers, then for Lonely Planet, and finally for other publications from BBC Travel through to the Telegraph, the Independent and national newspapers/ leading travel publications everywhere from the US to Sweden and Germany."
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"The first time I ever took the bus in the Andes from Ayacucho to Huancayo, I didn't realise the main highway was a track barely wider than the width of a truck that followed the rim of a very sheer valley. After several hours of heart-in-mouth moments, we reached the half-way point where the villagers had just decided to close the road because they wanted to have a fiesta. We were left with no choice but to get off the bus and join in for the next six hours or so. The locals had rarely set eyes on any foreigners before, and we were given seats of honour alongside the mayor!"
Featured trips & expertise
Conjuring up romance effortlessly and with subtlety, Scotland is a stunning destination in which to celebrate your love for each other. For the backdrop to your honeymoon here, expect dazzling skylines of moody mountaintops, emerald-green glens, myriad remote, sand-rimmed islands ideal for escaping or eloping, and a mysterious fortress or three for every horizon. But for vacationing newlyweds, what truly makes this land so romantic are the stories that lace each place you pass through: legacies of great romantic writers like Sir Walter Scott, tales of trysts involving the likes of Mary, Queen of Scots and more. Here are the most romantic destinations in Scotland for honeymooners, with suggestions of what to do in each.
Morocco can offer newlyweds one of the most unique honeymoon experiences on earth, thanks to this country's distinct culture that sets it apart from any other destination in Africa or Europe. Take your pick from beautiful ancient cities, 1550 mi/2500 km of coast, lonesome mountains and storybook desert. Stroll the streets where one of the world's most romantic movies, Casablanca, was set, let things get steamy in historic hammams, discover an entire valley dedicated to cultivating roses, soak up the 300 days of annual sunshine on the beach or roam the highest dunes of the Sahara by camel. Here are the most romantic destinations in Morocco, and the best things to do in each.
With a balmy coastline stretching over 4567 mi (7350 km), 1246 islands (including one of the world's few naturally heart-shaped isles) and an abundance of medieval towns seemingly untouched by time, Croatia turns honeymooners eyes with its tantalising shores, well-preserved history and divine seafood. Here are the best destinations for a honeymoon in Croatia, and the best things to do in each.
With one of the longest and most popular coastlines in Europe and a siesta every afternoon, Spain practically insists on its visitors relaxing. Add in one of Europe's most sensual dances, flamenco, an abundance of that ultimate sharing food, tapas and some devastatingly beautiful architecture, gardens and produce-rich countryside, and it becomes clear why this is among Europe's foremost honeymoon destinations, too. Here are the top places to visit on a honeymoon in Spain, and the top things to do in each.
Ask soon-to-be honeymooners around the world to reveal their dream destinations for getting away together, and the chances are many would be in France. The settings for vacationing newlyweds do not get much more iconically romantic than a view of Paris, the 'city of love' from atop the Eiffel Tower, a sip of champagne in the region where the drink is exclusively produced or a stroll through ornamental gardens depicting four different sorts of love in the Loire Valley. From a very long and lovely list, here we select the best destinations in France for a honeymoon and what to do in each.
Greece is one of the most irresistible honeymoon getaways on Earth. Relax on Europe's best and most diverse range of beaches on one or more of the nation's 6000-odd islands, with a level of seaside seclusion few other countries can rival. Be transported back in time in towns and cities so full of ancient monuments they seem like open-air museums, and find out about the dramatic stories of Greek gods and goddesses. Or gaze into each other's eyes over a beach-side or clifftop meal championing one of the world's most tantalising cuisines. Here are the best honeymoon destinations in Greece, and the most romantic things to do in each.