Travel writer, novelist, editor
A writer of travel guides and features since 1977, I have written hundreds of travel articles for a wide variety of UK publications, including most British national newspapers, and am the author of forty popular travel books and guides, as well as editing, co-authoring or contributing to many others. Some of my articles have gained prestigious travel journalism awards.
Always freelance, I have extensive experience of UK national newspapers, consumer magazines, websites, guidebook writing and travel publishing. Since 2015, I have devoted my time mainly to fiction, with three novels in print and fourth which I am now writing. I continue occasionally to update print and online destination guides, and I write a small number of commissioned travel features each year. I was editor-in-chief of the French Railways’ travel quarterly, Top Rail (later relaunched as Rail Europe Magazine), from 1990 to 1999. In addition, I have at different times worked on contract as consultant travel editor of several magazines, including BBC Vegetarian, Ford Magazine, Vegetarian Living and insurance customer magazine Foresight. More recently I have edited magazines voluntarily for charitable or communal organisations.
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My first guidebook was the first edition of the Rough Guide to France, co-authored with Kate Baillie and Tim Salmon, published in 1986. My most recent is the new edition of DK Eyewitness Top 10 Dublin, co-authored with Polly Phillimore in 2018. My most recent (and probably final) sole author travel guides are pocket guides to the Normandy Coast and Rouen and Upper Normandy (both published by Footprint in 2013), and a more substantial touring guide to Normandy (Footprint, 2010). While most of my travel books were commissioned as part of various popular guidebook series, I also originated one-off travel titles. The most successful of these were The Vegetarian Traveller (Thorsons, 1987; Grafton, 1991), selling over 4000 copies in one week, and Exploring Rural France (Helm, 1988; A&C Black, 1990, 1993). In addition to writing, I have worked for major guidebook publishers as a pre- and post-commissioning guidebook consultant and project manager, including AA Publishing, Michelin Green Guides, Thomas Cook, Dorling Kindersley and A&C Black. I created and launched guidebook series for Simon & Schuster (Footloose Guides) and for Christopher Helm (Exploring Rural series), and remained as series editor of both during their lifetime.
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I have lived and worked in several countries, including Greece (Corfu), Tunisia (Djerba), India (Goa and Baroda) and America (California). In particular, I have had a lifelong involvement with France, where I lived and worked for several years in the Languedoc region. I have also been a frequent visitor to Israel, where my parents used to live. I travelled widely throughout the world during the course of my work, visiting many parts of the US and Canada, South America and the Caribbean, most of Europe and North Africa, and Australia and SE Asia. I continue to travel frequently, usually around Europe and the Mediterranean.
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In addition to guidebooks and travel features, my other writing includes fiction, to which I devote most of my time. My most recent novel, Love, published in 2015, is about the intoxicating atmosphere of the late 1960s and early 1970s, told as the passionate but unhappy love story of an English boy and American girl – two hippies – who meet in California and part in India three years later. The book explores idealism and disillusion, memory and identity, and perceptions of the passage of time. My previous novel, The Slave, published in 2013, is about a young loner who sets out to free a trafficked woman from forced prostitution. Getting deeply into danger and difficulty, he calls on a respectable, law-abiding older neighbour for help, presenting him with an impossible moral dilemma. My first novel, The J-Word, first published in 2009 (released in the US in 2010), second edition published in 2018, has been widely praised, and featured at two literary festivals. Exploring questions of religious and secular identity, the book is about an antisemitic attack on an 80-year-old man who long ago ceased to think of himself as Jewish. With the aid of his 10-year-old grandson he sets out to get justice – in his own unorthodox way.
Avignon (Oct 2012, for CityJet website).
Avignon (Jun 2012, COLUMBUS WORLD TRAVEL GUIDES).
Driving through France (Jul 2011, COLUMBUS WORLD TRAVEL GUIDES).
Alsace (Apr 2011, e-LIFE).
Cultured Tenerife (Mar 2011, e-life).
Travellers’ Guide: Normandy (edited extract from Footprint Normandy, 12 Jun 2010, THE INDEPENDENT)
Cultured Tenerife (Autumn Issue, Sep 2009, LIVING SPAIN).
10 destination guides: York, Provence, Oxford, Nice. Monte-Carlo, Leeds, Canary Islands, Bruges, Bournemouth (for WHATSONWHEN on behalf of www.hotels.com; live from October 2009).
5 destination guides: Toulouse, Tel Aviv, Lyon, Bordeaux, Athens (for WHATSONWHEN on behalf of Air France; live from March 2009).
Eurostar cities: Brussels, Paris, Lille (Jan 2009, LIVEWIRE – National Express trains customer mag, and Hot Destinations booklet).
Jerusalem – Insider’s Guide (Dec 2008, SPECTATOR BUSINESS).
Eurostar cities: Lille, Brussels, Paris (Oct 2008, LIVEWIRE – National Express trains customer mag).
Eurostar cities: Paris, Lille, Brussels (Jul 2008, LIVEWIRE – National Express trains customer mag).
55 pages of destination guides including whole-country guides to Israel, Tunisia and others, as well as most French cities, plus Basel, San Francisco, Tunis, Tel Aviv and others (for www.britishairways.com; live from June 2008).
Eurostar cities: Brussels, Paris, Lille (Apr 2008, LIVEWIRE – National Express trains customer mag).
Tel Aviv Guide (Apr 2008, VOYAGER – BMI inflight mag).
Western Riviera (Feb 2008, MOTORING & LEISURE).
Hot Destinations: Paris, Brussels, Lille (Jan 2008, LIVEWIRE – East Coast Main Line customer mag). – and in Hot Destinations booklet.
Berth on the Nile (about Nile Cruise; 9 Nov 2007, JEWISH CHRONICLE).
Station to station (new Eurostar services; Autumn 2007, COMPLETE – Clerical Medical mag).
River of Dreams (about Nile cruise; 9 Oct 2007, BELLA).
Alsace (26 Sep 2007, JEWISH CHRONICLE).
Vive la Difference! (about Carcassonne and Megève; May 2007, RCI Holiday Magazine).
Alsace (8 May 2007, BELLA).
Holidays That Help (about volunteering holidays; Spring 07, AFFINITY – UIA customer mag).
Going Native (about UK holidays, Mar 2007, COMPLETE – Clerical Medical customer mag).
Burgundy (9 Jan 2007, BELLA).
Put Your Brakes On (about Villages Etapes, 7 Jan 2007, TIMES ONLINE and SUNDAY TIMES).
Tel Aviv online guide (Oct 2006, COLUMBUS WORLD TRAVEL GUIDE).
Tours online guide (Oct 2006, FASTCHECK ARRIVALGUIDES.COM).
Limoges online guide (Sep 2006, FASTCHECK ARRIVALGUIDES.COM).
Chania online guide (Sep 2006, FASTCHECK ARRIVALGUIDES.COM).
Burgundy (18 Aug 2006, MONEYWEEK).
Slovenia (30 Jun 2006, MONEYWEEK).
Winter Warmers (low season budget breaks, Sep 2006, COMPLETE – Clerical Medical customer mag).
Verona (30 May 2006, BELLA).
Down to Earth (rural British holidays) (Spring 06, AFFINITY – UIA customer mag).
A Fresh Look (clever holiday choices) (Spring 06, AFFINITY – UIA customer mag).
Holiday of a lifetime (Mar 2006, COMPLETE customer magazine).
Hidden Treasures (about Tenerife, Mar 2006, SPIRIT & DESTINY).
Northern Exposure (about French Channel coast, 8 Jan 2006, SUNDAY TIMES).
Millau Viaduct (8 Jan 2006, SUNDAY TIMES).
French Country Cottages brochure – 13 regional introductions (Jan 2006)
France Encounter (about Boulogne, 4 Nov 2005, JEWISH CHRONICLE).
Lanzarote (Nov issue 2005, RCI HOLIDAY EXTRA).
Corfu (4 Oct 2005, BELLA).
A Place to Fall in Love (about Bruges) (6 Sep 2005, BELLA).
American Beauty (about New England) (23 Aug 2005, BELLA).
Suffolk (16 Aug 2005, BELLA).
Ostend (6 May 2005, JEWISH CHRONICLE).
Crete Expectations (11 Mar 2005, JEWISH CHRONICLE).
Don’t knock Knokke (about Knokke-Heist, Belgium) (26 Feb 2005, JEWISH CHRONICLE).
Nice – short break (9 Jan 2005, SUNDAY TIMES – France supplement).
Champagne break (9 Jan 2005, SUNDAY TIMES – France supplement).
Crete (30 Nov 2004, BELLA),
Paris: what’s new (5 Sep 2004, SUNDAY TIMES – France supplement; and TIMES ONLINE).
Tenerife (31 Aug 2004, BELLA).
Paris: a city that can’t be matched (11 Jan 2004, SUNDAY TIMES – France supplement),
Winter weekend in Bruges (5 Oct 2003, SUNDAY TIMES – Holidays supplement),
Nice (Summer issue, 2003, FIRST FORUM magazine),
True Romance (about Lake Como, Italy) (8 Jul 2003, BELLA),
Lyon: A world of heritage (Spring issue, 2003, FIRST FORUM magazine),
Just follow the script: the best of Cannes (11 May 2003, SUNDAY TIMES – Film Festival supplement),
The Landes (Mar-Apr issue 2003, FRANCE MAGAZINE),
The Cevennes (Jan-Feb issue 2003, FRANCE MAGAZINE).
I have written around 40 books, some now out of print, others among the best selling guidebooks in the UK. Most have been on France, or regions of France, but I have also written on Ireland, Israel, Belgium, the Canary Islands and guides for vegetarians. Most of my books have been published in several editions and many languages.
Biggest best-sellers to date were The Vegetarian Traveller (Thorsons, 1987; Grafton, 1991), Exploring Rural France (Helm, 1988; A&C Black, 1993), Long Weekends in France (Penguin, 1992) and the pocket guide Essential Lanzarote (AA, 1999), which was the best-selling AA travel guide of 2001.
My most recent travel titles are:
AA Explorer Israel (4th ed’n, AA, UK, 2006),
Hot Spots Lanzarote (Thomas Cook, 2006)
Key Guide Provence (main contributor; AA, 2005)
ABTOF Travel Writer of the Year Awards 2002 – finalist (occupying two of the four finalist positions for best travel writing on France). Travelex Travel Writers’ Award 1996 – category winner. Travelex Travel Writers’ Award 1994 – category winner.
France (all regions), Ireland (including Northern Ireland), Israel (especially Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Galilee), Lanzarote, Tenerife, and Belgium.
TO CONTACT ME
I live in the New Forest, on England’s south coast. Please contact me through
my online contact form.