The Renaissance Art of the Villa Farnesina, Rome

The Renaissance Art of the Villa Farnesina, Rome

Rome is full of art treasures. Grand buildings from every stage of history, churches full of statues and other artworks, and much, much more. So it would be easy to miss the Villa Farnesina. I discovered it by chance, passing it on an early morning walk. It was a...

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Bukit Timah: Singapore’s Last Rain Forest

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is Singapore’s last patch of primary rain forest. When it was first accessed by British colonialists in 1827 it took them many hours to hack and climb their way through miles of jungle and swamp to the modest 163m summit of Bukit Timah Hill,...

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Eco-City in the Desert: a Visit to Masdar, UAE

You might not expect to find an eco-city in the middle of the desert but Masdar, just 11 miles from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, is just that. In fact, the contrast between endless miles of sand and the gleaming high-tech city is just one of many seeming...

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On the trail of the Brontes at Haworth

Despite having lived in Yorkshire for 30 years, I'd never been to Haworth before. With the prospect of a sunny weekend ahead we decided to go and take a look at the Parsonage and possibly to get some walking in as well. What we didn't realise until we got there was...

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Camel Racing in the UAE

Camels seem to be a bit of an obsession in many of the Gulf States. So much so, that a teacher told me that, when he asked his students what they most prized, they all said 'camels'. They were quite definite that they favoured camels even above their cars (women, of...

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Letterboxing on Dartmoor

Letterboxing – the art of hiding boxes for others to find – has long been a popular pastime on Dartmoor. The craggy landscape of the national park provides an abundance of hiding places and the activity can be equally enjoyed by serious enthusiasts and families...

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Qatar prepares for tourism

I started trying to write an article about the historic sites of Qatar, but gave up because I found myself writing "it is closed for redevelopment", or "you used to be able to go there, but you can't any more". When we went on our trip to the north of the country our...

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My novel “Shadow of the Dome”
Now available from Amazon