Checking in: Actor Nicholas Parsons on the Maldives and Spanish roadtrips

Saturday, 15 January 2011 08:27

Actor Nicholas Parsons explains why the Maldives was his favourite holiday of all time and describes a post-war roadtrip to Spain, where he first discovered his love of international sojourns...

Your Favourite Destination?
I love the Maldives in the Indian Ocean where my wife and I had the most wonderful holiday in what I can only describe as a dream destination. I’d be hard pushed to think of a more romantic spot.

How would you describe it?
The Maldives consist of lots of little islands and atolls. We stayed at the Four Seasons resort on Kuda Huraa, in a lovely little ‘chalet’ by the water’s edge. The food was terrific, and you could walk from one end of the island to the other in ten minutes. We’d wake up to a view of the palm–fringed beachwaters. Heaven.

Best things to do there?
When I go away I like to completely switch off, and that was what I did. I read and lounged all day long. That said, if you’re feeling energetic, you can go snorkelling, water-skiing or swimming. The resort has a fabulous pool, too.

Does travel inspire you?
If you’ve visited lots of places, as I have, you can get a bit blase about travelling. I’d love to explore a new part of Europe or take a long, luxurious train journey some time. The worst bit about travellinglong-distance is using airports — I find them incredibly stressful these days, what with all the queueing and security checks.

Where do you feel at home?
I have a great affinity for Scotland, perhaps as a result of my Scottish ancestry and having spent some of my formative years there. I only recently visited the Western Hebrides. It’s so beautiful and unspoilt. I never tire of Scotland or its national drink: you can’t beat a good malt whisky.

Ideal travelling companion?
My wife Anne. We travel pretty much everywhere together and she’s just so well organised. If she goes off shopping, I just wander about and take some photos. I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures.

Earliest Travel Memory?
I’ll never forget the first post–war holiday I took as an adult, when some friends and I drove a little Austin down to Spain — very ambitious back in the 1950s. One garage owner was so surprised to come across some Britons that he gave us cakes after filling up the car. I bet that doesn’t happen now.


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