Travel

Visiting the world’s masterpieces is a quixotic undertaking

5 October 2019 9:00 am

From his base in London, Martin Gayford has spent much of his career as an art critic travelling. He has…

Round North Korea with Michael Palin in rose-tinted spectacles

5 October 2019 9:00 am

Michael Palin in North Korea, a two-part documentary in which the Python is given a tightly choreographed tour of that…

On photography, shrines and Maradona: Geoff Dyer’s Neapolitan pilgrimage

7 September 2019 9:00 am

At the Villa Pignatelli in Naples there is an exhibition by Elisa Sighicelli: photographs of bits and pieces of antiquity…

The spooky side of Savannah

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Savannah GA is supposed to have lots of ghosts, but I’d forgotten that. It was an April morning and sunlight…

There is a far better option than HS2 – and it already exists

3 August 2019 9:00 am

Just 48 hours before the conclusion of the Conservative leadership contest, Allan Cook, chairman of HS2, wrote to the government…

Dear Mary: I won a bet – how do I make my friend pay up?

1 June 2019 9:00 am

Q. A delightful but disorganised friend has invited several of our circle for a weekend at his family’s beautiful country…

Dear Mary: how can I stop myself procrastinating?

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Q. I am not a professional writer but on the strength of a short piece I contributed to a Festschrift…

The Death Railway: the line built by prisoners of war in Burma at the cost of thousands of lives

Train journeys may be losing their romance — but there are other adventures still to be had

26 January 2019 9:00 am

Monisha Rajesh wrote lovingly about the Indian railways in her previous book, Around India in 80 Trains; but her new…

The Linz skyline

Tuning up to Linz

5 January 2019 9:00 am

You never know who you might meet on a river cruise. It was my 89-year-old father-in-law, Noel, who first recognised…

The famous Barbary macaques

Gibraltar, the rock of ages past

5 January 2019 9:00 am

How lazy, snobbish and wrong it is to mock Gibraltar for the lager and fish and chips clichés. Yes, you…

Shackleton’s ship The Nimrod trapped in McMurdo Sound.

Bitten by the cold: the strange attraction of polar exploration

15 December 2018 9:00 am

‘We had seen God in his splendours, heard the text that nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of…

Levison Wood. Credit Simon Buxton

Boys’ Own adventures in the war-torn Middle East

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Ask most people whether they fancy a four-month, 5,000-mile trek across the Middle East and they might conclude you need…

There’s a reason Unst is called the island above all others

15 September 2018 9:00 am

‘I’d like a copy of the Times,’ said the visitor from the south. ‘Yesterday’s or today’s?’ the shopkeeper asked. ‘Today’s,…

Jan Morris. Credit: Colin McPherson/Getty Images

Jan Morris talks to herself — about music, irony and cats

15 September 2018 9:00 am

To Jan Morris, I am anathema. That goes, too, for David Attenborough. It is a word that this unarguably great…

The unknown Auden: the poet’s dashing brother

11 August 2018 9:00 am

A book that opens in a Lahore refugee camp, shifts to Cat Bells Fell, rising above the shores of Derwentwater,…

Why will the myth of the yeti just not go away?

Climbing Everest with Brian Blessed is the nearest anyone will get to encountering the yeti

16 June 2018 9:00 am

In 1969 the body of an ape-like creature, preserved in ice inside an insulated box, came to light in Minnesota.…

Bactrian camels in the Khongoryn Els sand dunes of the Gobi Desert

The Empty Quarter is a great refuge for lonely hearts

2 June 2018 9:00 am

Here’s a treat for desert lovers. William Atkins, author of the widely admired book The Moor, has wisely exchanged the…

Detail of ‘Riveters’ from the series ‘Shipbuilding on the Clyde’, 1941, by Stanley Spencer

Are cruise liners the solution to the housing crisis?

10 February 2018 9:00 am

Looking at the sketchbook of William Whitelock Lloyd, a soldier-artist who joined a P&O liner after surviving the Anglo-Zulu War,…

Dear Mary: I keep needing the loo during formal dinner parties – help!

3 February 2018 9:00 am

Q. My wife and I have been invited to a small but formal dinner in the presence of some impressive…

The wild and wintry wonders of Lapland

6 January 2018 9:00 am

As Sini harnessed up the huskies they were all yelping with excitement, but once we set off and the forest…

How pleasant to know Mr Lear

14 October 2017 9:00 am

Edward Lear liked to tell the story of how he was once sitting in a railway carriage with two women…

Octopus beaks and snake soup

7 October 2017 9:00 am

Driving across Japan’s Shikuko island, the food and travel writer Michael Booth pulls into a filling station to find, alongside…

Live like a laird: Brodie Castle

The saddest, most romantic view in Britain

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Is there a more forlornly romantic spot in Britain than the moors east of Inverness where the Jacobite dream died?…

Joan Collins: The celebrity trend I just can’t stand

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Not only are today’s young girls having to work hard on their abs, butts and glutes, now the likes of…

The 90th birthday present that the Queen really wants

23 April 2016 9:00 am

The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations start this week with the real thing and barely stop until her official birthday in…