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Favourite Places

In the UK:

Home House: the best members club in London by far, with great service and inexpensive food. The full English breakfast is tremendous, and the special Wine Mondays are excellent value. There are 25 rooms for guests, but these are not cheap at £250+ a night. In 2008 it was expanding its leisure facilities and these should re-open in September. No need to wear a tie; women can be members, and dogs are allowed inside. Great. It is the home of the entrepreneurial business class in the capital.

Eccentric hotel? Try the Howtown Hotel, at Howtown village, near Ullswater, Cumbria, in the English Lake District. Every room is different, every floor is uneven, every one is eccentric, guests and staff alike.


Grand Teton, Glacier and Anza-Borrego National Parks. Avoid Yellowstone – it’s all burnt out by forest fires, but there are lots of untamed bison.

Grand Canyon: Book a year in advance and get a 3-day pass to stay overnight below the Rim. Accommodation: – National Park Service, permits:

Noisiest Hotel in the US: San Diego Day’s Inn – you’re right above the flight path of aircraft arriving at San Diego airport, flying at 500 ft; and you’re right next to both the Amtrak and rail freight tracks, and the tracks of the San Diego tram system. You’re right next to two road-rail crossings – so the trains and trams hoot and clang all day, all day, all the time. Freight trains take 10 minutes to pass by. The hotel bed shakes every time. And you’re right next to the main highway into the centre of the city. And you are right next to the cruise liner port, and the shipping museum and City Hall.


The Los Mochis-Chihuahua mountain railway across the Sierra Madre in central Mexico, quite the best one-day train ride in the world, along a route that spans dozens of bridges, tunnels and viaducts. A true feat of human engineering. Buy souvenirs from Indians at the summit station half way through the journey.


Adventure holiday? Two weeks on-board Norwegian sailing ship, Sorlandet, a full-sized metal hulled square-rigger, where ‘guests’ must take a full role in sailing this vessel in ocean waters – manning the sails 24 hours, working as lookouts, steering seamen, raising and lowering anchors, etc. Sleep blissfully in hammocks, enjoy the good food and the wonderful sights, especially during the 22 hours of sunlight in summertime. If you stop at any Norwegian port make sure you buy some Atlantic prawns – straight off the boat – absolutely delicious – you’ll never buy from Tesco again.

© 2008 Marcus Gibson