Brugge: best not to call it Bruges

Woe betide you if you try to speak French in Flanders

27 June 2015 9:00 am

Usually, one of the first indications that you’ve entered a bilingual country is that the road signs are in two…

‘Jeddah from the sea’— sketch by Thomas Machell in one of his journals

A Victorian sailor is the new love of my life

27 June 2015 9:00 am

Jenny Balfour Paul is an indigo dye expert. She has written two books on the subject, and lectures around the…

How very English: picnics at Glyndebourne

Country house picnics (with some ace opera attached)

20 June 2015 9:00 am

I stole a blanket last night. Rather a nice one, in fact. I feel bad about it, of course, but…

A saltwater pool at Jake’s Hotel

Jamaica's literary side

13 June 2015 9:00 am

Jamaica, land of sun, sea and literature festivals

Cunard – a triumph of steam-age privatisation

30 May 2015 9:00 am

Steam privatisation Cunard celebrated its 175th birthday by sailing three liners down the Mersey. The formation of the Cunard Line…

Alpine joys in summer

You don’t have to be super-rich to enjoy St Moritz in summer

30 May 2015 9:00 am

Here’s a tip: when travelling to St Moritz, it’s best not to mention the name of your final destination to…

Kiev's  St. Sophia Cathedral

Calling all British tourists — Ukraine needs you!

23 May 2015 9:00 am

 Kiev ‘What the hell’s going to happen to your poor country?’ I ask the man in the flea market not…

Guild houses in the Grote Markt, Antwerp

Antwerp: the compact, charming capital of a country that doesn’t quite exist yet

23 May 2015 9:00 am

Napoleon didn’t think much of Antwerp. ‘Scarcely a European city at all,’ he scoffed. If only he could see it…

A beautiful maze: Marseille’s Old Town

The pleasures of getting lost in Marseille

2 May 2015 9:00 am

If you haven’t been lost in Marseille then you can’t have been there. As Alexandre Dumas wrote, this is a…

Møns Klint as painted by Claudia Massie

‘Was the baby naughty?’: Gory frescoes, spectacular cliffs and herring with a toddler in Denmark

18 April 2015 9:00 am

The sky over the island of Møn, which is at the bottom right of Denmark, was cobalt and the whitewashed…

Preparations are already under way

Introducing the first Spectator readers’ cruise

11 April 2015 9:00 am

It’s a complete recipe for disaster of course. By which I mean being trapped at sea with The Spectator’s ‘Low…


Why plane crashes are getting weirder – and if we’re lucky, other problems will too

11 April 2015 9:00 am

In the late 1980s, the parks service in the United States were concerned about the deterioration of the stonework on…

(Photo: Getty)

Airport wars: why I'm betting on Gatwick

4 April 2015 9:00 am

Easter is a good time to talk about airports — or perhaps a bad time, if you bought your Spectator…


Letter from Cuba: The tourists are coming – but don’t expect Walmart just yet

4 April 2015 9:00 am

Sloppy Joe’s — which starred in the film of Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana — was always likely to…

The writing on the wall: some of the well-preserved hieroglyphs at Karnak

Tourists are trickling back to Egypt – to beat the crowds, go now

4 April 2015 9:00 am

Egypt’s revolution of 2011 didn’t just get rid of President Mubarak: it did a pretty good job of clearing out…

Let there be light: Saint Peter’s at dawn

Rise early to see the Vatican at its best

28 March 2015 9:00 am

The sun has only just risen in Rome and we are standing bleary-eyed in a short queue outside the Vatican.…

The Ceremonial Funeral Of Former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher

Jeffrey Archer’s diary: a pirate at the traffic lights, and other Indian wonders

14 March 2015 9:00 am

This last week, in India, I visited six cities in seven days: Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Calcutta and New Delhi.…

Manet would recognise it: the Jardin des Tuileries

Seeing Paris through Impressionist eyes

14 March 2015 9:00 am

The spectre of the Charlie Hebdo killings still hangs over Paris. Outside the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, opposite the…

A reliable escape: Mikrolimano

Grim, generous, decaying and hip: the paradoxical charms of Athens

7 March 2015 9:00 am

My first visit to Athens as a student gave me a set of impressions that the present crisis has only…

Five more MPs making Malcolm Rifkind’s day rate

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Golden league Some MPs who earn Sir Malcolm Rifkind’s rate of £5,000 a day: — Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury): £3,333…

Dramatic mountains and hidden bays

A cruise around Cleopatra's wedding present

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Legend has it that Mark Antony considered Turkey’s Turquoise Coast so beautiful that, in about 32 bc, he gave it…

The Piazza Duoma in Syracuse

An earthquake with a Baroque legacy in Sicily

21 February 2015 9:00 am

Syracuse is a handsome place, steeped in a rich historical broth. At the tip sits Ortygia, an island offshoot, which…

A sniff of the ancient world: Fez’s tanneries

A walk through Fez is the closest thing to visiting ancient Rome

14 February 2015 9:00 am

Fez is one of the seven medieval wonders of the world. An intact Islamic city defined by its circuit of…

Calm and colourful: Burano

How to walk along canals in Venice without feeling like a tourist

7 February 2015 9:00 am

I arrived in Venice believing it would reek of sewage. It didn’t. The walk into the centre went through cobbled…

Old mill boards and sea-green slates: Yeats’s tower

On the Yeats trail in Galway

24 January 2015 9:00 am

The Go Galway bus from Dublin sounds an unlikely pleasure, but it is both comfortable and punctual. There is free…