Wild swimming in Puglia’s hidden coves

Crunk! Like distant cannon fire, the thunder bounces long and menacing around the rocky rounded inlets due south of where we stand. The sky is split in two as starkly as a half moon cookie, and Porto Selvaggio sits on the dividing line. Just as we settle ourselves on an outcrop to the north of the bay where the sky is still pale, lightning slices through the sky above the squat, square Torre Santa Maria dell’Alto. There is nothing for it, we must turn on our heels and retrace our steps to the car with everyone else on the beach.…

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Video: Western Australia highlights

My trip to Western Australia in December covered many miles of the country’s coastline from Hamelin Bay in the south to Exmouth in the north. It’s a vast area, taking in beaches, reefs, vineyards and the fabulous city of Perth. I’ve already written at length about it, but I’ve also condensed it into a minute-long video, complete with appearances from a kanga, a quokka and my extended family on bikes. Enjoy!  

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The Bells of Hemscott: Glamping in Northumberland

There are a handful of places in the UK that make me feel nostalgic and that I could revisit time and time again. These are they; the places that are woven deep within my ongoing travel story: Cartmel and Coniston in the Lake District; the New Forest; Abersoch and Portmeirion in Wales and the Northumberland Coastline. I returned to the latter this weekend — to Druridge Bay — after Alison from the Bells of Hemscott saw me raving about it on Twitter. I’ve written about this part of the world before and praised its beaches to high heaven, but I’m always…

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Charity challenge, Cosmo blog awards and adventures ahoy!

Winter was long, spring is full of hope and this summer will be terrific. I have plans. I have a brand new passport with no stamps, I have a lot to prepare for and a lot to be excited about. Bells of Hemscott First up, this weekend I will be heading up to my favourite beach in the country, Druridge Bay in Northumberland to stay in a bell tent with some of my best friends. The Bells of Hemscott kindly invited me to experience their new campsite after seeing me get excited about Druridge Bay on Twitter. There will be…

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Gili Islands mini guide

There are few places in the world where you can sunbathe on white sand beaches while admiring volcanoes in the distance; where you can snorkel with turtles right off the beach and yet pay practically nothing for your accommodation. Like the handful of other destinations that fit that description, the Gili Islands are pretty special — which is no doubt why so many of you end up arriving at An Unfamiliar Sky looking for scraps of information about them. I went to the Gili Islands as part of a six-week trip around Indonesia in 2010 and along with my time in…

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