am a full-time writer and photographer, specialising in travel and food, and the outdoors, contributing mainly to a few magazines in the UK, and doing guidebook revisions, mainly for Michelin Green Guides. I don't profess to write for a wide ranges of publications, nor to the hundreds of websites that proliferate today, although I do have a small number of websites of my own.
In the belief that if I visit every country in the world, I actually won't learn much about anything, except travelling, I rather tend to specialise in the UK, France, Madeira, the Azores and, to a lesser extent these days, Australia, although I do have quite a love affair with Copenhagen. The UK I've known since I was, well, very small, and France since 1973 when I first went camping in Chamonix. Australia I've been visiting quite regularly since 1998, long enough, anyway, to suffer a permanent longing to go back, frequently.
I have a wide range of interests, but I started writing about the countryside and landscapes of the UK, and have a raft of walking guidebooks in my portfolio. When foot and mouth kyboshed that pursuit in 2001, I focused more on travel, mostly in France – and, of course, that means food and drink…and drink and food…and… In the outdoor genre my latest interest is geocaching, which has led to a new book Geocaching in the UK, published in January 2011 with a 2nd edition in 2014.
I have written or contributed to over 100 books including Ireland with your Family, AA British Leisure Guide, The Magic of the Scottish Islands, The Dales of Lakeland, AA Essential England, Colours of Australia and guidebooks to many of the UK's long-distance trails, especially the West Highland Way, the Coast-to-Coast Walk, the Severn Way and the Dales Way.
In recent years I have been developing a dedicated website for travellers to France - www.france-travel-guide.net. In addition, I have a website containing over 200 recipes of French food – www.lovefrenchfood.com.
In 2006, I gained an MA with Distinction in Lake District Studies from the University of Lancaster, and in November 2013 was awarded a PhD in Historical Geography for my thesis: 'Rooms with a View: The development of tourist accommodation in the Central Lake District, 1770-1914'. I am now pursuing a Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma/MSc in genealogy, palaeography and heraldic studies at Strathclyde University.