Q&A with Nigel Tisdall, Freelance Journalist



Nigel Tisdall, Freelance Journalist | 25 Jun, 2020

An award-winning travel writer and photographer based in London, Nigel Tisdall has spent his career globetrotting. A Caribbean specialist, Nigel contributes frequently to leading publications such as the Financial Times, The Telegraph and Sunday Times Travel Magazine, and previously worked as an editor at Marie Claire for 15 years. We caught up with the renowned writer to find out about his favourite spots and where he's got his eye on next.

What is your earliest travel memory?

The view from my pram from a hill overlooking a beach near Croyde Bay in Devon, where I was born.

What has been your most life/perspective-altering trip? Why?

Cruising the Antarctic Peninsula, which I've been lucky enough to do twice. The continent's pure, white, barely-touched landscapes offer a memorable glimpse of the planet before we messed it up.

What is your favourite hotel and why?

The best hotels have a killer view, a sense of history, genial management and plenty to do. You'll find all this – plus a very decent cup of tea – at the lofty Glenburn Tea Estate near Darjeeling, India.

What is your favourite country to visit and why?

St Kitts and Nevis – I've been many times and find its mix of heritage, superb fish restaurants and challenging rainforest hikes both stimulating and relaxing.

What has been your memorable meal while travelling?

Passionfruit soufflé cooked on a camp fire by Samburu warriors while on a camel safari in the wilds of northern Kenya.

Where is the first place you'll go once it's safe to travel again?

I specialise in writing about the Caribbean and have visited almost all its islands. Barbados, Antigua, Jamaica, Grenada, Dominica – I'll head wherever there's a good story to tell.

Where is the top of your bucket list and why?

Eritrea – in particular the capital, Asmara, where I'd love to see the art deco architecture left from its days as an Italian colony.

One travel essential you never travel without?

A stopper for champagne bottles – although, funnily enough, there's often not much need for it.

Favourite travel companion?

It would be fun to be with the young Charles Darwin when he visited the Galápagos Islands aboard HMS Beagle in 1835. Not only did his observations of its strange birds and reptiles feed into his ground-breaking theories, he clearly had a ball too – riding on the backs of giant tortoises, pushing a hawk off its branch with the muzzle of his gun, and merrily chucking marine iguanas into the sea to see if they would stay there. That wouldn't happen now!