Silver Travel Book Club - April 2020

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Silver Travel Book ClubEach month, we'll find out what Andrew is reading about a different destination, and two lucky Silver Travel Book Club readers can win a free copy of the month's book.

HF HolidaysThis month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by
HF Holidays – is reading Around the World in 80 Novels by Henry Russell a global journey inspired by writers from every continent.

Sometimes the setting of a novel is as important as the story – where would Dickens be without London, or Edith Wharton without New York? Who can read Jamaica Inn and not want to visit Bodmin Moor, or enjoy Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and not wonder whether perhaps Botswana should be on your bucket list?

Whether you have already decided on a destination and want to get a feel for the place, or you are just looking for ideas for your next getaway, Around the World in 80 Novels is full of inspirational reads that will fire your imagination and have you reaching for your suitcase.

We’re very conscious of physical travel restrictions at the moment, but we hope that by 2021 life is back to normal and travel is again on the agenda. In the meantime, stay healthy and enjoy some vicarious travel from the comfort of your armchair.


HF Holidays – Destinations

For your perfect walking holiday, outdoor and activity breaks, join us. Whether you are looking for gentle walking on easy terrain, something a little more adventurous or a trip that takes in wildlife watching and sightseeing, we have the perfect holiday for you.

Not only do we have great walking holidays in a huge variety of locations on six continents, you can choose to explore coasts, lake shores, moorland or mountains. Perhaps you'll plump for the warmth of the Mediterranean sun on your back. Or savour local cuisines and breathe in crisp mountain air on Alpine paths. With HF Holidays, you can visit fascinating cultural sites, discover national treasures and explore exceptional landscapes in destinations all over the world. So, whether in the UK or overseas, be inspired and we’ll make sure your walking holiday is one to remember.

Find out more

Walking Tours & Sightseeing Holidays in Europe
Walking Holidays & Sightseeing Tours in Australasia
Walking Holidays in the UK

Around the World in 80 NovelsHow to win a copy of 'Around the World in 80 Novels' by Henry Russell

Simply add a comment at the end of this page to tell us which continent has inspired you most on your past travels, or which continent you'll want to visit when life returns to normal.

Read more about all of our Silver Travel Book Club books.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 22 Comment(s)

  • Elgee
    9 months ago
    Canada - driving through the Rockies was unbelievable - I cried with joy and amazement several times. Landing on a glacier by sea plane and being the first to do it that year was beyond amazing. Everyday brought new challenges as I conquered my fear of heights, saw bears with their cubs, huge eagles nesting, going peak to peak in Whistler, etc, etc. One of the best things about Canada is the people who are soooo friendly
  • Rowsie
    9 months ago
    Australia is my dream place to go. From the first visit (years ago) I was bowled over by the sun, sea and the people. Their outdoor life is so healthy and so family orientated. It also has such diverse landscapes such as the barrier reef or the Blue Mountains in Sydney. They also have the most bizarre wildlife and flora. Everything is just lovely! When this is all over I want to spend a couple of months over there exploring places I haven't yet seen!
  • Terry
    9 months ago
    My favourite continent is Europe. There are reasons for this. I do not like long haul flights and cannot afford them anyway. One does not have to worry about visas and inoculations. There are so many wonderful places to explore and discover.The temperature is reasonable if one travels at the right time of year. We could never afford to travel much until the 1980's, so even travelling to Europe a couple of times a year, leaves so many places unexplored. Ideally, I would like to travel by rail, but package holidays like these tend to be far too expensive. However, with some planning it is probably possible to see quite a lot. Cruising and air travel have so many risks these days because the air conditioning is not maintained to a high enough standard.
  • Glosgran
    9 months ago
    We had a very memorable holiday at the beginning of 2004 to the Cook Islands and New Zealand. For another taste of Paradise, I would love to revisit Rarotonga again and instead of just visiting the Aitutaki Atol for a day trip, as we did last time, it would be a dream to spend longer in this beautiful, unspoilt group of little island within the reef. I was moved to tears on my last visit by the almost fluorescent light of the sun reflecting off the azure waters and the fine, white coral sand.

    Our previous tour of both islands in New Zealand lasted three weeks but next time I would want to spend much longer leisurely touring and revisiting some of our favourite places such as Akorua on the South Island and Whitianga, Ferry Landing, Cooks Bay and Cathedral Cove.

    It would also be good to revisit Singapore on our return journey and spend a few days soaking up the eclectic and diverse cultures that live in harmony there with another longer visit to the amazing Botanical gardens with its vast collection of beautiful orchids.

    Why haven't we been back sooner? It's the thought of a journey that took 37 hours from our home in Gloucestershire to Rarotonga and the pain that such a journey would now cause to my muscles owing to Fibromyalgia and arthritis. What's the solution? It's to buy another 'round the world' air ticket but this time to factor in far more stops and to spend longer at each place. Last time our holiday lasted 5 weeks but it would be great, now that we are retired, to take a more leisurely trip next time that would last up to 6 months and if we timed it just right we may even manage a whole year of Spring & Summer, spending the best times of the year in the UK and in the Antipodes. That would be our perfect holiday whilst we are still fit enough to enjoy it.
  • From-marge
    9 months ago
    On fairly limited resources, I would stick with Europe and the joy of free travel in post virus U.K. I'd go back to gorgeous Dorset and Wiltshire to revisit the landscapes of Thomas Hardy's incomparable novels and walk in his Wessex footsteps. Who could not be touched by the last will and testament of Casterbridge's Mayor in which he asks that no man remember him or uplifted by the simple joys and contentment Tess experiences so briefly at Talbothay's Dairy? Then I'd go North to the rugged and bleak landscapes of Grassic Gibbon's 'Sunset Song', the remote West coast of Gavin Maxwell's 'Ring of Bright Water' followed by the Outer Hebrides of MacCaig's memorable 'Aunt Julia' and his magnificent 'Basking Shark'. To finish I'd nip across to Ireland ( though it's so close, I've never been there) to visit West Cork and the Beara Peninsula of Leanne O'Sullivan's brilliant poems and a wonderfully reflective piece of travel writing called 'Mountain Mine' (can't remember the author's name) set at the old Allihies copper mine there. All of these wonderful works capture our stunning country as well as prompt deeper reflection on ourselves. Let's hear it for home travel ...our own tourist industry will, after all, need all the help it can get!

  • Jacks10
    9 months ago
    South America - a fascinating continent. Have visited many countries there, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina - would love to visit Ecuador and the Galapagos and any of the other countries I have not been to so far!
  • Gricey
    9 months ago
    After a short break in Jersey for my 70th birthday in December I would love to see more & maybe visit the other Channel Islands. Maybe also I would love to visit Australia & New Zealand if I can
  • you
    9 months ago
    Canada/ U.S.A.....
    The train journey through these countries WERE on our retirement list.....
  • Jenni
    9 months ago
    I have always loved the Indian sub continent. The wide variety of cultures, colours, traditions, spirituality, smells (Which can be beautiful and hideous in one breath), wildlife and food. Every area is so vastly different, north, south, east and west. I hope to get back in the future as I still want to visit the area round Kerala
  • SilverTravelEditor
    9 months ago
    Thanks for all the inspiring comments about your favourite continents, both those already visited and those which are high on post-lockdown travel wish-lists.
    @GoldieNotOldie - I was inspired by your observation that one good impact from the current health crisis is the respite being offered to the natural world. Would that some of those benefits could endure when normality is restored to the developed world.
    I've been lucky to travel reasonably widely in my 62 years and 11 months. Chile still pulls, inspired by the film 'Missing', and other more remote parts of South America. And some territories of Australia. But when all is said and done, I find the history, culture, people and food of Europe forever alluring. I can think of no image more tempting right now than sitting at a small taverna on the Saronic island of Hydra, overlooking the harbour, eating traditional Greek food and drinking retsina and ouzo with my wife, Gill.
    I would re-read 'Beautiful Animals' by Lawrence Osborne, a haunting novel set on the island, and we would listen to Leonard Cohen songs playing in the background, written during his many happy years spent there with Marianne....
    Please keep your own thoughts coming to be in with a chance of winning a copy of this month's Silver Travel Book Club choice - 'Around the World in 80 Novels'.
  • Jules61
    9 months ago
    I love North America, especially the west coast, travelling by car up from San Diego to San Francisco. I also think northern Europe is amazing. Norway, the Faroe Islands and Iceland are incredible. I really want to visit the Balkans at some point.
  • Marpau
    9 months ago
    Asia is our favourite still lots more to explore when this is over.
  • Ozdevon
    9 months ago
    South America. We have only dipped our toe in there and are keen to return to discover this diverse continent.
  • philatel
    9 months ago
    My favourite holiday so far has been to French Guyana - shooting the rapids, sleeping in a hammock in the Amazon Forest, visiting Devil's Island, seeing wonderful animals, beautiful flowers and trees, morpho butterflies en masse, etc. etc. It was like no other holiday I have had.
  • LH
    9 months ago
    Europe is my favourite continent, in particular the Alps over Switzerland and into Austria, fantastic skiing in the winter cross country and in the summer walking through flower filled meadows with the tinkle of the bells from the cows, plus cable cars to the higher pastures and the hutte for warm soup!
  • GypsyWanderer
    9 months ago
    When a child I watched a B movie about Peru, showing the Nazca Lines and Matchu Pitchu. How it captured my imagination, my sense of wander. On T.V. I was fascinated by the wildlife of the Galápagos Islands. How could they really exist? Wild animals with no fear of humans, approaching so close. Could I really believe these islands to be true.
    Then Australia, the other side of the world. I dreamt about this continent so impossibly far away.
    ‘The King and I’ in magical Ceylon, ‘South Pacific’ a world away from my life in North Yorkshire. Antarctica, Africa, the Caribbean, America. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever visit these countries but yes, dreams do come true. Each of them holds their own mysteries and magic. I would gladly, happily, return to them all but there are so many countries I have still to visit.
    My favourite coffee table book is The Travel Book by Lonely Planet. How I love to browse through it’s pages and dream, and to tick off the countries I have visited. But there is one continent missing, no tick, India. So now, as I survive lock down, I dream on, India, my guide book in my lap, my pen and note book in readiness. I am planning my next adventure, planning to full fill another wild dream.
  • GoldieNotOldie
    10 months ago
    I love any book about wildlife and nature and I was blown away by a safari trip in the Masai Mara, Kenya for our silver wedding anniversary in 2006.

    I have travelled to every continent bar Australasia but that holiday still stands out for me. To be so close to such amazing animals was a dream come true and seeing lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, giraffe and more in their natural habitat has since put me off visiting zoos.

    I would return to Africa in a heartbeat but it's the Galapagos Islands that I really want to visit next - again for the incredible wildlife and to see Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution in the flesh so to speak.

    One good thing to come out of this terrible global crisis is all these wild and wonderful places will be having a well earned rest from the impact of throngs of tourists and hopefully the animals and plant species are thriving for us all to enjoy when we come out on the other side!
  • Lottiemc
    10 months ago
    I would love to go to Mexico after been in isolation in UK,its somewhere I
    I have always wanted to visit and who better than Silver Travel Book Club to show me thanks for the opportunity..
  • ChrisElizabeth
    10 months ago
    Lived in Indonesia in the 1988's would love to go back!
  • Sarahvwomble
    10 months ago
    I would love to go to the USA , purely because I have loved and been so involved with authors from there and would love to see the real places behind the books.
    Starting with Laura Ingalls Wilder, in the Midwest, I had a second Life through those books from age of nine till thirteen ....then later as an adult fell in love with the works of Sara Teasdale,Sarah Orne Jewell,Kate Chopin,Willa Cather and more!
  • GBG
    10 months ago
    I have to say that Australasia is my inspiration for travel, and in particular New Zealand. Despite spending 2 long campervan trips exploring the country, I have a strong yearning to return when lockdown has lifted. For me, its attraction is the fantastic ever changing scenery and the more relaxed way of life coupled with unusual wildfire and flora. Although it is a county that does not have a long history, the remains of the gold and whaling industries and the links with countries around the world are strong and there are so many wonderful places to visit that are completely free. Add to that the fantastic geology and geothermal features and the Maori culture and New Zealand will be top of my list after lockdown.
  • DRSask
    10 months ago
    My planned trip to visit the UK to visit my family this year is postponed so when things get back to normal I plan to be on a plane as soon as I can. Part of the trip was to include a week in the Channel Islands after reading the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society novel and seeing the movie as well. The history is intriguing and the scenery looks amazing!