TV presenter Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen talks about his travels

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TV host Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen talks about his travels, from the magic of Glencoe to mountain hikes powered by gin

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Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen checks in for our travel Q&A

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen checks in for our travel Q&A

This week, TV host and interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen checks in on our travel Q&A.

He talks about exploring the Big Apple in his teens, the Bavarian castle he dreams of visiting, his earliest vacation memory – and more.

HAVE YOU TRAVELED WIDE FOR WORK?

I went all over the world for the BBC Holiday programme. I’ve also worked on The Apartment show in Asia and Trading Spaces, the US version of Changing Rooms.

ARE YOU A GOOD KITE?

I’ve had a scary moment in a microlight, but I still love being above the clouds. You land at the end of a flight or you don’t!

FIRST TRIP ABROAD?

My father died when I was nine and my mother had MS, so it wasn’t until I was 15 that I went abroad to visit New York with a friend whose father worked for the UN.

I was really captivated by the elegance of the city and also got to see a lot of New England.

WHAT’S YOUR NEW SHOW, PILGRIMAGE, ABOUT?

Laurence visited 'magical' Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands (pictured) while filming his TV show Pilgrimage: The Road To The Scottish Isles

Laurence visited 'magical' Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands (pictured) while filming his TV show Pilgrimage: The Road To The Scottish Isles

Laurence visited ‘magical’ Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands (pictured) while filming his TV show Pilgrimage: The Road To The Scottish Isles

We travel from Donegal to Iona, following in the footsteps of a sixth century Irish monk. It was challenging but the scenery was extraordinary and places like Glencoe were just magical.

THE HIGHLIGHT?

The short hour or two that it didn’t rain. Apart from that it spent the night in a bothy [shelter] on the Causeway Coast with no electricity or running water – although we all had terrible hangovers the next morning.

GET STAYERS?

No, I was extraordinarily blessed by my bootmaker, so I survived the experience better than the other “pilgrims” in their ready-made, fawn-colored shoes.

TIPS FOR THOSE FOLLOWING IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS?

Never underestimate the healing power of gin. Everyone else relied on a water bottle – but my gin bottle was about the only thing that got me up some of those mountains.

WHAT IS YOUR PREVIOUS HOLIDAY MEMORY?

I grew up in the 1970s, but it felt like the 1950s because my parents drove me around in a large Jaguar to see churches and castles in Wales as children in Ladybird books did 20 years earlier. I fear I was a terrifying Little Lord Fauntleroy.

WHERE NEXT?

Whole new world: The United Arab Emirates is next on Laurence's travel bucket list.  Above is the famous city of Dubai in the UAE

Whole new world: The United Arab Emirates is next on Laurence's travel bucket list.  Above is the famous city of Dubai in the UAE

Whole new world: The United Arab Emirates is next on Laurence’s travel bucket list. Above is the famous city of Dubai in the UAE

My wife and I hope to visit the United Arab Emirates, but I think fate is going too far at this point.

DREAM DESTINATION?

I would like to see King Ludwig II’s fairytale castle Neuschwanstein in Bavaria one day.

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