Longyearbyen – Norway’s Arctic Capital

3 August 2019 | Places

▲ The 'capital' city of Norway's far northern island group of Svalbard takes its colourful name from John Munro Longyear, the American pioneer of Svalbard coal mining in 1906. ▲ Visitors come to Svalbard in search of polar bears and the first one confronts you befo...

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Svalbard – way north of the Arctic Circle

9 July 2019 | Places

Maureen and I spent a week on the National Geographic Explorer on a Lindblad National Geographic trip around the Svalbard islands. Look directly down on the north pole on a globe and it’s easy to see Svalbard is in the far north, way far north. At around 76 to 80°N it...

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Dolman Award Books – Take 5

17 July 2012 | Media

This is my 5th, and almost final, batch of Dolman Award books, we’re working our way towards the ‘short list’ from which we’ll pick the winner at Hatchards Bookshop on Piccadilly in London on 5 September. Click here for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th batches of books. W...

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The Devil’s Picnic

7 March 2012 | Media

Taras Grescoe travels the world looking for banned or disapproved of drinks, foods and substances. So he goes through a meal via aperitif, crackers, cheese, main course, a smoke, digestif, dessert, herbal tea and finally (and very final) a one-time-only nightcap • ...

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Global Peace Index

4 June 2009 | Living

In London on 2 June I went along to the launch of the 2009 Global Peace Index. With expert assistance from the Economist Intelligence the index uses 23 factors to calculate how peaceful a country is – that includes its own internal peace, but also the danger the count...

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