Europe’s newest nation

Kosovo is a small, landlocked state in the Balkans that declared its independence in 2008, making it the most recent addition to the European family of nations. But it’s an area with a long and tangled history, and some countries have refused to recognise it.

Kosovo is still considered an unlikely tourist destination, but I visited in the summer along with Albania and North Macedonia. 

I found it the most fascinating of the trio. It feels like a country still being built, while there is a sharp divide between the majority Albanian population and a number of Serb enclaves. 

What is there to see? The old city of Prizren is a gem, while Kosovo’s capital Pristina bristles with stark modern architecture. Peja bustles with life on a summer’s evening. Kosovo also has treasured Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries which have to be visited. And fancy a woodland hike with a beautiful mirror lake at the end of it? 

So here’s what I saw. It might be worth adding this new nation to your travel bucket list.


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Manchester dusk

Winter is coming to the north of England and the light begins to fade before 4pm.

One afternoon, sitting at my desk at home in Manchester, I glanced out of the window to see a fading, red and beautiful light.

I grabbed my camera and went out, walking along the Bridgewater Canal towpath that stretches from my neighbourhood of Castlefield to Pomona.

It was cold and the water was coal black and still, creating delicious reflections. Tracing back my steps, I looked around and was blessed with a rich urban sunset.


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Abandoned

The vast southern African country of Namibia has a myriad of attractions, from its stark, majestic scenery to colourful colonial era towns.

Kolmanskop is another of those gems. This settlement supported a diamond mine during the German occupation of the early 20th century. The last families moved out in the 1950s and it became a ghost town.

The Namib Desert’s dry climate has preserved the buildings and is slowly consuming them. Visitors are allowed to explore former dwellings from the hospital to a skittle alley.

Taking photographs is an unusual and slightly unnerving experience, while the pursuit of ‘abandonment porn’ is a popular one – see how tours of Chernobyl are now widely available.

A trip to Namibia should always include a visit to remarkable Kolmanskop.


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A year of travel

It was a big decision taking a year out to spend travelling. Those 12 months passed very quickly and I’ve had time to take stock of places visited, people met and what’s next.

I came back with a lot of photographs and set myself the task of choosing one image to sum up every trip and country. They’re images I’m proud to have captured, but also are the most evocative of each place. It’s sometimes a strong personal memory, other times a striking impression.

The journey hasn’t finished for me. Travelling has sparked a desire to see more of the world and change my life.

Please share your memories of travel, particularly the ones that have stayed with you forever.


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