Griff Rhys Jones
Interview Words : The World According To ... | 09 July

Griff Rhys Jones: My world of travel

Comedian and TV presenter reveals his favourite places in the world. And the appeal of outsider art

Mountain, ocean, desert, jungle: which are you and why?

None. City is best for me. It contains the best of all experiences, including alienation. They all have their good points... Strange that people should seek ultimate value in these things. People are what we travel to meet.

What was your first great travel experience?

Sailing past Clacton Frinton and Walton on the Naze into Harwich. A real journey. I re-did some of this in the other direction recently for Britain's Lost Routes. The Essex marshes are among the most remote places I have ever been.

A lengthy exploration of the Baltic by small boat. We set off from Faversham and sailed to St Petersburg. We crossed back over the top of Sweden by the Gotha Canal. I also recently went through mid-Wales following a pilgrim route for Lost Routes. Memorable landscape, mysterious monuments, impenetrable language. Excellent.

Which are your top five places worldwide?

For landscape: the south coast of Finland (80,000 islands); the Highlands of Scotland; the Smoky Mountains (USA); The Bandigara Escarpment (Mali); the Galapagos islands.

I'm not mad about tropical islands or "cool beaches, man" but couldn't live without Hong Kong, Rome, St Petersburg, Edinburgh or New York.

Which passport stamp are you proudest of?

I lost my passport in a fire recently...

Which passport stamp would you most like to have?

China.

Where or what is your guilty travel pleasure?

I like to buy textiles and outsider art, so shopping is my sin.

Britain's Lost Routes with Griff Rhys Jones is now available on DVD. Order your copy on Amazon now.

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