The Travel Diaries


Miriam Margolyes

Season 7

Today, I’m joined by a legend of stage and screen. Britain’s naughtiest national treasure. It’s the award-winning actress, Miriam Margolyes.


Miriam’s movie roles have included the BAFTA award-winning Mrs Mingott in Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Age of Innocence’ and of course Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films. She’s appeared in a host of hugely popular TV shows from Blackadder and Miss Marple to more recently the Real Exotic Marigold Hotel and Call the Midwife. And she’s also a prolific travel documentarian filming in and around Australia, the US and Scotland to name a few. As a lifelong lover of Charles Dickens, she presented the successful BBC documentary series Dickens’ America and toured the world with her acclaimed one woman show ‘Dicken’s Women’ in which she played 23 characters based on or inspired by characters in Dickens’s novels. 


Speaking to me from her Australian home, Miriam was so engaging and generous with her time both before, after and during the interview - so grab a cuppa, settle in and enjoy listening to the very widely travelled and very entertaining Miriam Margolyes. 

Destination Recap:

  • Robertson, NSW, Australia
  • Australia
  • Tuscany, Italy
  • Kingsgate, Kent Coast, England
  • St Margaret’s Bay, Kent, England
  • Glasgow, Scotland
  • Isle of Harris, Scotland
  • Cambridge, England 
  • Norfolk, England
  • Basel, Switzerland
  • Zurich, Switzerland 
  • Lindt Chocolate Shop, Zurich, Switzerland 
  • Israel 
  • Palestine
  • The Rust Belt, USA
  • India
  • Italy
  • Ireland 
  • Indonesia
  • Kerala, India
  • Calcutta, India 
  • Giglio, Italy
  • Fordyce, Scotland 
  • Rimini, Italy
  • Africa

Miriam is heading to a British theatre near you next month, as part of her upcoming book tour, in honour of the paperback release of her fantastic memoir, This Much is True. Head online for tickets.

With thanks to…

Small Luxury Hotels of the World - Ease yourself into a holiday headspace and visit to find out more.

DK Eyewitness - Get new editions of DK’s award-winning Eyewitness and Top 10 travel books and plan out adventures to the likes of Italy, Mexico, Spain or Costa Rica. Each guide is complete with updated listings, interest-led travel advice and the latest practical information. Find them all online or at your local bookshop.

Thank you so much for listening today. If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would be wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review on your podcast app - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. 

And to hear future episodes as soon as they’re released don’t forget to hit subscribe or “follow” on your podcast app of choice.

To find out who’s joining me coming up, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. 

More Episodes


National Parks of the UK with Juliet Kinsman, Sustainable Travel Expert - Bonus Episode with BMW

Season 9
Welcome to this bonus episode of The Travel Diaries podcast, where we are going to be talking about some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring national parks here in the UK. We’re joined by friend of the podcast, former guest on Season 3, Juliet Kinsman, who is the Sustainability Editor of Conde Nast Traveller magazine, the author of The Green Edit: Easy Tips for the Eco-Friendly Traveller and an aficionado of the national parks of the UK. Today’s episode is brought to you in partnership with BMW and National Park UK’s Recharge in Nature Project, an initiative to support nature restoration, biodiversity, wellbeing as well as access - the project is enhancing the electric vehicle charging infrastructure around our national parks to make it that bit easier to use an electric car when exploring. Often they are so vast, so remote and so rural that if you’re driving an electric car you might be anxious about when you’d next able to charge it.  From the soaring mountains and serene lakes of the Lake District National Park to the rugged moorlands and rolling hills of the Cairngorms National Park and the wild horses of the New Forest, by uncovering Juliet’s national parks travel diaries we’ll not only take a closer look at what makes these parks so special, we'll also explore how we can ensure their protection for generations to come.So grab your your binoculars, your walking boots, and your sense of adventure, and let's get started as we delve into the National Parks of the UK! Destination Recap: Lake District National Park, EnglandSnowdonia National Park, WalesNew Forest National Park, EnglandThe Pig Hotel, Hampshire, EnglandLimewood, Hampshire, EnglandChewton Glen, Hampshire, EnglandCairngorms National Park, ScotlandSaorsa 1875 Hotel, ScotlandSouth Downs National Park, West SussexPetworth, West SussexArundel, West Sussex,Swanbourne Lake, Arundel, west SussexWildhive, Callow Hall, DerbyshireLoch Lomond National Park, Scotland  To discover more about the Recharge in Nature Project, visit

James Martin

Season 9
Welcome to Season 9! It’s great to be back. Get ready to tantalise your taste buds and whet your appetite, because today we are joined by the master of all things delicious, Chef James Martin.James has been cooking up a storm on TV screens for over 20 years, and has written over 20 cookbooks as well, selling millions of copies worldwide.Born and raised in Yorkshire, James remains a Yorkshire lad through and through and still spends plenty of time in his home county, which he tells us about today. You’ll hear that James has had a huge passion for food since childhood, and he was just 22 when he gained his first Michelin star working as the head chef at the Hotel du Vin in Winchester. His down-to-earth personality and infectious enthusiasm quickly caught the attention of TV producers, and it was his regular appearances on "Ready Steady Cook" that really brought him to the public's attention.From there, he landed his own cooking show, BBC's "Saturday Kitchen,” which he hosted for over ten years, while opening restaurants in Manchester and at Chewton Glen hotel in Hampshire. Now he's the host of Saturday Morning with James Martin on ITV, alongside several foodie travel shows like "James Martin's French, Mediterranean and American Adventures” - so travel has been an incredibly important feature in his career so far. James' travel diaries today take us from the west coast of Scotland to the golden Caribbean sands of St Barths, from the quintessential British seaside of Blackpool to a culinary road trip through Wales, and much more. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a culinary novice, sit back, relax, as we kick off a big new season of the travel diaries with James Martin.Destination Recap:Holly’s travels -Lilycombe Farm, Somerset, EnglandThe Nook, Hillside Hangouts, Worcestershire, EnglandJames Martin -The Lygon Arms, Worcestershire, EnglandRobin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire, EnglandBlackpoolMalton, North Yorkshire, EnglandHotel de Plaisance, Vitrac, FranceChewton Glen, Hampshire, England West Coast of ScotlandSt Paul-de-Vence, FranceL'Isle sur la Sorgue, France Lake Annecy, FranceSt BarthsMonacoFood Road Trip in Wales: The Hardwick, Abergavenny, The Walnut Tree, Abergavenny and Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms, MachynllethGreeceTurkeyJapanSpainIf you'd like to experience a taste of James' signature dishes, head to The Lygon Arms, and book a table at GRILL or TAVERN.With thanks to today’s sponsor -Kip Hideaways - The best of UK travel is just around the corner and with places already booking up fast now is the time to find and book a spring or summer break. Head to to find your perfect escape or give them a follow on Instagram @kiphideaways for the dreamiest U.K. travel inspiration. If you want to be the first find out who is joining me on next week’s episode, follow me on Instagram @hollyrubenstein, You’ll also find me on Twitter and TikTok. Don't forget that all the destinations mentioned by my guests are included in the episode show notes here on your podcast app, and listed on my website,

Spencer Matthews

Season 8
Hello and welcome to the Season 8 finale of The Travel Diaries. You may have first got to know today’s guest as the bad boy of the reality TV show Made in Chelsea. Now married with three children to model Vogue Williams, who he met on the TV show, The Jump, he regularly tops the podcast charts as the co-host of the hilarious hit podcast, Spencer and Vogue, as well as entertaining listeners with his former Made in Chelsea co-star Jamie Laing, on the podcast, 6 Degrees from Jamie and Spencer. It is of course, Spencer Matthews.Spencer has led a truly international life - not many people can say they grew up in a hotel on a small Caribbean island, and it was so interesting to chat to him about life there and how it shaped who he is today. He’ll be talking about his relationships with his old Made in Chelsea co-stars. And we also talk about Spencer’s recent time in Nepal. Spencer’s older brother Michael tragically died climbing Mt Everest in 1999, and Spencer has collaborated with Disney to make a documentary film called Finding Michael about the journey to try and find his body which was never brought home. I think this is the first time he’s spoken at length about the documentary and I was really touched by his honesty about such a monumental experience to go through and what it meant to him and his family. In fact, Spencer has taken on a number of huge challenges that we talk about on today’s episode in memory of his brother, taking him from the Sahara Desert to Arctic Sweden. Alongside that, he takes us from the South of France and Morocco to New York City and Paris.Destination Recap:Caunton, Newark, EnglandParis, France La Colle-Sour-Loup, France La Colombe D’Or, France St Barths, Caribbean Eden Roc Hotel, St BarthsSahara DesertMt Everest, NepalNamche Bazar, NepalNew York, NY, USAPalais Namaskar, Marrakech, Morocco The Mark, NY, USAThe Bowery, NY, USAKatz Deli, NY, USAThe Select Burger, NY, USA4 Charles Prime Rib, NY, USAArctic SwedenJapanArgentinaBrazil If you'd like to hear more from Spencer and his wife Vogue, you can tune in to his hit podcast, Spencer and Vogue, a Global original here.And don’t forget to check out his low- and no-alcohol drinks brand Clean Co, here.If you’d like to hear more from the podcast don’t forget to hit subscribe or if you use Apple Podcasts to hit follow so that a new episode lands in your podcast app each week, and if you’re really enjoying it I’d be so grateful if you could leave a rating or review. If you want to be the first to find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein and I’d love to hear from you. If you can’t wait til then remember there’s the first seven seasons to catch up on - that’s over 85 episodes to keep you busy there. And don’t forget that all the destinations mentioned by my guests are always included in the episode show notes and they’re also on my website, Thanks so much for listening.