Although I love city breaks I’m also very much a beach lover – I’m happiest when I’m close to the sea. So here, in no particular order, are my top 10 beaches in the world – feel free to add your own:
1. Waikiki, Hawaii. What I love about Waikiki, apart from the waves and the golden sand and the palm trees, is the atmosphere: from the surfers who are out there 24/7 to the Hawaiian music that seems to be everywhere.
3. Larvotto Beach, Monte Carlo. There are so many wonderful beaches in the South of France (I also love the beach at Cannes), but this one is particularly glamorous. Go off season (very late August is a good time) and you can easily get a table at one of the many restaurants on the beach and watch the sun set while you eat. Perfect.
4. Charmouth Beach, Dorset. The Jurassic Coast is wonderful for kids who love dinosaurs – you can walk along at low tide, looking for fossils, from Lyme Regis to Charmouth.
5. Manly Beach, Sydney. You have to endure a slightly nerve-wracking ferry ride to get there, but it’s totally worth it, because it gives you great views of Sydney, and the water is fabulous.
6. Repulse Bay, Hong Kong. I was really surprised to discover the beaches in Hong Kong – but there are quite a few, and this one is idyllic.
7. Rena Bianca Beach, Costa Smeralda, Sardinia. This is really four beaches of fine white sand and clean turquoise water. Incredibly pretty and perfect for families.
8. Papamoa Beach, New Zealand. Friends of ours have a house right by the beach, and the first time we went on it I seriously considered emigrating. It’s quiet, and great for watersports.
9. La Jolla, California. There are so many wonderful beaches in California, particularly along Highway 1, but this is my favourite. Walk to La Jolla cove and there are great tide pools for kids.
10. St. Ives Bay, Cornwall. This beach is special to me for sentimental reasons, but also because it’s breathtakingly beautiful, and of course it’s a Blue Flag beach.