I like holidaying alone, tuppence middleton  preferably in desolate or remote spots. I’ll never forget the sense of freedom I felt on my first trips abroad without my family (although I still love to go away with them). The sensation of feeling how good it was to be grown up and to do what you wanted when you wanted. Fancy an ice cream at nine in the morning? You can have one.

I still take trips alone. In January I spent a week in Speyside, just south of Elgin in the Highlands.

Hiking has never really been my thing, but I’m trying to do more. I’ve never been a gym bunny and I’m really bad at motivating myself to do exercise. I yomped up a couple of mountains — well, big hills, or Corbetts, as they’re known. Ben Rinnes and Ben Aigan were cold and pretty steep for me.

Iceland

is one of my favourite destinations, and it’s very desolate. It’s such a mythical landscape with so much folklore and history. It feels so ethereal and untouched — as if there’s magic in the air. I’ve been back since filming to Vik, which is famous for its black sand and huge sea stacks. I hired a car and took a walk along a geothermal river in Reykjadalur, which leads to hot springs you can take a dip in. Pretty welcome after a snowy hike.

I split my time between Stockholm and London because my partner is Swedish. I really love that you’re in the city there but really close to nature. As you fly in you can see the thousands of lakes and islands that surround it.

 

I enjoy art, and there’s a museum and sculpture garden there called Millesgarden just outside town that is really lovely to go and visit. I was lucky enough to have a personal tour of the studio of one of my favourite artists, Jesper Waldersten, recently. If I feel like treating myself I go to Ekstedt, a wonderfully atmospheric restaurant, where everything is cooked on open fires. You walk in and it smells like earth and fire and smoke.

You wouldn’t describe Niagara Falls as desolate — it’s such a big tourist attraction — but it is in winter. I was in a movie, Disappearance at Clifton Hill, set there out of season. I stayed in the town rather than Toronto during shooting to get the feel of it. In one direction all you can see is forested countryside, then you turn around and it’s like Vegas, with dozens of huge casinos and hotels. Except most are closed in midwinter, making it rather downbeat.

 

A final word on my favourite desolate spot in England: Dungeness. I discovered it post-break-up a few years back. It feels as if you’ve stumbled on an abandoned town that’s falling off the country. There’s miles of grey shingle, some shacks, decommissioned Victorian railway carriages and a couple of lighthouses. I wander around, do a lot of thinking and writing. Perfect.

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