We could keep waxing lyrical about Africa (it's a GREAT time to go pretty much across the board in southern and east Africa as well as Indian Ocean islands) but wanted to remind you that September is a prime time to visit British Columbia in Canada. Closer to home, for anyone without school children, there's also a good argument for taking your European summer holiday a little later in September...


Warmed by Pacific currents, BC is Canada’s mildest province rarely dropping below zero. Vancouver Island is the mildest of all, and boasting the driest summers. Migratory whales love the mild climate too, swimming in early July-late Sept. September is fab with fewer tourists and mild temperatures. Also, the autumn leaves are turning so the forests are ablaze with colour. It’s also when the grizzlies are most visible. In amongst the knotted tangle of Vancouver Island's evergreen forest, it's easy to forget that this is supposedly the most populated island in North America. Mother Nature is still queen, with bears (grizzly and black) roaming the interior and excellent whale-watching off the coast. Even if you're not barmy about wildlife, this island is one big playground. Daredevils can throw themselves down whitewater rapids, paraglide from peaks or snorkel and dive the sea. There's a more chilled-out side too; the surfer town of Tofino is quickly becoming the best place for food, while glamping takes on new heights at Clayoquot Wilderness, which remains one of the best lodges we have stayed in to date. 


Whilst we tend to avoid spending time in August in Europe, there is nothing like a last burst of short-haul sunshine to make summer last a bit longer and carry us through the autumn with a glow. Sea and skies are still blue as can be, the water's warmer than ever, and once others are all back to school everything's a lot quieter and better value. We don’t profess to be Europe specialists, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a few little gems tucked up our sleeves...Some of our favourite tried and tested properties include Borgo Egnazia in Puglia, Verdura Resort in Sicily and Chateaux Les Carrasses in Languedoc-Roussillon, France. 

Alice Callander