Eight Reasons to Visit Belfast (TIME Magazine)

One hundred years since the sinking of RMS Titanic on 15 April 1912 and a new ‘visitor experience’ is opening in the ill-fated liner’s home city, Belfast. I’d long wanted to visit the city – I’d heard such good things about how it had changed since the signing of the Good Friday agreement in 1998 – and was not disappointed. Quite apart from the city itself, which has a proud Victorian grandeur despite its small size (only 270,000 people), the Northern Irish people I met were outstandingly friendly and welcoming. And the new Titanic Belfast building itself is stunning. As the Michelin Guides would say, well worth a detour. Here’s my piece on it for TIME Magazine.

Murals on the so-called Peace Wall, Falls Road

 

The new Titanic Belfast visitor experience

 

Giant's Causeway, County Antrim

A Perfect Day … in Oxford (TIME Magazine)

I always appreciate the chance to write about my home city of Oxford, which I thought I knew pretty well after 25 years of (mostly) living there. In this piece for TIME Magazine, however, I interviewed five eminent Oxford women about how they would spend a perfect day in the city.  And in doing so, I discovered some hidden nooks and secret crannies that were new even to me …

Port Meadow, Oxford (OxOx, Wikipedia Commons)

 

Abraham’s Path (Resurgence)

My journey to Palestine last May was perhaps my most productive ever, with five written pieces and three BBC radio broadcasts emanating from this one trip (see previous posts). The last story to appear was in the recent edition of Resurgence magazine, and allowed me to write in depth about the human – and spiritual – experience of walking through this timeless, beautiful and resonant landscape.

© Gail Simmons: "a landscape of rocks and wind”