Please note that this article is from a previous issue of the magazine – some information may have changed since the publication date. Virgin Money cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of this content.

Real-life memorable holidays
Real-life memorable holidays

From disasters to amazing escapades – well-known people share their stories

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Gordon RamsayWayne SleepCarol SmillieRory McGrathKim WildeBrian KeenanJulian Lloyd Webber 

My honeymoon was my worst holiday.

We’d had our wedding just after Christmas and then we flew to Hawaii, but our bags were lost in San Francisco.

All our Christmas presents were in them and they were never found.

We had to shop for clothes on our first day – and then we had to leave early because a horrific hurricane was coming. It was a disaster.


25 years ago I took my mother and grandmother to Venice. We stayed in a small hotel and the locals welcomed us with open arms – they really esteem the elderly.

They arranged a free water taxi to transport us and our sightseeing was filled with wonder.


I had an awful experience flying back from the South of France to Glasgow via Amsterdam.

The flight to Amsterdam was delayed by two hours, which meant I missed my connection, so I got a later flight that went via Paris and then on to Birmingham.

One of the passengers was taken ill on the plane and died, which was just horrific, and so we were re-routed to Manchester. From there we had to bus it over to Birmingham, so the day just spiralled from bad to worse.


I stayed in a really luxurious place, the Sheraton in Noosa Heads, Queensland, while filming a holiday programme in Australia.

It had fabulously big and up-to-date rooms with decadent furnishings and a fantastic pool.

I felt a bit guilty, because the programme was supposed to be about touring in a camper.


Back in 1994 I hated always being told what to do in my career. Then a friend phoned and asked if I wanted to go backpacking in Thailand.

I loved the idea of escaping where no one could find me – so we hopped on a plane and followed our noses.

I relished sending faxes home, ‘Still alive – Kim.’


I love Italy. It’s very child-friendly and there’s a grace about Italians.

I spoke to an Italian once about the troubles in Ireland, and he said, ‘Why do you people worry so much, why can’t you just be happy?’ You can be happy in Italy – everybody’s so accommodating.


I do love Stockholm – The Grand Hotel there has the best view of any city hotel I know. You just look out and immediately see the palace and bridges with commuter boats coming from the outlying islands.

The information in this article is correct as at 10 June 2011.

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