My father is the film director John Boorman, so as children we travelled all over the world while he made his movies. Travel has been instilled in me since I was a tiny kid. My strongest childhood travel memory was when we lived in South Carolina for a very long summer when my father was directing Deliverance. I have vivid memories of playing in the river with my twin sister and my two older sisters, and this very red clay that they have there. We had a fantastic summer in an environment that was completely different from our home in County Wicklow in Ireland. I also loved Los Angeles and hanging out on the beach. And I remember telling my dad to drive faster on the way to Disneyland because I thought all the cars that were overtaking us were going to get there first.
I love holidaying with my wife, Olivia and two daughters, Kinvara, 17, and Doone, 18, in Spain. My parents have a place about 10 miles west of Marbella and it’s lovely to go back to time and time again. My kids always come to meet me at the end of filming my TV shows and we’ve met up in Australia, Japan, South Africa and Los Angeles. We always have an adventure and I retrace my steps with them to
explore some of the highlights of my trip.
The items have changed over the years. When they are little you end up taking everything, and discover that you could have bought most of it there. But I do think that it’s always a good idea to take some Calpol and a basic medical kit that works for you.
Every year I take motorcycle tours to Africa. I think it’s really important to get tourists out there because lots of people think it’s a scary, dangerous place and I want to show them how it’s not those things. We found this tiny little village in Namibia one year, and there was this local artist who would see animals in these gnarled tree stumps so I bought this beautiful elephant. It cost me more to get it back to England than to buy the thing itself.
We love our family skiing holidays and have been going to Les Gets [in the French Alps] for many years. We stay at Hotel Christiania right on the slopes. We ring up all our friends, tell them our dates and we all book it. There can be up to eight families and up to 30 of us on the mountain. It’s great fun. In fact, my top tip for family holidays is to travel with another family with kids of similar ages. The children entertain one another, which gives everyone a break.
I’m a great believer in word of mouth when it comes to travel. I would never trust what’s written online. I would rather ask a local or a friend who’s been there. I would actually call the hotel you are
thinking of staying in and have a chat. Luckily, I come across lots of great places while filming my shows.
I haven’t travelled much in South America and I’m keen to take the kids to Mexico, on a road trip off the beaten track.
Charley Boorman will be at Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show in Manchester, from 15 to 18 January. Tickets £8. Find out more and book: destinationsshow.com
You can join him on a 10-day guided motorcycle ride in Australia, from £3,050 per person. Find out more:charleyboorman.com