Selina Scott on her most frightening flight and her favourite pub

Checking in… TV presenter Selina Scott reveals the joys of walking in the Yorkshire Dales and the terror she felt on a Chinook helicopter when engine problems struck

Checking in… Selina Scott

TV presenter Selina Scott checks into our travel Q&A.

She talks walks, pubs, hotels, Fiji, one very scary helicopter flight over the North Sea, mare’s milk and how a cosy cashmere wrap is the one travel item she can’t do without. 

EARLIEST HOLIDAY MEMORY?

Being photographed by a paparazzo on the beach at Scarborough as I was learning to walk. In those days, newspaper photographers roamed the seafront looking for unusual holiday snaps.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION?

Laucala Island in Fiji. Diving the coral reef, marvelling at fruit bats in the tropical night sky, collecting shells on deserted beaches — it was the destination of my dreams.

MOST UNUSUAL HOLIDAY FOOD?

Mare’s milk straight from the nomads’ horses in the Gobi Desert. It was fizzy and tart. I avoided the barbecued marmot — a rat-like creature — cooked overnight in a fire pit. It’s supposed to be good for the kidneys but can give you bubonic plague.

WHAT CAN’T YOU BE WITHOUT?

My cosy cashmere wrap, for when the air-con kicks in on planes and in hotels.

EVER HAD A FRIGHTENING FLIGHT?

Yes, in a Chinook helicopter. Flying from Shetland with North Sea oil workers, we hit engine trouble approaching Aberdeen. I remember the silence of everyone on board, the clattering of the twin blades overhead and relief when we finally landed safely.

FAVOURITE HOLIDAY ACTIVITY?

Swim (I’d spend all day in the water if I could), walk, cycle and read.

FAVOURITE HOTEL?

Bal Samand Heritage Hotel in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. It has a 400-year-old carved stone fountain in the shape of a peacock, a Shiva temple and wildlife in abundance. The chevron-tiled swimming pool built in the grounds is like something from a Roman temple.

DREAM TRAVEL COMPANION?

Charles Dickens, especially at this time of year. He bounced around Britain on stagecoaches, regularly making the journey from London to Malton in North Yorkshire. The place stimulated his imagination, especially when he came to write A Christmas Carol.

BEST WALK?

I recently walked through the upper reaches of Wharfedale for the BBC Four series Winter Walks. The air was still, the views staggering, the River Wharfe wild and urgent. A drone with a camera hovered overhead as I walked.

Selina recently walked through the upper reaches of Wharfedale, pictured, for the BBC Four series Winter Walks – and says the views were ‘staggering’ 

TOP DALES PUB?

As the landlord of the Craven Arms in Appletreewick presented me, after my walk, with a free pint of home brew, his pub is my current favourite.

Winter Walks is on BBC Four from January 4-8 at 7pm.

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