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My Favourite Holiday: ​I found my thrill on Strawberry Hill, says TV garden designer Danny Clarke

Strawberry Hill
Strawberry Hill

ONE of the country’s best-known garden designers, 60-year-old Danny Clarke co-presented BBC1’s The Instant Gardener, with Helen Skelton.

Danny has also presented for the BBC at the Chelsea Flower Show and also appeared in Money For Nothing.

Danny, who lives in Bromley, has a daughter and two grandkids.


MY dad was in the army, so I’ve done a lot of travelling about.

I felt like I was on a constant holiday. Caravanning was his passion and I remember one memorable trip from Germany to Italy.

I was navigating and we got lost in the mountains, which was a bit scary.

But Morocco and Jamaica are the two adult holiday places I’ll never forget.

I was in Marrakesh for five or six days, staying in a riad –a large house – in the medina, right in the centre.

It’s a crazy place because there’s so much going on. Everything feels in your face and it’s full of hustle and bustle.

But you can always find escape in some of the quiet courtyards.

The guy who owned the riad also had a place in the Atlas Mountains and he took us up here.

It was about three hours and a world away, a real peaceful contrast and with the most stunning scenery.

Danny Clarke and co-host Helen Skelton

My parents are both Jamaican and I’ve been fortunate enough to go back there a few times.

The one time I remember most, back in the late ’90s, I stayed in by far the poshest hotel I’ve ever been in.

It’s called Strawberry Hill and it has views to die for. It’s an ex-colonial hospital in the Blue Mountains, owned by Chris Blackwell who founded Island Records.

There are chalets which seem to be hanging off the side of the mountain and it feels like you can see half the island, although you can probably just see down to Kingston.

It’s a very starry place and I was fortunate enough to meet Robbie Williams there.

I was actually there with my parents and one of my sisters to watch cricket as England were playing the West Indies.

The match became famous as it had to be abandoned because the pitch was deemed to be too dangerous.

But I later found myself on a flight alongside all my cricketing heroes.

Honestly, I was like a kid in a sweet shop.