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My Favourite Holiday: Croatia inspires author Julia Myerscough’s lifelong love of history

Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik, Croatia

JULIA MYERSCOUGH has just had her debut novel, 51 Weeks, published and is hard at work on her second.

It’s a witty tale of dealing with the realities of ageing.

Julie, who teaches French to secondary school children in her spare time, lives on the edge of the Lake District with her husband and two teenage girls.


When I was 14 I went to Cavtat in Croatia with my parents and ever since it’s been a place I want to revisit.

To me, at that age, it seemed like a little Treasure Island, so lush and green and cut off. It has stayed in my memory as such an idyllic spot and I wonder what it’s like now.

You could go to Dubrovnik and wander the narrow streets.

I’ve always loved a bit of history and I think that’s one of the things that drew me back to Paphos in Cyprus a couple of times.

The first time I was there you could wander round the archaeological sites for free and although that had changed the next time, it was no less fascinating.

I studied in France for my degree and fell in love with La Rochelle, the place where we were staying.

It’s been prominent since the 12th Century and there was nothing nicer than wandering past the little patisseries and looking at the wonderful seafood displays outside the restaurants.

Cycling in and around La Rochelle is a joy. There were great safe cycle paths and lots of interesting places to stop and explore.

Julia Myerscough

I adored exploring around Le View Port, on to the Cove of Godechaud which is right next to the sea, and on to a beautiful bay called The Bay of Châtelaillon.

But, of course, living around Cockermouth we’ve got one of Britain’s greatest holiday destinations on our doorstep, the Lake District.

Staying in west Cumbria we don’t see anything like the tourists as somewhere like Windermere.

But you’re really no distance from enjoying all there is to see.

One of my big favourites is Borrowdale. It’s split into three valleys and they all have their own characters.

I love the wooded terrain and it’s always nice to have the views of water as you go.

At the end of a good stretch of the legs there’s nothing better than a cuppa and scone. The Flock Inn tearoom at Rosthwaite takes some beating.