Joanna Lumley on Bhutan and the Swiss Alps

WHERE'S YOUR FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION?

I always say the next place I’m going. But, if I had to choose it would be the Swiss Alps, near lovely Murren. 

WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO THERE?

The last time we went we had no snow, but there were beautiful waist-high flowers everywhere, and the Jungfrau mountains to gaze upon.

We stayed while I filmed On Her

Majesty’s Secret Service, and did lots and lots of walking in that beautiful clean, Alpine air.

IN WHICH COUNTRY DO YOU FEEL MOST AT HOME?

My home, Stockwell, South London. I doubt we will ever move. I

grew up in the Far East, and fell in love with this country when we first arrived. That love has never waned.

DOES TRAVEL INSPIRE YOU?

Of course. I’ve seen incredible, elegant sights, then the sort of poverty that would stay with anyone for ever. In particular, in the Sudanese desert where houses are made of sticks and mud. 

Some people in the UK say they are poor but I don’t think anyone in this country could live in the kind of poverty I’ve seen. You maintain a perspective after witnessing something like that. 

IDEAL TRAVEL COMPANION?

Well I don’t like dour travellers or people who moan. I need someone who’s interested; courteous and enthusiastic. 

WHAT IS THE BEST JOURNEY YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN?

A ride up the hillside from Paro in Bhutan on a pony towards a little pagoda. It was high up on a mountain side and I could see a monastery clinging to the rocks. It paints a wonderful memory.

WHERE ARE YOU THINKING OF TRAVELLING NEXT?

Somewhere in Central Europe possibly; I find that area fascinating. Or maybe Iran. 

WHAT DO YOU NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT?

A huge shawl. It has so many uses; you can wrap it around you on cold nights or fold it into a pillow if you’re sleeping on the move. It’s a necessity.

WHAT'S YOUR EARLIEST HOLIDAY MEMORY?

Wearing a cardigan for the first time on Fraser’s Hill in Kuala Lumpur. We travelled there by armoured car and suddenly, we were surrounded by tall trees and monkeys — a world away from the sweltering city.

By Erin B 10/23/2012 06:53:00