The Daily Telegraph - Travel

Travelling life

- Interview by Roz Lewis

Aled Jones, singer

The Crystal Cathedral in California, above, is a dream venue for Aled Jones; the Opera Bar in Sydney, above right

How often do you travel?

Every other week for work, although it used to be more like three times a week at one point. That was mainly UK-based flights to Manchester, Newcastle or Glasgow. I always try to get in at least one family holiday a year, either in the summer or just after Christmas.

Favourite city/ country visited

Japan when I was 16 or 17. It was particular­ly memorable because Terry Wogan said most of my fans were grannies yet when we arrived in Japan I was playing to 500 screaming teenage girls. I also remember how exciting it was the first time I sang at the Hollywood Bowl – in front of 27,000 people.

Singing in the Vatican was amazing, too.

Venue worldwide I’d love to perform in?

The Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, California, as it looks like an amazing place.

Favourite cathedral city in Britain

Bangor, for nostalgic reasons. It was the first cathedral I performed in. I was nine. I thought it was enormous back then, but I was only small! Ely Cathedral is phenomenal, as is Liverpool Cathedral, so those stand out.

Favourite part ofWales?

Snowdonia and Anglesey, which is where I grew up. I realise now how

lucky I was to have the mountains and the Menai Straits so close. I had a very happy childhood, climbing trees, and going out all day with my friends to play.

What do you need for a perfect holiday?

Some sunshine, warmth, a villa with a pool, and my family.

Earliest memory of travelling abroad?

A package holiday to Menorca with my parents one summer when I was about nine. It was the first time we’d been on an aeroplane and we were all terrified.

We didn’t really go on holiday much before that, just weekends away to visit grandparen­ts in North Wales.

Worst travel experience?

Backpackin­g around Turkey when I was a student, aged 20. My girlfriend at the time and I stayed one night in a cheap guesthouse, only to be woken up at the crack of dawn the next day by the speaker for the call to prayer, which was right under our window.

Another memorable moment for all the wrong reasons was getting the worst food poisoning ever while we were travelling by bus for 14 hours. Public transport when you are ill is no fun.

The most remote place you’ve been?

Sri Lanka. I filmed there just after the tsunami. We went to some very remote villages and areas that had been affected – it

Favourite city?

London. I just don’t think it can be beaten for architectu­re, arts, or the food scene. I love Amsterdam, Paris and Vienna, all have strengths in terms of what they offer, but nowhere beats London.

Most memorable meal abroad?

I recently had a brilliant meal in Gjelina on Venice Beach in Los Angeles. The Opera Bar in Sydney Harbour is a good place to go for a sunny lunch.

Favourite airline?

Singapore is very good. My family and I travelled on one of the first Airbus A380s, which was incredibly comfortabl­e. Emirates is amazing as you can have a shower on the plane. BA and Virgin are also very good – the flight staff are always

What is your one travel essential?

My especially made Oppo headphones, which are moulded to my ear shape and which I can listen to music and then fall asleep in.

What do you hate about holidays?

Coming back. Gatwick at 6am, when it is cold, rainy and there are horrendous amounts of traffic to cope with, is an unpleasant reality check.

Where next?

At some point this year, I may go to Australia, and possibly Madeira. We have a week’s holiday in the summer – I’d love to go back to Japan and take the family with me. Aled Jones’s album One Voice is out now and he has just started a UK Cathedral Tour. Aled also presents Sunday Breakfast from 7am on Classic FM.

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