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Places to visit, by the people who ought to know

* 9 January 2003 *

Places to visit, by the people who ought to know

With Christmas and New Year behind us (except for the bits clinging to our waistlines) and the dark days of January ahead, it's time for some serious holiday planning.

And help is at hand from staff and students in the Geography department at the University of Sussex, who thought they could do better than the recent 'Holiday' programme's list of '50 Places to Visit Before You Die' (see "Several of us had seen the BBC programme and thought the selection could be more interesting," says organiser Evelyn Dodds, the Geography Resource Centre Manager.

Her well-travelled respondents have come up with a diverse list of places in the British Isles and abroad, which should provide some inspiration if you're pondering the destination of your next holiday. Some choices are places students or staff have visited, either on holiday or on field trips - the latter including Thailand, Kenya and the Seychelles.

"Others are places people have read about or perhaps have had lectures about," says Ms Dodds. "Some are quite specific - either to time of day or location, or perhaps to one of those moments you know you'll always remember."

Dr Simon Rycroft, Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Sussex, thinks that in comparison with the national poll, the choices of Sussex geographers are in a sense quite predictable: "One would expect to find such exotic sites among the favoured locations. Professional geographers, and especially Sussex geographers with their impressively global teaching and research interests, have access to a wider range of sources about places in the world."

He finds the most interesting aspect of the survey the appearance of more familiar places, places that are seemingly anything but exotic: Skegness, London, even the Greek Islands. "These choices I think reflect an intellectual shift in geography. We are now increasingly concerned with the importance of the everyday in its broadest sense, of meaningful places whose meaning for us derives from lived-through experience rather than an excitement about difference, and we do well to remember that our exotic choices are, for somebody, pretty mundane."


In the British Isles and Eire
Eggardon Hill, Dorset
Giant's Causeway
Lake District: Black Sail Youth Hostel
North Berwick
Scilly Isles
Skye: Cuillin Mountains and Talisker Distillery
Western Isles
Around the world
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Atacama Desert, north Chile
Black Rock Desert, Nevada: Burning Man Festival
Bokhara, Uzbekistan: sunset over Labi Haus
Bora Bora, Polynesia
Borobudur Temple, Java
Cape Town, Table Mountain & the Wine Lands, South Africa
Ethiopia: rock-hewn churches of Lalibela
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Great Wall of China
Greek Islands
Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef
Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina
Inca Trail and Macchu Picchu, Peru
Ivory Coast, Senegal
Ko Chang & Ko Phangan, Thailand
Kyoto, Japan
Kyparissia, Greece
Lake Garda, Italy
Marseille Calanques, southern France
Mongolia: horse riding
Mt. Kenya at dusk
New York
New Zealand
Norwegian fiords
Petra, Jordan
Pyramids, Egypt
Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand
Raylay Bay, Krabe, Thailand
Rift Valley, Kenya at sunrise
Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda
South America: ancient temples
Southern Chile: lakes, volcanoes, old conifer forests and glaciers
Sossusvlei, Namibia: sunrise over the 100m sand dunes
Syria & Jordan
Taj Mahal, India
Tikal, Guatemala
Tiwi Beach, south of Mombasa, Kenya
Toronto, Canada
Troy, Turkey
Uluru (formerly Ayres Rock), Australia
Yosemite National Park, California
Zambezi River at sunset

* Notes for editors *

Evelyn Dodds can be contacted on 01273 873244. Email Dr Simon Rycroft can be contacted on 01273 606755 ext.2364 or 01273 872621. Email

Press Office contacts: Alison Field or Peter Simmons, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, email or

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