The art of travelling solo is a time-honoured tradition stretching back to the first days of tourism. There are and have always been a host of benefits to travelling alone - plan your own schedule, pick your own destinations, make friends on the road as you discover the world your way. It's an excellent way to see what you want to see, to do what you want to do. The world is, quite literally your oyster.
So for all of you Marco Polos, Huckleberry Finns and Gullivers out there on your solo travels, we've come up with a handy list of our favourite destinations for solo travellers.
If you've never travelled alone before and are slightly apprehensive, first off, don't be and second of all, Copenhagen is the best place to start. This excellent European city is simply charming, boasting colourful streets, blooming urban parks and some wonderful attractions across all ten of its official districts. More importantly, the people are friendly, helpful and a great many speak English very well. With a great deal of attractions lying within the city walls, you won't have to go far to explore such sights as the Little Mermaid, Christiania and the citadel. As well as all that, there are museums, galleries and restaurants to whet your appetite and wanderlust. As a start for the solo traveller, Copenhagen is perfect for an easy start to holidaying on your own.
The Highlands, Scotland
The Highlands of Scotland has got everything anyone could ever need for an insight into Scotland. The glorious railway journeys which stretch across the foothills, the crystal lochs, crowned with islands and castles, the pretty little villages which do the landscape, this is a charming part of the world. As an added bonus, the cities of Scotland are a delight with both Glasgow and Edinburgh featuring a veritable banquet of culture and history in their ancient streets. For those who are heading out on their first solo adventures, the Highlands of Scotland offering a gentle, yet rewarding opportunity to take those first steps. With a naturally welcoming people who speak English, a compelling and lengthy list of places to visit and a number of easy transport offers, the Highlands are an excellent choice.
New York, USA
Welcome to America, the land of opportunity! That includes the opportunity to travel solo to one of the most beguiling, enchanting and dazzling cities in the world: New York. The Big Apple offers a spectacular platter of sights including Central Park, Broadway, Times Square and the American welcome is alive and kicking here, despite the big city feel. There are a host of options for solo travellers to enjoy, you might take a bus-top tour of the streets or cruise across to the Statue of Liberty. No matter where you go, you can be sure that you'll be greeted with the open cheer that can only be found stateside.
Porto Santo Island, Madeira, Portugal
This one is for those solo travellers who choose to travel alone for the sweet embrace of solitude. For these adventurers, a solo holiday gives a chance to break away from everyone, to indulge their inner hermit as they enjoy time for contemplation and discovery. They might take a library of books, to kick back and flick through pages on sandy, windswept dunes, or they might find a secluded spot on an Alpine mountain to soak in the silence in meditation. If this description leaves you longing for a true escape, our pick for you is the sheltered island of Porto Santo Beach, adrift off the archipelago of Madeira. Miles and miles of white sand beaches await here under the Portuguese sun, and its proximity to its big brother Madeira means most tourists won't venture any further than the Madeiran capital of Funchal. With an array of accommodation, cafés and beach clubs, it's a lovely place to visit, with plenty of quiet spots for travellers to explore on their own.
Trans-Siberian Express, Russia/China
Not so much a destination this one, but well worth its spot on our list. The Trans-Siberian Express is one of the most famous trains and railways in the world. The advantage of the Trans-Siberian for solo travellers is that this magnificent experience takes in a staggering number of countries and sights on its way across from Moscow, across Russia and Mongolia, and through to Beijing in China. You can see all this from your elegantly-appointed cabin, or the refined surroundings of the restaurant car, or from any of the observation desks, you don't have to organise anything. If you're hankering after some socialising during your time on board, you can bet that your fellow passengers will have at least some shared interest with you, since you're on the same train after all.