Michelle Collins © Ray Burmiston

Actress Michelle Collins shares some of her favourite destinations and reveals where she’d like to go cruising and why

After I finished performing in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the end of July, I took a 16-day holiday, the longest one I’d had in years. I decided to visit some friends who live in the South of France – one in Monaco and the other in Mandelieu-La Napoule. I went for a week on my own and then my boyfriend joined me.

My favourite destinations are Rome, Ibiza, Lake Como, New York, Malaga, South of France and slightly nearer to home, Norfolk. I am lucky as I have friends in all of these places, so it makes it even more fun and enjoyable. I do like places where I can wander around and walk a lot, which have sun but also a bit of culture, too. I need to get up and about and not just laze in the sun for two weeks because that would drive me insane.

My ideal holiday would be at a beautiful hotel with a pool but near a beach so you have a choice. It would have gorgeous food and wellbeing options like a gym and a spa. Maybe
a little boat to take you out snorkelling if you wanted to. Also to be able to go out for long, nice walks. And obviously with a wonderful person or people to share it with.

The last book I read on holiday was All At Sea by the writer Decca Aitkenhead, a sad and moving yet inspiring memoir. I was also learning lines for a play I’m performing in.

I like the idea of a cruise around Norway or Alaska as I’ve been told it’s incredible. My daughter said I would also love cruising around Italy or Greece.

I think the most memorable holiday I had was unfortunately when I ended up in hospital with food poisoning for four days on the island of Bequia in the Caribbean. I was with my daughter, who was four, and a friend Caroline. It was pretty awful but after I came out of hospital, we treated ourselves to a private boat trip to the island of Mustique and stayed at famous resort The Cotton House for five nights. It made it worth being so ill.

The perfect holiday is all about the company you’re with. As long as you are with fun, nice people, you can be anywhere. Of course, it helps if it’s in a beautiful setting. I like the sun but I like to sit in the shade most of the time and read a good book. I’m careful at my age to cover up and not get burned. I never travel without my hat, my factor 50 and sunglasses if I’m going to a sunny climate, or my trainers to walk and run in.

Catch Michelle Collins in Kindertransport at the Chickenshed Theatre, London. It runs from 27 September until 22 October. For more info visit chickenshed.org.uk.