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whites. If craft cider is more your thing, go to
quirky Merridale Cidery in Cobble Hill.
For lunch, pay a visit to Brit chef Daniel
Hudson in Duncan. Originally from Leicester,
he serves up distinctive seasonal dishes using
local and foraged ingredients in Hudson's on
First. From Duncan drive north to Nanaimo,
then west to Port Alberni, making time
to stop at Cathedral Grove in MacMillan
Provincial Park to wander through towering
800-year-old Douglas � rs or around nearby
Englishman River Falls.
At Port Alberni join the Paci� c Rim
Highway. Passing through thick � r forests,
around silent lakes and cloud-topped
mountains, catching glimpses of the Paci� c
Ocean, you can't fail to be seduced by the
sheer natural beauty of Vancouver Island.
My � nal destination was tranquil To� no on
the west coast, a surfer's paradise of pristine
beaches backed by the mountains that help
create a unique micro-climate. Designed
to blend into this setting, the family-run
Wickaninnish Inn hosts crab cook-outs on
the beach in summer and owns a � rst edition
of Captain Vancouver's account of his 1792
voyage. It felt like the perfect place to end
my own journey of discovery.
Canadian A� air ies from Gatwick
to Vancouver from £398 return. Flight time
is 9h40. canadiana� air.com
WHO TO TRAVEL WITH
Eagle Wing Whale Watching Tours,
Hertz has locations across British
Columbia. Hire a car in one location,
drop it o in another. hertz.co.uk
British Columbia Ferry Services o ers
regular crossings from the mainland to
Vancouver Island. bcferries.com
WHEN TO GO
British Columbia is a year-round
destination, with the world-class ski resort
of Whistler an obvious draw in winter.
For warm-weather explorers, the best of
summer is from July to September.
WHERE TO STAY
Fairmont Paci c Rim, Vancouver,
doubles from £74pp, including breakfast.
Luxurious Downtown hotel with beautiful
views over Coal Harbour and Stanley Park.
Oak Bay Beach Hotel, Victoria, doubles
from £72pp, including breakfast. Waterfront
rooms overlook the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Wickaninnish Inn, To� no, doubles from
£115pp, including breakfast. Cosy rooms on
the Paci� c coast. wickinn.com
WHERE TO EAT
CinCin Ristorante and Bar, 1154
Robson Street, Vancouver, cincin.net
Edible Canada Bistro, 1596 Johnson Street,
Hudson's on First, 163 First Street, Duncan,
Mo:Lé, 554 Pandora Avenue, Victoria,
Wildebeest, 120 West Hastings Street,
FIND OUT MORE
Clockwise from top left: an orca homes in on Victoria; British Columbia is now proudly
Canadian; Victorian architecture; Oak Bay Beach Hotel; a harbour tour of the capital;
catching the rays in To no; mussel-bound pasta at Hudson's on First; surfer's paradise