I'm a Celebrity... star Lorraine Chase

Fresh out of the Australian rainforest from her ordeal on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, Lorraine Chase tells us her travel experiences, from getaways in Yorkshire to wafting into paradise in Mauritius.

You’ve recently returned from a stint in the Australian rainforest, what was it like?

cairns 200Lorraine loved the luscious scenery around Cairns

It was an extraordinary experience. I adored the hardship, little notion of time and the freedom from the usual everyday things. I also didn’t mind the lack of food that much. The psychological games could be upsetting, but it was well compensated for by sleeping under the stars and being in the jungle environment.

It was my 60th year and I wanted to do something extreme to mark the occasion. When the offer to participate arose, I thought ‘a boot camp, just the ticket!’ What I learnt from the experience was to do your research before you say yes to anything.

What did you think of Australia?

I love Australia. It’s so diverse and the people are kind, helpful and beautifully positive. After the show, I stayed an extra week to visit Cairns, where I enjoyed the Great Barrier Reef, Port Douglas and a visit to the rainforest by train and back over the treetops by cable car. It was well worth the trip.

Has the experience changed your views on travel?

Lake Palace 200The stunning Taj Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur
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No, it has confirmed some thoughts I’ve been having due to my age. As I mentioned, I was 60 this year; I am as fit as a butcher’s dog, but you have to be realistic, time passes so quickly. If I want more adventures I’d better pull my finger out and get on with it!

I'd love to do the ‘Raj’ train across India and see palaces such as the Taj Lake Palace Hotel and the Palace of Winds. Backpacking also appeals to me. There’s so much to do, so little time.

Would you describe yourself as a beach bum, city dweller or adventure-seeker?

I’m definitely an adventure-seeker. There are many things I want to do. For my 40th, I did a parachute jump into the sea out of a Hercules; and when I was 50, I did my PADI diving course in Egypt.

Do you prefer to travel alone or with a companion?

I don’t mind getting to where I’m going alone, as long as there’s a companion to share the trip with when I get there. It’s just the best to have a like-minded friend with you to share the experience, and to discuss what you’ve seen and learnt over a nice meal and a glass of wine.

Which three items could you not travel without?

I always take Tedward [my teddy bear] with me; I couldn’t have done the jungle without him. Also, as I would hope to be doing exciting things, I would need a means of getting my long hair out of the way. Other than that, it would be the usual moisturisers, sun block, and toothpaste etc…

What’s your first travel memory?

dartmoor200Wild horses in Dartmoor live long in the memory
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Trips to Princetown in Devon with Mum and my sister Lorna once a year to see Dad. He was at her Majesty’s pleasure in Dartmoor Prison at the time. It was always a mixed memory of excitement about seeing my dad, but fears of being carsick. My dad’s mate would drive us down in those days and there were not many motorways.

On one occasion, as we were leaving, four or five wild horses gently appeared above the horizon of the hill to our left. It was sunset, the light was beautiful, and they ran along beside us for a while before slowly disappearing again. It was as if they had never been there; magical, unforgettable.

What was your most memorable encounter?

My most memorable encounter was with ‘Papa’ Ramgaloom, the former Prime Minister and Governor General of Mauritius. He was a lovely man, not unlike Gandhi in his modesty, wherewithal and general ambiance. He was called Papa because he was dearly loved by the people of Mauritius. I had been working non-stop on the Campari adverts, but there was a two-week window to get away. I stayed at Le Saint Geran hotel, was recognised, and invited to the wedding of the Shah of Persia. It was a prestigious affair and made the trip one of the most extraordinary holidays of my life.

What are your top 3 favourite places?

Assisi 200Umbria is one of Lorraine's favourite destinations
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I love New York City. On my first trip there with a good friend, we saw a different show every night. There was something we'd planned to see one night, but we looked out of the window of the The Plaza Hotel at the ice-skating rink below in Central Park. It had just reopened, so we did that instead. We did all the things you were told not to do, including walking 30 blocks to meet friends for dinner, but lived to tell the tale.

I also love Italy. I worked as a model in both Milan and Rome, visiting Portofino, but there’s one place in particular just north of Assisi in Umbria. It’s a family-run hotel called Santa Maria degli Ancillotti. I went there once but kept the leaflet because I dearly want to return. There are so many places to see nearby, including Spello, Spoleto, Orvieto, and the frescoes at Assisi.

I also think the North Yorkshire Moors would also be one. After all, there’s nowhere quite like Great Britain.

Which place are you dying to go to?

The Arctic or Antarctica. I want to see polar bears and whales and the harshness of the landscape and icebergs – such a must-see. If I could be part of an expedition, that would be heaven.

What’s your favourite place to escape it all?

antarctica 200An Antarctic expedition is a dream
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Ingleby Manor. I have escaped there on many occasions. The owners, Christine Bianco and her two daughters, Jeanne and Michele, not to mention the animals, have become great friends. The 16th-century manor nestles under the hills of the North Yorkshire Moors, a stone's throw from the Cleveland Way. I found it when I was on tour with the Little Shop of Horrors. It’s my Shangri-La. The walks are second to none, the drive from the manor to Helmsley in Herriot Country is spectacular, and the city of York is not far away.

If you could live anywhere else in the world where would it be?

At the moment, I wouldn’t think of moving anywhere as I have my parents here in London. I do get tempted to move, but I’ve lived where I am now for about 35 years. I think I'd still like a place in London, however small. But I'd love to live in the countryside in an old cottage in the middle of some land, where I’d have my privacy, a dog, some chickens, sheep to keep the grass down, and like-minded friends.

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