News

News


30.03.2020 Armchair Travels

Thanks for dropping by during these uncertain times. The current travel restrictions mean most of us are confined. However, that doesn't stop us from remembering past journeys nor planning for future ones. I hope therefore you might still feel able to purchase one of my Only In Guides from your preferred online bookshop. With their strong focus on history and culture, they provide an offbeat focus from afar on thirteen great cities. Perfect reading for armchair travellers.
Your support is much appreciated and I wish you well  - Duncan JD Smith (Author/Publisher)


23.05.2020 Budapest's Children's railway

Thanks to Timeless Travels magazine for running this extract from my book Only in Budapest about the Children's Railway.


14.05.2020 Klimt's Last Studio

Thanks to Timeless Travels magazine for running this extract from my book Only in Vienna about the artist Gustav Klimt's only surviving studio.


11.04.2020 Spielberg's Old Film Set

Thanks to mannedup.com for this online extract from my book Only in Krakow. It tells the fascinating story of Steven Spielberg's film set for Schindler's List and what's become of it today.


04.04.2020 6 Talented Travel Writers

I’ve been contacted by Caroline Eliasson at Ezvid Wiki to say I’m included in their 6 Travel Writers Taking Readers to New Places. My work is featured at #2 in the promotional video they’ve created. Founded in 2011, Ezvid Wiki was the world’s first video wiki and is now among the top 3000 websites in the US.


31.03.2020 The Baron, Aleppo

The Baron Hotel in Aleppo was built in the late 19th century, on the outskirts of the city, at the edge of a marsh teeming with wildfowl. Many notable guests have stayed here, including Agatha Christie, fresh from the Orient Express on her way to meet her archaeologist husband, T. E. Lawrence of Arabia, French leader Charles de Gaulle, and Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt. Read about the history and lure of this legendary hotel in this online this piece for Timeless Travels.


12.03.2020 Alleys of Birgu

Visitors to Malta know Valetta well but few take the time to really explore Birgu. Located across the Grand Harbour, this fascinating walled settlement is where the Knights of St. John first settled after their expulsion from Rhodes, and from where they vanquished the Ottomans during the Great Siege of 1565. Join travel writer Duncan JD Smith as he wanders in the footsteps of the knights in this in-depth article for Hidden Europe magazine.


03.03.2020 Dunwich

Join travel writer Duncan JD Smith as he visits the strange English village of Dunwich. Perched on the crumbling Suffolk coast, it consists of little more than a row of cottages, a church and a pub. Eight Hundred years ago, however, it was England's third largest port. Since then it has gradually slipped into the sea giving rise to the legend of the English Atlantis! Discover more in this new article in the Spring 2020 issue of Timeless Travels magazine.


03.03.2020 Curious Cities

Do you enjoy a dose of art and archaeology with your travels? Then the fascinating Timeless Travels magazine is for you. The spring 2020 issue continues a regular feature - Curious Cities - featuring a selection of recommendations from the Only In Guides. Now is the turn of London.


12.02.2020 Mysterious Mounds

Delighted to have Hidden Europe magazine feature an extract from my recently-published Only in Krakow guide (Mystery and Memory: Exploring Krakow's Suburban Mounds) in their Winter 2019 issue.


02.12.2019 Curious Cities

Do you enjoy a dose of art and archaeology with your travels? Then the fascinating Timeless Travels magazine is for you. The autumn 2019 issue continues a new regular feature - Curious Cities - featuring a selection of recommendations from the Only In Guides. Now is the turn of Krakow.

 


31.10.2019 Only in Krakow

The new guidebook Only in Krakow is now available. Discover the city's rich royal heritage, astonishing architecture and dynamic street life with this explorer’s guide to one of Europe’s most alluring cities. Legendary churches and mysterious monasteries, novel art spaces and industrial remains, colourful customs and candlelit cellars. The 13th volume in the Only In Guides series, Only in Krakow is available now from bookshops and online.


14.10.2019 Book Signing

Happy to be signing some of my Only In Guides at Hatchards Piccadilly recently. Said to be the UK's oldest bookshop and definitely one of London's finest.


11.09.2019 Krakow

Photos for the new Only in Krakow guidebook are now available to view (prices for usage available on request).


31.08.2019 Curious Cities

Do you enjoy a dose of art and archaeology with your travels? Then the fascinating Timeless Travels magazine is for you. The spring 2019 issue continues a new regular feature - Curious Cities - featuring a selection of recommendations from the Only In Guides. Now is the turn of Budapest.


04.06.2019 Charming Book

David Albury in The Edinburgh Reporter describes Only in Edinburgh as a charming book that caters for all types of readers.


03.06.2019 Curious Cities

Do you enjoy a dose of art and archaeology with your travels? Then the fascinating Timeless Travels magazine is for you. The spring 2019 issue continues a new regular feature - Curious Cities - featuring a selection of recommendations from the Only In Guides. Now is the turn of Prague.


14.04.2019 Dream, Book and Travel

A pleasure to spend a few happy hours with Anca Tigan of Dream, Book and Travel discussing travel, travel writing and the joys of exploring Vienna on foot. Anca offers an inspiring travel Blog as well as expert advice on customised travel itineraries.


20.03.2019 Only in Edinburgh

Just published! A revised 2nd edition of Only in Edinburgh, described by Timeless Travels magazine as "a most delightful guide". Secret gardens and haunted theatres, mysterious monuments and unexpected underworlds, industrial relics and unusual places of worship.


18.03.2019 Clouds Hill, Dorset

Join travel writer Duncan JD Smith as he follows Lawrence of Arabia to his woodland hideaway. After the Middle Eastern exploits that made his famous, Lawrence retreated to a former woodsman's cottage in the English county of Dorset, where he wrote, relaxed and entertained close friends. The cottage remains today much as it was in Lawrence's day and reveals much about the adventurer's idiosyncratic interior design ethic. Discover more in this new article in the Spring 2019 issue of Timeless Travels magazine.

 


18.03.2019 Scotland Magazine

The Spring 2019 issue of SCOTLAND magazine is exploring Edinburgh. It includes a handful of locations extracted from the new 2nd edition of Only in Edinburgh, including mysterious Gilmerton Cove and the Morningside Wild West.


18.03.2019 Curious Cities

Do you enjoy a dose of art and archaeology with your travels? Then the fascinating Timeless Travels magazine is for you. The spring 2019 issue continues a new regular feature - Curious Cities - featuring a selection of recommendations from the Only In Guides. Now is the turn of Zurich.


21.02.2019 London Praised

The Spring 2019 issue of BRITAIN magazine, winner of Best Consumer Holiday Magazine 2018, has praised Only in London. The reviewer encourages readers to "Set out on a unique expedition with this refreshing alternative guide to the capital’s hidden corners".


23.01.2019 Only in Zurich

Just published! A revised 3rd edition of Only in Zurich, one of the very few dedicated guides to the Swiss city. Forget the banks, the clean streets and the punctuality. Discover instead Roman ruins and medieval walls, curious museums and secret gardens, quirky shops and converted factories.


15.12.2018 Vienna in The Telegraph

In his article How Singing Mozart in Vienna Changed my Life, The Telegraph travel writer Adrian Bridge describes Only in Vienna as "an invaluable guide to the city's hidden corners". Adrian spent time in the city as part of a choir preparing to sing Mozart's Requiem at the exact hour of the composer's death in 1791.


12.12.2018 Curious Cities

Do you enjoy a dose of art and archaeology with your travels? Then the fascinating Timeless Travels magazine is for you. The winter 2018 issue sees a new regular feature - Curious Cities - featuring a selection of recommendations from the Only In Guides. First off is Hamburg.

 


05.12.2018 Informative and Engaging

A very nice review for Only in Boston by travel writer and blogger Stuart Forster of www.goeatdo.com. Stuart describes the book as "informative and engaging" and approves of how it goes "beyond the obvious...providing some great nuggets of information about the city's heritage and attractions".

 


05.11.2018 Travel Awards

My Only in Boston has been highly commended at the British Guild of Travel Writers' Awards 2018 staged at the Savoy Hotel in London. There was stiff competition from publishing giants such as Bradt Travel Guides, so as an independently written and published work, the book did very well. It is great to be acknowledged by one's peers in this way.


12.07.2018 A Bend in the River

Urban explorer Duncan JD Smith has a real knack for mapping the lesser-known parts of cities, discovering aspects of urban history which most visitors miss. In a special piece for Hidden Europe magazine, Duncan explores one loop of the River Thames just upstream from London.


20.06.2018 Driven by Devils

An eccentric adventurer comes to Kenya in search of the mythical spotted lions, known as Marozi, and ends up taking cheetahs to race on the track in England. The remarkable story of K. C. Gandar-Dower comes to life in this piece for Nairobi-based Old Africa magazine.

 


15.06.2018 Holmes and Mash

A couple of extracts from the book Only in London in the Summer 2018 issue of Black + Green magazine. This time the joy of eating the East End delicacy Pie'n'Mash and the story of how Sherlock Holmes' fictional residence became real and caused a furore.


28.05.2018 Intrepid Traveller: Gandar-Dower

Stashed away in the stores of London's Natural History Museum is an old lion skin. The staff will tell you it's that of a normal juvenile animal but to one man, K. C. Gandar-Dower, it was evidence of Kenya's legendary Marozi, or Spotted Lion. Travel writer Duncan J. D. Smith tracks the journeyings of this intriguing but forgotten English adventurer for Timeless Travels magazine.


30.04.2018 Interview with Ancient History Encyclopedia

In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) speaks to travel writer, historian, and photographer Duncan JD Smith about his early influences, his favourite authors, and the unusual perspectives he shares in his Only In Guides. Reveling in hidden gems, abandoned ruins, and little-known museums, Duncan's books about major European cities are filled with fun bits of history and archaeology.

l


13.03.2018 A Night at Burg Bernstein

Spend a night at Burg Bernstein, the magical castle-cum-hotel in Austria's Burgenland, where László Almásy (the original 'English Patient' of book and film fame) was born, in this new article for Hidden Europe Magazine.


27.02.2018 Timeless Travels magazine

The Spring 2018 issue of Timeless Travels magazine includes a 14-page article about the hidden corners of Boston. Adapted from the recently-published Only in Boston, it celebrates the Great Boston Molasses Flood, visits the surgical theatre where ether was first used, uncovers what's left of Boston's maritime industry, reveals the unique Mapparium at the Christian Science Center, and winds up in Cambridge at the leafy Mount Auburn Cemetery, the first garden cemetery in America.

 


19.01.2018 Only in Boston

My new guidebook Only in Boston is out now. Discover Boston's Revolutionary history, visionary urban planning and world-class cultural institutions with this explorer’s guide to the Massachusetts’ capital. Colonial-era relics and heritage trails, industrial remains and ethnic enclaves, hallowed universities and contemporary art spaces. Available now from bookshops and online.


03.12.2017 Intrepid Traveller: Rosita Forbes

With her remarkable stamina and a penchant for hats, Rosita Forbes blazed a trail from Africa to Afghanistan, writing a series of books about the people and places she encountered. Travel writer Duncan J.D. Smith follows in the footsteps of this now largely-forgotten lady explorer in an article for Timeless Travels magazine.


20.09.2017 Intrepid Traveller: Colonel Fawcett

In 1925 renowned British explorer Lieutenant Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett headed into the Amazon jungle. Searching for a lost city, he was never heard from again. Travel writer Duncan J.D. Smith picks up the trail of one of the 20th century’s greatest adventure mysteries in this article for Timeless Travels magazine.


30.08.2017 Budapest sans pareil

A French-language edition of my Budapest guide has been released as Budapest sans pareil by Hungarian publisher Kelet-Nyugat. Thoroughly updated and containing many new photos, it is the perfect companion for independent cultural travellers. Bon voyage!


18.08.2017 Timeless Travels

Timeless Travels magazine describes Only in Edinburgh as "a most delightful guide and a great read…Full of unusual and quirky places to discover, its longer-than-usual guidebook entries give a great sense of the city and its history…Whether you want to follow in the footsteps of J K Rowling, discover secret gardens, uncover unusual places to eat or an Art Deco petrol station, the 103 mini essays give the reader the feeling of discovering the real Edinburgh and not just the well-known tourist spots…A must read for anyone visiting Edinburgh."


04.06.2017 Urania Descending

I'm flattered to play a small role - as a waiter - in musicians/film maker Tav Falco's recent offering, Urania Descending. An American girl arrives in Vienna and becomes quickly embroiled in a quest for lost treasure. A black-&-white film poem infused with metaphor and mood, where the past overtakes the present, and the present overtakes the past.


07.03.2017 An Ancient Edinburgh Village

An article on Cramond Village, Edinburgh extracted from the recent Only in Edinburgh and published in the Spring 2017 issue of Hidden Europe magazine. Archaeologists have unearthed evidence for a Mesolithic campsite in Cramond from as early as 8500 BC. This makes it the earliest known site of human settlement in Scotland.


25.01.2017 Inside Travel Writing

An interview with author and Urban Explorer Duncan JD Smith at MannedUp.com on travel writing, inspirations and destinations, and how to avoid writer's block.


09.12.2016 A Resort in Ruins

The ruins of the holiday resort of Kupari (near Dubrovnik on the Croatian coast) are a sobering reminder of an all-too-recent war in Europe. In this new article for Hidden Europe magazine, travel writer and urban explorer Duncan JD Smith tells the story of how a luxury resort built for Yugoslav military elite was reduced to ruins in 1991 during the Croatian War of Independence.


 


13.09.2016 Introducing the Urban Explorer

The Urban Explorer dives into a city to tell its story. A historian by trade, he peels off a city's layers to get to its core, without crowds, ticket booths and gift shops. Duncan JD Smith on travel writing and old school urban exploring. An in-depth interview at EuroMen Travel.


24.06.2016 Only in Paris

A new edition of a ground-breaking guidebook to Paris is out now. Only in Paris by writer and explorer Duncan JD Smith tells the story of the city through an original and eclectic mix of unusual locations. Eccentric museums, covered passageways, secret gardens, idiosyncratic shops and unexpected places of worship.
Expats-Paris.com love it and have given a very positive review.


02.06.2016 Photos from Montenegro

A new gallery of images from the Bay of Kotor and surroundings in Montenegro.


28.01.2016 Only in Paris

A positive review of the 2nd edition of Only in Paris by my good friends at Minor Sights. "At Minor Sights we’re all about discovering the not-so obvious attractions that are overlooked by tourist hordes and guidebooks alike. We recently came across a brilliant guidebook to Paris that takes the exact same approach. Minor Sights readers will be familiar with suggestions like the Cité des Fleurs and the Musée des Arts Forains, but there are plenty of other options, including obscure religious communities (discreet Armenians, Ganesh-worshipping Hindus, and onion-domed Russian Orthodox churches), lots of bones (including those of Louis XVI and empress-cum-saint Helena) and the Original Crown of Thorns (yup, that one!)."


17.12.2015 Mysteries at the Museum

Duncan talks about Vienna's forgotten inventor of the motor car, Siegfried Marcus, in an episode of the enormously popular US television series Mysteries at the Museum (available on the Travel Channel). German-born Marcus, who spent much of his working life in Vienna, is credited with being the first person to use an internal combustion engine to propel a four-wheeled vehicle. Long overshadowed by Messrs. Daimler and Benz, who pioneered the mass production of automobiles, the legacy of Marcus was further diminished by the Nazi regime, who couldn't tolerate the fact that a Jew had played such a significant part in the development of the motor car. The story of Marcus can also be found in the latest edition of the book Only in Vienna.


14.08.2015 Monemvasia: The Greek Gibraltar

In the southern Peloponnese, the island citadel of Monemvasía once enjoyed a key strategic location on major Mediterranean shipping routes. No wonder, therefore, that many have sought to secure control of the rock that is often referred to as 'the Greek Gibraltar'. Explore with Duncan Smith in this new article in hidden europe magazine.


06.07.2015 Only in London

New 1st edition of Only in London available now! Explore the treasures of old London and the delights of the new with this fascinating guide to an ever-changing city. Published by The Urban Explorer and available in the UK from Waterstones, Blackwells, Foyles, Stanfords, and Daunts, and worldwide from Amazon. For further details visit www.onlyinguides.com


06.06.2015 Photo selection

I'm delighted to have a selection of my travel photos on display at the website of the British Guild of Travel Writers.


28.04.2015 A Corner of Cambridgeshire

The latest issue of Hidden Europe, a wonderful magazine dedicated to the road less travelled, is out now. It includes my article on Ely Place, a side street in London's Holborn, which holds curious and ancient echoes of distant Cambridgeshire. It features in Duncan's new book Only in London.


20.03.2015 Only in Vienna

Only in Vienna is "a very special book. A Rosetta Stone for tourists - and for the Viennese an explorer's guide to places we thought we already knew" (The Vienna Review). Published by The Urban Explorer and available in the UK from Waterstones, Blackwells, Foyles, Stanfords, and Daunts, and worldwide from Amazon. For further details visit www.onlyinguides.com


08.02.2015 New London Photos

New London photo galleries online. Unique locations, hidden corners and unusual objects from the book Only in London.


18.11.2014 Raw Travel Vienna

The Urban Explorer reveals Vienna above ground and below to Raw Travel television.

">


03.10.2014 Only in Budapest

Revised 3rd edition of Only in Budapest available now! "A fascinating read for all Budapest dwellers looking for some adventure and discovery" (Budapest Sun). Published by The Urban Explorer and available in the UK from Waterstones, Blackwells, Foyles, Stanfords, and Daunts, and worldwide from Amazon. For further details visit www.onlyinguides.com


25.08.2014 Five New Editions

Five new editions of the Only In Guides written by Duncan JD Smith and published by The Urban Explorer. These city tales from new perspectives provide independent travellers with unforgettable memories. Available in the UK at Waterstones, Blackwells, Foyles, Stanfords, and Daunts, and worldwide from Amazon. Explore more at www.onlyinguides.com


20.06.2014 Stones of Vienna

Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss is the world’s most famous painted embrace. Its presence in Vienna has long attracted visitors, where the familiar image has found its way onto everything from cufflinks to dog jackets. But what of the studios where the enigmatic artist conjured up such trail-blazing imagery?


25.03.2014 Where God Grew Stones

Patrick Leigh Fermor's 1958 book on the Mani region of southern Greece helped put the little-known area on the map. Today it pulls the tourist crowds, yet it still retains a raw appeal. Travel writer Duncan JD Smith dives deep into Mani to explore the otherworldly landscapes of this arid peninsula in a new article in hidden europe magazine.


08.03.2014 Only in Budapest

Positive reader review for Only in Budapest:
"I came across your Budapest guide while in the city recently, and would like to congratulate you on an excellently researched and written book. I thought I knew the city quite well, but I was surprised by how much I didn't know or hadn't discovered yet. It definitely helped to make the trip that much more interesting - the Museum of Photography and the Children's Railway in particular are great recommendations."

  


06.03.2014 Paris Review

Positive reader review for Only in Paris:
"Wonderfully well-written and beautifully photographed, an intriguing and inspiring fresh look at Paris beyond the typical tourist hotspots, history and anecdote draw you into a deeper understanding of Paris through the centuries, assisted serendipity! Yet another gem from the ‘Only In’ series by Duncan Smith."

  


27.03.2014 Stones of Vienna

Vienna is one of Europe’s great romantic cities. Its ancient streets are adored by visitors, especially when the soundtrack is provided by the nostalgic clatter of horses’ hooves. Few realise, however, that the city’s equestrian life extends well beyond the Fiakers and Lipizzaners of the historic First District. Join Duncan on a visit to Vienna's historic racing tracks.


14.01.2014 Goodreads

All of Duncan's Only In Guides can now be reviewed by readers at Goodreads. Your reviews are always welcome.


12.10.2013 Only in Paris

Only in Paris - The story of Paris told through an original and eclectic mix of unusual historic locations. Quiet cloisters, eccentric museums, covered passageways, secret gardens, and unusual shops.


News

Newsletter subscription