England’s Red Roses pick their favourite holiday destinations
Ahead of the Guinness Six Nations campaign, High Life chats to wonder women Alex Matthews, Vicky Fleetwood and Abigail Dow from England Women’s Rugby to find out where they like to play both on and off the pitch
Favourite pitch: Twickenham Stadium, London
I get a great feeling of pride every time I play at Twickenham. It’s always an honour to put on the white shirt and run out on to the field to play for my home country.
Favourite playground: Pembrokeshire, Wales
I have to say Wales. I’m a big fan of the south coast and one of my favourite places to visit is Pembrokeshire. I have my own campervan, so I’ve enjoyed many journeys driving it down to Wales. It’s a lot quieter there, which is great, and I love exploring the sights and beaches and tasting all the good food (and coffee) – that’s all I ever need, really.
When I’m on holiday or visiting a new place, I look forward to checking out as many beauty spots as I can. I’m a beach girl at heart and the coastline in Wales is pretty incredible – it’s just great for getting outdoors and walking!
In normal times I love going away with my family, but it’s hard in the rugby world to organise a trip when everyone is free. Otherwise, I like to travel with my partner as and when we can. I’m looking forward to going on a lot more holidays when it’s safe to do so this year.
Favourite pitch: Twickenham Stadium, London
It’s always been a dream of mine to play for England and I think you just can’t beat the atmosphere of Twickenham. On match day, especially, there’s no better feeling than hearing the roar of the crowd behind you as you run out on to the pitch. After being injured last year during the Autumn Internationals, I’ve learned not to take this opportunity for granted. I can’t wait to be back in an England shirt again!
Favourite playground: Thailand
I was lucky enough to go to Thailand a few years ago with my boyfriend. We travelled around the country for a bit and it was a great opportunity to spend quality time together as a couple. I’m constantly training so, whenever I do get time off, it’s lovely to just enjoy some time away and relax.
I absolutely loved it there. I trained in the morning and then explored for the rest of the day. Before any holiday, I have a quick scroll through Instagram to seek out some of the must-see sights to visit. I also like to discover where all of the best beauty spots are so I can take some photos – the bonus is if I can get a good picture without many people around!
The weather and the beaches in Thailand are pretty amazing and it just ticked all the right boxes for me. I’m a big foodie, so I enjoyed tasting all the local Thai cuisine and throwing myself into the local culture.
Favourite pitch: The Stade de France, Paris
The atmosphere in France is unbelievable, and I love the buzz in Paris every time we go and play there. When you step out on to the rugby field, the energy you feel from the fans and supporters is just incredible. It’s an honour for me to be playing rugby and a privilege that I get to step out on to the pitch wearing the white shirt. It’s great I have a chance to pave the way for the next generation in terms of giving them a better platform to perform as athletes.
Favourite playground: Fontainebleau, France
I have many memories of going on rock bouldering adventures and camping trips with my family in Fontainebleau. This area southeast of Paris is particularly famous for bouldering because there are lots of opportunities there. It’s also well-known for being one of the biggest climbing regions in the world, but I love it as much for the great culture there and, obviously, its lovely weather!
Most summers, we would plan our holidays around rock climbing. There are so many different trails to choose from and boulders to climb that most days I’d just take my little climbing shoes with me and a rag to wipe them down with, and then climb for the whole day. Afterwards, I’d just sit in the middle of nowhere and eat a baguette. It was so nice – that’s how I love to relax.
I prefer activity-based trips so, as well as rock climbing, I also like to go on hikes that you can’t necessarily do somewhere like London (walks in Richmond Park aren’t quite the same!).
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