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Tom Allan

Freelance writer & journalist

Location icon United Kingdom

Hello, I am a UK-based freelance writer and journalist. Below is my selected portfolio.

I write about travel and adventure for publications including the Financial Times, the Guardian and The National (UAE). I also work as a freelance reporter specialising in environmental issues and I am a regular contributor to the Guardian's Country Diary column.

If you want me to write for you, email tomxallan[at]gmail.com


Travel & adventure

Financial Times
The plate outdoors: dining and hiking in the Black Forest

I came to the Black Forest in search of simple pleasures - to walk and to eat. And on a hillside overlooking the village of Baiersbronn, with a winding trail ahead of me and dinner round the corner, it seems I might have found them.

Atlas by Etihad
Deep inside the Pushcha, Europe's last primaeval forest | Atlas by Etihad

In a clearing in the forest, splashed with spring violets and patches of evening light, Irina Kashpei is checking her camera traps. The digital devices have been set up to record the comings and goings of a badger sett, deep in the ancient forest of Belovezhskaya Pushcha on the border of Belarus and Poland.

Financial Times
Ultra-swimmer Sarah Thomas aims to be first to cross Channel four times

When ultra-marathon swimmer Sarah Thomas clambered out of the dark waters of Lake Champlain, on the border of New York state and Vermont, in August 2017, she felt anything was possible. The 37-year-old healthcare recruiter from Colorado had just completed the longest current-free swim in history, an astonishing 104 miles and 67 hours, without stopping.

Financial Times
The next steppe: can Kyrgyzstan become an adventure tourism hotspot?

Through the dust I can see a throng of men on horseback. They press and jostle until one rider bursts clear, swinging a heavy object up to his saddle - the goat carcass which, in the Kyrgyz game of kok-boru, serves as a shaggy, leggy, 50kg ball.

Financial Times
Postcard from...Odessa

Since the conflict with Russia that began in 2013-14, tourism has dwindled in the city. And yet it still has much to offer visitors

The National
Hiking Georgia's Transcaucasian Trail

The flights Fly direct to Kutaisi with Flydubai from Dh925 return, including taxes. The flight takes 3.5 hours. From there, Svaneti is a four-hour drive. The driving time from Tbilisi is eight hours. The trip The cost of the Svaneti trip is US$2,000 (Dh7,345) for 10 days, including food, guiding, accommodation and transfers from and to ­Tbilisi or Kutaisi.

Guardian Country Diary

the Guardian
Country diary: the thrill of the shark's presence

The tide is ebbing at South Milton Sands, and soon the rock arch will stand naked over the reef. I'm snorkelling in the last few feet of glassy water, floating above glistening maroon tongues of dulse and the mossy puffs of sea flaxweed (Stypocaulon scoparium). It's getting shallow.


Papageien-Import nach Brandenburg: Ausgeflogen aus der Karibik

Papageien-Import nach Brandenburg Auf Dominica ist eine Papageienart vom Aussterben bedroht. Ein Verein bringt zwei Tiere nach Deutschland. Vogelschützer verlangen den Rückflug. DOMINICA taz | Die grünen Berge wachsen bis in die Wolken hinein. Zwischen den bewaldeten Gipfeln des Nationalparks Morne Trois Pitons im Süden der Insel Dominica leuchten Blumen, summen Hummeln, und ein Schwarm Papageien fliegt mit viel Radau über uns hinweg.

Earth Island Journal
Proposed Shipping Route Threatens one of Europe's Last Wild Rivers

Environmental activists and locals are organizing against the project, which would pass through 11 nature reserves Above the low banks of the Pripyat River in Belarus, purple storm clouds press down like bruised cheeks. Swarms of mosquitoes and plump, shiny flies rise from the undergrowth as a group of protesters - a coalition of environmental activists, fishermen, and locals - drag their canoes from the water.

Georgia: Dam Threatens Traditional Svan Way of Life

On his land in the Svaneti mountains, Zaza Vibliani shows off his family's watermill, set inside a tiny hut underneath a stand of pear trees, driven by the steady flow of a mountain stream. It grinds corn that Vibliani has grown on his farm here on the southern slopes of the Caucasus range.

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