What The Dickins: A Tale Of Edinburgh City

5 minutes with Travel Blogger Susanne Arbuckle

This week, Dickins spent 5 minutes with Travel Blogger, Susanne Arbuckle from Adventures around Scotland. Susanne is one sixth of the Scottish blogging network, The Scotlanders and works regularly with Kim Kjaerside, who shared his Scottish travel knowledge with us last week.

Adventures Around Scotland is a travel blog that provides a mixture of fun, practical and inspiring ideas travels around Scotland. Full of first-hand accounts, honest reviews and hidden gems, the blog is a wonderful resource for anyone planning a trip to Scotland.

Could you tell me a bit about yourself and your blog?

My name is Susanne Arbuckle and I started my Scottish travel blog ‘Adventures around Scotland’ in May 2014. As a native Scot who lives and travels in Scotland, I often get frustrated about how little information there is online about the beautiful parts of the country away from the typical tourist attractions.

Through my blog, I try to showcase the hidden gems of Scotland and inspire people to get off the beaten path and explore the lesser visited parts of Scotland which are not only visually stunning but also rich with history.

Glencoe offer the opportunity for many rewarding walks

Glencoe offer the opportunity for many rewarding walks

 Where do you call home?

I currently live on the Isle of Bute, which sits in the Firth of Clyde on the west coast. I moved here 2 years ago from Glasgow which has brought about a big change of lifestyle moving from a busy city to a laidback island. I still very much think of myself as a Glaswegian and continue to spend a lot of time in the city so I am lucky to enjoy the best of both worlds.

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If you had to recommend 5 things for a visitor to Edinburgh to do, what would they be?

Take in one of the scary attractions that the city is famous for, The Edinburgh Dungeons, Mercat Tours and The Real Mary King’s Close are all great spooky fun!

Get a different perspective of the city from the top of Arthur’s Seat or Calton Hill. The outdoor roof levels of the National Museum of Scotland or Camera Obscura also provide great views.

Visit the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile near the Castle to find out all about Scotland’s national drink. If you get a taste for it, you can enjoy a dram or two at one of the city bars specialising in a range of tempting malts. (We like the Whiski Rooms or The Bow Bar.)

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Take a walk down the Water of Leith, the main river flowing through Edinburgh. Look out for wildlife and points of interest including the Union Canal, Murrayfield Stadium, the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, Dean Village and the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Finally, you can’t visit Edinburgh and not go to the Castle!

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Where is your favourite place in Scotland?

This changes all the time as I explore new places. I love the coast, wildlife, mountain scenery, historic buildings and peacefulness, so anywhere that provides all of that in one place is an ideal location for me, luckily there are many spots like this in Scotland which is why I find it so hard to choose!

If you had a Scottish Bucket List, what would be on it?

I actually have one, although it seems to get longer rather than shorter even though I have already ticked a few things off! In 2016 I plan to cover a few more on my list including; viewing the sea eagles on Mull, going on a basking shark boat trip and doing a Rebus tour in Edinburgh.

My list is pretty eclectic and other things I hope to do at some point include land on the beach at Barra airport, visit St Kilda, go to Up Helly Aa in Shetland and take a trip on the Jacobite steam train. Find my list here

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What would your advice to someone planning a trip to Scotland?

VisitScotland is a good starting point to get an overview of the geography and regions of the country and local destination websites will provide more in-depth information if you have an idea of where you would like to visit.

 Red deer stag at the Highland Wildlife Park within Cairngorms National Park, Kincraig, Highlands Explore Scotland’s National Parks this autumn and discover the country's natural beauty and wildlife with VisitScotland

Explore Scotland’s National Parks this autumn and discover the country’s natural beauty and wildlife with VisitScotland

If you are on Twitter then #Scotlandhour is a monthly Scottish tourism chat which takes place on the last Wednesday of each month between 9pm and 10pm GMT. This is a great way to chat directly with locals and get their tips.

Obviously I am also going to recommend travel blogs as a great resource of inspiration, but mainly because they provide first hand experience of a destination so they can answer any practical questions you might have. Although I have my own blog, I also work with 5 other Scottish travel bloggers known as The Scotlanders and between our 6 blogs you will find articles, tips and realistic advice for most areas of Scotland.

Where would you suggest for a day trip from Edinburgh?

The new Borders Railway makes an ideal day trip to a historically rich region of the country, full of castles, stately homes and abbeys. If you prefer the coast then a trip over the Forth Bridge to Fife will reward you with pretty fishing villages and award winning beaches. Alternatively, less than an hour by train will take you in to the centre of Glasgow, a very different city from Edinburgh but well worth visiting with some world class museums and shopping.

6919810_origWhat are you favourite hidden gems in Edinburgh?

When I want to escape the hustle and bustle of the Royal Mile, particularly during the hectic Fringe Festival, I pop in to St Giles Cathedral which is an oasis of tranquillity. The architecture and windows are beautiful and it really is one of those places hidden in plain sight as so many people walk by it focussed on the sights and sounds in the street outside.

I also recently made a trip to Portobello Beach and although I had known about it for some time, I had never managed to visit. It is surprising enough that Edinburgh has a beach but it is actually a fantastic one with a long stretch of sand and promenade with a proper seaside feel. There can’t be many cities that are so visually beautiful, steeped in history and have a beach.

Find out more about Adventures around Scotland…

First of all, thank you to Susanne for giving us so much of her time and sharing such valuable travel information with Dickins. Scotland is such a beautiful country and we would like to encourage more people to visit, and of course, for local Scots to make the most of the country.  Don’t forget to keep updates on Susanne’s travels through her blog, Twitter or Instagram.

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