Like so many people who live south of the border in England, Helen thought that she knew all about Scotland. It was a part of Britain after all, a place that was surely more the same than it was different. But then she actually went there – and everything changed. Helen discovered a place altogether different from her home country down south. Over a few days in Edinburgh, Helen was charmed by Scotland’s magic.
A spell was cast on her undulating walk across ancient volcanoes – the story of getting from one side of the city centre to the other – and she was charmed by the country’s famously chatty people, as well as bewitched by the fact that the city’s train station was named after a historical novel.
Helen left wanting more, and so in 2017 – after the sudden loss of her mother – she returned to explore properly. Over three months Helen undertook a personal journey around Scotland, uncovering stories about the history, geography and people of this peerless, magical country.
In Scotland: Beyond the Bagpipes these stories combine with Helen’s first-hand experiences to paint a picture of the country as it is today, encouraging those seeking adventure and exploration to pack up and head out there to see it for themselves.
Helen Ochyra has worked a freelance travel writer and author for over ten years. She has been published in the Times, Sunday Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Observer, Independent, Evening Standard, Sun and Express newspapers; Wanderlust, Sunday Times Travel, Australia, Britain and Discover Britain magazines; and on numerous websites and other media. Helen has previously written chapters of the Rough Guide to Australia, the Rough Guide to Spain and the Rough Guide to New Zealand and is the sole author of the recently released Rough Guide to the Great West Way. She is based in Enfield, Middlesex.