Our travel community has grown so quickly over the last six months, with many of our members having inspirational experiences of their own. Over the coming weeks I will be highlighting some of our member’s stories. Drop me a line if you would like to be featured too!
Meet Judy from NineTwoBySix
NineTwoBySix by Judy Cheong is all about managing a full time career as well as a fulfilling travel lifestyle within a tight schedule. When she’s not helping businesses navigate the social and digital space as a business lead, she’s busy planning her next trip or writing about her travels and motivating others to do the same.
Edinburgh is a real dream. This Scottish capital has everything you could ever want: a medieval Old Town,neoclassical buildings, a Castle, and it’s one of the most modern economic capitals in the world. More importantly, it served as inspiration to many settings in the Harry Potter books. If you’re here for a long trip, it’s a great gateway to plenty of countryside hikes and neighbouring cities. If you’re here in the city for no more than 24 hours though, here’s how to make the most of it.
Fuel up on toast, scrambled, or a full breakfast at Edinburgh Larder on Blackfriars Street. They have wonderful roasted coffee that’ll perk you right up for the day ahead.
Edinburgh has a lot of history so a free walking tour is the best way to get as much as you can out of the city’s history in a morning. Our favourite has always been Sandeman’s. They always have the best guides and the best stories. You’ll visit the Edinburgh Castle, St Giles’ Cathedral, Greyfriars Bobby (aw, I read this book when I was a kid!), the Royal Mile, and more.
After your tour, jump into the Scottish National Gallery to view their splendid exhibitions. It’s free admission to most exhibits.
in the afternoon, shop at Victoria Street for local labels while you make your way to Calton Hill, for an irresistible view of Edinburgh. This hilltop is a lovely sunset location so if you’re feeling it, a little picnic wouldn’t hurt! This view was one of our Edinburgh highlights.
On your way back down into the city, stop by Howies restaurant at Waterloo Place for lunch. Their very delicious and affordable lunch sets include traditional Scottish fare such as Cullen and Sink and haggis.
I highly recommend the Dogs for dinner, one of my favourite meals in Scotland. Thereafter, wrap up the night with drinks at The Hanging Bat or BrewDog (we loved this!) for great craft beers and BlackBird for a stiff old fashioned or cocktails.
A little while ago I came across David’s Blog. He is a self described Disability Adventurer who shares his stories and provides tips on travelling with a Disability. David shares his story about returning to his camping passion with us. You can check out his blog here. Thank you David for sharing your adventures with us.
Last summer, after a very long break, I made a return to camping. It had been many years since I had slept under canvas and I was more that a little apprehensive about it. This trip however, would become a real turning point in my life and became the event to kick-start my Blog and be the start of many great adventures.
Where it all started
I remember being taken camping as a child round the North of Scotland with my parents. They had a large family tent and I can remember the smell of the musty old canvas and the gas lamps they would use at night. Anyone who knows Scotland knows it is so beautiful but is also at the mercy of the weather. When it rains, it really rains and one year we got washed out and my parents decided to buy a static caravan. We had some wonderful holidays in the caravan, playing in the burn, fishing, walking and exploring on the beach.
Eventually I joined the local Scout troupe and I camped a few times with them when I was a teenager. I was Junior Leader at Scout camp one year but again we were washed out a couple of times. As a result, my memories of camping weren’t all together positive.
Last summer I bumped into a friend who was planning a camping trip to the North West and, after explaining it all to me, asked me if I would like to go. With some apprehension I agreed and, before it knew it, I was off on an adventure that would turn my life around. This however would be a different camping trip to the ones that I had been on in the past. Suddenly I needed to think about disabled facilities, suitable toilets and dealing with personal things. It felt like a real challenge but I was entirely game for it and excited about what we would discover.
We stayed at two different camp-sites on our short trip and generally things went smoothly without a hitch. However I did learn that camping and camp-sites still have a lot of catching up to do to make themselves accessible to disabled people.
Here are some of the issues I faced:
• A real lack of disabled facilities of any kind
• What facilities there are, don’t match expectations
• Peoples ideas of disabled facilities are very different
• Guide books and camp-site information was not very helpful.
Some Handy Hints
I’ve recently come across camp sites on the web with a disabled sign and a big score through them indicating that they are not equipped. I have also arrived at camp sites who have said they are disability accessible and have appropriate facilities and I have arrived there to discover that their facilities fall short of the mark. If you are planning a camping trip in Scotland, or anywhere for that matter and have any sort of specific requirements, here are a few ideas you might like to think about before you go.
• Phone the camp-site ahead of arrival, let them know you are coming and what you require.
• Choose your timings wisely. We were camping in June and, although it was not yet peak season, it was becoming really busy. If a camp-site has disabled facilities, more often than not that means they have one single disabled shower. At peak season it can be really busy and hard to get access.
• Don’t be afraid to state what you need, people are usually very happy to help.
It’s the middle of February and I’ve not been camping over the winter time, although I’m aware that many people do. Already I am looking forward to the season ahead and all the places I plan to go. That is the beauty of camping, there are are camp-sites everywhere and it is a relatively inexpensive way of seeing the country.
Although there are plenty of camp-sites, many people choose to go rough camping. People camp in the wilderness at a suitable place wherever they happen to be. This is not something I have tried yet although I intend to in the future. I am aware that this style of camping may present a few more challenges. None the less it is something I would like to try and experience because of the freedom it gives to explore the beauty of the wild places. I am excited about the expeditions and challenges that lie ahead.