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July Book Club: "Scotland Beyond the Bagpipes" by Helen Ochyra

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Full datetime event: 

New York — Wednesday, July 7, 2021From 12:00 pm to 1:00 pmLos Angeles — Wednesday, July 7, 2021From 9:00 am to 10:00 amLondon — Wednesday, July 7, 2021From 5:00 pm to 6:00 pmAthens — Wednesday, July 7, 2021From 7:00 pm to 8:00 pmSingapore — Thursday, July 8, 2021From 12:00 am to 1:00 amSydney — Thursday, July 8, 2021From 2:00 am to 3:00 am


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Helen Ochyra is a UK travel writer who realized that, despite many visits to Scotland for work, she never really saw the country. So, she hops in a car and heads off to explore the country beyond just weekend work trips.

It's funny, easy to read, and full of insights into Scotland, a country I love immensely. It's a very good book!

— Nomadic Matt

If you haven't read this book yet, don't worry, you can get it here.

Helen Ochyra grew up in England but failed to visit Scotland until she was tempted to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival one year.

Like so many people who live 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 stepped off the train at Waverley station, and everything changed…

Helen discovered a place altogether different from her home country down south. Over her first few days in Edinburgh, a spell was cast and she was captivated by Scotland’s magic. As she was bewitched by the city and its volcanic landscape she also found herself charmed by Scotland’s famously chatty people. She left wanting more.

In 2017, after the sudden loss of her mother, Helen returned – finally – to explore properly. Over three months Helen took a personal journey around Scotland, uncovering stories about the history, the geography, and the people of this peerless, magical country. As so many people who have fallen in love with it say, she maintains that there is “just something about Scotland”.

Helen's book, Scotland Beyond the Bagpipes, has been nominated for a National Geographic award! Readers can vote here and every vote counts. It only takes a moment to vote for Helen's book!

Helen Ochyra is a British author and freelance journalist. Scotland Beyond the Bagpipes is her first book. Helen writes travel and lifestyle articles for publications including The Times, The Telegraph, and Grazia. She lives in London.

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