Meet Scotland's 'most well-travelled dog'

By Ewan Murrie
BBC Scotland news website

image copyrightSam Grant
image captionThe village of Crianlarich is located in Glen Strathfillan to the north of the Trossachs, around eight miles north of the head of Loch Lomond

After photographs of her West Highland Terrier received more "likes" on social media than even the most stunning Glencoe landscapes she could capture, Sam Grant conceded that "the wee white dug" should star in her Scottish travel blog.

"Casper is my unique selling point," says Sam Grant, an Edinburgh-based VisitScotland ambassador who spends her spare time travelling the country with her pet.

She adds: "There are lots of travel bloggers out there who are very good writers, but they don't have the wee white dug."

image copyrightSam Grant
image captionThe village of Carrbridge, in the Scottish Highlands is famous for its 18th Century packhorse bridge
image copyrightSam Grant
image captionWhiting Bay, Isle of Arran, offers views across to Holy Isle
image copyrightSam Grant
image captionCulzean Castle is perched on the Ayrshire cliffs

Her eccentric website details places of interest in areas including Orkney, Loch Lomond and the Scottish Borders.

It was launched in 2015 after an Instagram account written from Casper's perspective proved popular with followers.

The social media profile has nearly 4,000 followers, who Sam says "can't get enough" of the wee white dug's quirky anecdotes about his travels.

image copyrightSam Grant
image captionCulloden Moor in the Highlands is where the Battle of Culloden took place in 1746
image copyrightSam Grant
image captionIona, Inner Hebrides, is often described as a "tiny island paradise"

Sam says travelling with Casper has given her lots of insight into Scotland's best pet-friendly tourist attractions and holiday accommodation.

She says: "There are loads of good places that you can visit nowadays where you can bring along your four-legged friends."

image copyrightSam Grant
image captionThe Tomb of the Eagles, Orkney, is thought to be more than 5,000 years old
image copyrightSam Grant
image captionNorth Berwick, East Lothian, boasts many great beaches and coastal scenery
image copyrightSam Grant
image caption"Dolphin Spirit" is a boat to take tourists onto the waters of the inner Moray Firth to see the dolphin pods
image copyrightSam Grant
image captionBow Fiddle Rock is a natural sea arch near Portknockie on the north-eastern coast of Scotland

Sam hopes the blog could encourage more Scots to look around their own country, as well as attracting other visitors.

She says: "If you visit the beaches in the Outer Hebrides, you'll see there's really no need to go to the Caribbean - unless you're a sun worshipper.

"Scotland's a country with a rich history and heritage. A country full of stories just waiting to be told."

image copyrightSam Grant
image captionBalnakeil Bay is near Durness, Scottish Highlands
image copyrightSam Grant
image captionCasper met Oor Wullie in Dundee city centre
image copyrightSam Grant
image captionSnow capped Ben More in Glen More, Isle of Mull, Western Isles
image copyrightSam Grant
image captionThe Isle of Gigha is 20 minutes by ferry from Kintyre

Sam says most traffic to her website comes from the UK and US but she has had visitors from more than 100 countries - including China.

"When I see that I've had visitors from far-flung countries, I imagine them on the other side of the world reading about Scotland and the wee white dug," the writer adds.

image copyrightSam Grant
image captionKilchurn Castle is a ruined castle on a rocky peninsula at the northeastern end of Loch Awe, Argyll and Bute

Asked if she thinks some people could say her pictures are a bit twee, Sam replied: "I did worry about that at first, so I try to make a joke of it.

"But if people like my pictures and they bring a bit of happiness to someone's day, then why not?"


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