A Scots travel blogger wants to showcase the best of her beloved homeland after being signed up as the main writer for Lonely Planet’s next Scotland guide.

Kay Gillespie was approached by Lonely Planet to work with them again and this time it’s for the next edition of the classic Lonely Planet Scotland guidebook.

It is a dream job for Ms Gillespie, who is known as The Chaotic Scot, who will not only be covering the regional section on the Southern Highlands and but will also be writing three other sections, including opening and closing of the book.

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“To say that I’m excited and overwhelmed would be an understatement. I had written a chapter for Lonely Planet’s Experience Guide and I wrote for the Great Britain guide. However, they got back in touch about writing for the iconic, classic one. I thought it might just be another chapter but I am writing four sections of the book.

“I have a real sense of pride that I get to be the voice for Scotland in this global publication. Not only that, but I've been connecting with amazing folk from all across Argyll and the Isles during my research, and I’m delighted I'm able to include their businesses in the book.”


Kay Gillespie enjoying a visit to Inverary earlier this year

Kay Gillespie enjoying a visit to Inverary earlier this year


It gives her a chance to visit some of her favourite places, although she certainly doesn’t need an excuse, and among some of the places which could feature will be the Isle of Arran and Loch Lomond National Park.

For Ms Gillespie she feels being able to feature some of Scotland’s hidden gems is a way to pay back tourism businesses and operators who have always been supportive of her.


Tobermoray is among the places Kay Gillespie would on her travel list


She added: “Many of these people have hosted, hired and supported me over the years. I feel like I am able to give something back to businesses which have hosted me. Some of them I worked with when I was right at the start of my blogging career and these people gave me opportunities and content that I have been able to build a business with. Being in the guidebook means you will be in front of people from all over the world.

“I have contacts everywhere who have been keeping me up to date as there have been many changes since Covid.

“I want to know what is new and what I should be shouting about. Being able to connect with people is one of the most enjoyable parts. This is what I have always wanted to do. I just want to capture people’s imagination and interest in Scotland which I love so much.

“If I can put that across in these pages and inspire people to visit because of something that I have written that is the ultimate reward.”

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While many tourists now don’t need to do as much research as they might have done a few years ago with city maps and recommendations available at the touch of a button or a scroll on a screen, Ms Gillespie feels there is still something special about picking up a guidebook in anticipation of what a future trip can hold.


Chaotic Scot travel blogger Kay Gillespie released Scottish aroma candles last year

Chaotic Scot travel blogger Kay Gillespie released Scottish aroma candles last year


“All of the places that I will be writing about I have passion for. Scotland is my favourite subject to write about and the Highlands and Islands are probably my favourite part of the world and that will shine through,” she added.

“I want to tell people about the experiences that I think will be special. Social media is usually my platform and it is the way a lot of people find out things, but there is something special and nostalgic about leafing through a guidebook. It is nice to have a book in your hand rather than scrolling on a screen.”


Carraig Fhada Lighthouse on Islay is one of Kay Gillespies favourite spots

Carraig Fhada Lighthouse on Islay is one of Kay Gillespie's favourite spots


Her concept of the Chaotic Scot travel blog also saw her create trips and itineraries for individual travellers and companies. Her blog developed during lockdown when she started the Dreaming of Scotland facebook community which gave people a chance to share their memories and images of Scotland while travel restrictions were in place.

And writing the Lonely Planet guide has also made her think about producing her own book.

“I would love to write my own story and book about Scotland. I have a loose name, but that’s all I’ll say at the moment,” she added.

Amy Lynch, Commissioning Editor, Lonely Planet, described her as is one of Lonely Planet's new superstars.

“She is full of fresh ideas for travelling in Scotland, and her enthusiasm for the regions she covers burst off the pages.,” Ms Lynch said. “We're fortunate to have her contributing for us as her knowledge of the region is really second-to-none. Oh, and she's a dream to work with.”

Lonely Planet Scotland is due out next year.