Amy Walkington-Gray

Amy originates from Yorkshire and being the youngest child of an active family had a great childhood climbing trees and making homemade assault courses for herself and the family labradors. She nearly could have been an Aussie as her travel-inspired parents almost got a £10 passage to Australia.

Her travel passion was ignited when as a young child in late 1970’s she visited the U.A.E. She still remembers sheltering in a tent whilst a sandstorm raged over the Oman desert and the tingling in her nose of the smoke from the camel herder’s sheesha pipe.

Through early adulthood she spent five years living on the Iberian Peninsula and further to that three years travelling the world before finally committing to settling down in Newcastle and being a proper grown-up! After several managerial roles in hospitality and tourism she arrived at Artisan Travel as Sales Manager.

Her most memorable travel experience so far with Artisan Travel was arriving at Jeris after a long road trip and heading down to the lake to her first experience of a smoke wood sauna. She couldn’t believe how alive she felt afterwards although that may have had something to do with jumping through the ice hole of the frozen lake!

Her favorite destination of the moment is Menesjärvi, she loves its picture-perfect setting down by the lake and it’s truly remote feel. This is also enhanced by the wonderful hosts, Anne and Timo. She particularly loves chatting with Timo about his ‘winter stockpiling’ – from cloudberries to the local white fish to firewood – she is inspired how they live in cohesion with the land and its seasons, in an area that is covered in snow for the majority of the year.

Favourite Experiences

• Experiencing her first smoke sauna followed by an icy invigorating dip in Lake Jeris
• Visiting the remote 'outpost' at Galdotieva for the best reindeer fillet & chips ever!
• Catching (and eating!) her first fish whilst ice fishing in Luosto
• Curling up in front of the fire in her log cabin one afternoon at Luosto after one too many Finlandia raspberry vodkas and awaking several hours later to the most amazing Aurora dancing across the sky
• Helping the mushers to feed 15 of the cutest husky puppies at Harriniva

Places visited

Finland: Harriniva, Jeris, Kittila, Luosto, Kakslauttanen, Menesjärvi

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