It helps to have a memorable screen name when you want to stand out as a travel blogger. And Suzanne Jones has that. She’s The Travel Bunny. It’s a nickname that her husband gave her and Suzanne told me that she had no intention of making it a public thing. But when she launched her website, the name stuck!
Suzanne has featured an eclectic range of places on her popular site, including British destinations. “Very few UK-based travel bloggers seem to highlight what is worth seeing on our doorsteps,” Suzanne told me. “I think we have a lot to offer in the UK and a lot of my readers are in the States, so I like to show overseas visitors what we have.”
Suzanne lives in Sussex and recommends a number of towns around the south coast. “Brighton is a lively vibrant city near the sea and it’s different from London. But it’s only an hour and ten minutes from Victoria Station,” she says. Suzanne also recommends Battle, where the Battle of Hastings took place, if you are a history buff.
And she suggests a small Kent coast town for a weekend break. “Rye is a typically English town, quintessentially British with its cobbled lanes and half-beamed houses. It’s slightly off the radar so that means it’s not packed with hordes of tourists. It’s not too busy. There are a lot of independent shops, galleries and artists. Rye also has some good places to eat,” she adds. The town was the setting for the Mapp and Lucia books, which followed the lives of two upper class women in the 1930s.
Further away from home, Suzanne has spent time in St Kitts. She is an ambassador for the Caribbean island, which she says offers a range of holiday experiences. “You can lie on a beach or you can be active with kayaking, parascending and jet skiing as well as hiking in the rainforest.”
“It’s a lovely island. I think the reason it doesn’t get much publicity is because it doesn’t have as many beaches as some other islands. People tend to bypass it, but the beaches are beautiful and as it’s less commercialised. It’s not so busy. St Kitts maintains authenticity and hasn’t become full of high rise hotels you find elsewhere in the region.”
Suzanne says St Kitts offers an interesting break for people interested in colonial history. They have the old Brimstone hill fort, which was built by the British using slave labour from the island and they’ve retained the old cannons facing out to sea. ”The island used to produce sugar. That industry has now declined but the railway, which was built to transport it, has been transformed into a visitor attraction. It’s a good scenic ride and offers a great way to see all of the island on one trip,” she says.
One of St Kitt’s biggest assets is its rainforest. You can zip line there. “There’s a huge dormant volcano in the middle of the island. The rainforest grows around it. It’s one of the newest rainforests in the world – just 25 years old. It’s still growing,” says Suzanne, adding, “It takes five hours to climb to the top of the volcano in the rainforest and it’s strenuous.”
St Kitts is home to some interesting wildlife too. Suzanne saw hermit crabs in the rainforest but her trip highlight has been swimming with turtles. “It was a lifetime ambition and I fulfilled it when we went snorkelling. I spotted one and I followed him along for about half a minute, just watching him wade through the water. He was really graceful. It was wonderful to see a turtle in the wild.”
Suzanne says the fish were very colourful too and the seafood is excellent. “There’s a restaurant called Arthur’s. We sat and had lunch there and watched the fishermen bring the catch in. They carried in the lobsters. I am sure you don’t get much fresher than that.” The fertile volcanic soil also means there’s lots of fruit and vegetables grown that feature prominently in the colourful local cooking. Suzanne suggests that visitors try the regional speciality of johnnycakes. “They are little, deep-fried dough balls and you eat them with salt fish. That way of serving cod is the national dish.”
You can follow Suzanne at the TheTravelBunny.com.