I HAVE spent quite a lot of time in Edinburgh over the years, and I particularly like the New Town.
The TV presenter is at the Edinburgh Book Festival on Tuesday, promoting Dreaming of Iceland: The Lure of a Family Legend and Glorious Things: My Hymns For Life.
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I love to escape to the Union Canal, which runs between Edinburgh and Glasgow. I discovered it by accident while out on a bike ride, and within minutes felt as if I had been transported into the world of the Famous Five.
THE Forth Bridge is one of the most spectacular landmarks in Scotland.
My father worked for the National Trust for Scotland when I was young, so we spent a lot of time in falling-down houses. I have many happy memories of being in unloved ruins that were in the process of being restored to health.
At the top of Ross Road hill on the Isle of Arran you look down through the glen to Lamlash bay, the village at the bottom, and Holy Island in the background. The road itself is about nine miles long from the south-west of the island, near Kilmory, to Lamlash, where I went to school. The farm where I grew up is about halfway along this road.
I GREW up in Kirrie Hill in Kirriemuir, so it has always played an important part in my life. The very first time I ever remember being photographed was on the hill. I was barely a year old.
I HAVE seen some beautiful places in my time, but to me there’s nowhere better than Leith. I grew up there and spent a lot of time on Leith Walk. There was a gang of us that used to play together, and Leith Walk was our very own adventure playground. We’d go to a restaurant called the Caprice and get delicious knickerbocker glories. We’d get our fish and chips from the Deep Sea chippy, and our herbs and spices from Valvona & Crolla.
Dave Clark is head of strength and conditioning at the Scottish Institute of Sport, as well as being coach to Scots cyclists Chris Hoy and Craig MacLean, who are part of the Olympic squad.
Come rain or shine, Silver Sands beach at Aberdour is always one of my favourite places to visit. It’s a beautiful, sheltered sandy bay that opens out to the Firth of Forth, and I used to play there for hours as a child.
I grew up in Govan when it still had a heart, and at the centre was Govan Shipbuilders - vibrant, mysterious and a world of masculinity. The whole community worked and breathed with the builders’ yard. Any orders won or lost were felt by everyone.
I HAD been to Loch Ness often as a child, but it was only a few years ago when I returned for a wedding at Fort Augustus that I realised how incredibly beautiful it is.
THERE are some beautiful gardens behind Brodick Castle on the isle of Arran. It’s the perfect place to get away from it all. When I lived in Hong Kong, my girlfriend’s parents lived in Brodick Castle, and it was an escape from my busy life. We also had some great parties. For many years we would go there for Hogmanay, and we often ended up partying for days on end with about 30 friends who had come from all over the world.
I HAVE lost my heart to Gairloch many times over. Or, to be more specific, to the coastline surrounding it, from Rubha Reidh to Redpoint. It’s easy to see why: sunsets so perfect they look as if they should be on a calendar, blue-green water foaming into rock pools, long days spent on sandy beaches with a soundtrack of seagull cries. In good weather the sun is kind and the air gentle, and I’ve been lucky enough to experience many such days.
When geologists look for a glaciated granite landscape, the mountains of the Cairngorms are one of the first points of reference. The particular bit of terrain I like is on a ridge of the northern part of Ben Avon. It isn’t very well known, partly because it is so remote - it takes about four hours to get to the base of the hill from the nearest road.
BETWEEN the ages of 15 and 16 I used to go to Sauchiehall Street every Saturday.
AS A teenager I always loved the 57 bus journey into town at night.
THE first time I went to Arran was with my family when I was a teenager. We lived in Edinburgh and it was an escape from the bustling city. I also visited with the school a couple of times. It’s an amazing island with some unique flora and fauna and plenty of waterfalls and rock pools.
MY PARENTS come from Skye and I spent school holidays there, so I’d heard a lot about the villages of Suisnish and Boreraig. They are to the south of the island; Suisnish is at the top of the cliff and Boreraig is down by sea level.
ONE of my favourite places is my holiday home on the Isle of Bute. It’s in a little village called Port Bannatyne, a couple of miles outside Rothesay, and is an attic flat with great views across to the Cowal peninsula. I live in Glasgow, which is only about an hour and a half away, so I try to visit as often as I can, and during the summer I’m there most weekends.