You take the ferry to Tarbert on the Isle of Harris, head north on the main road to Lewis, turn left just past the abandoned whaling station and keep going west on the single-tracked road to Huisinis for a few miles.
And then you'll see it – one of the most remarkable sights in Scottish sport. On a boulder-strewn hillside, in the midst of a landscape of desolate grandeur where any other signs of human activity are few and far between, there sits an all-weather tennis court, gleaming and modern and apparently well cared for. It could scarcely be made more surreal if Salvador Dali emerged from the changing room – yes, it's got one of those too – up for a friendly bounce game with Marcel Duchamp.
And if Kevin Costner had known the story behind its creation, he would surely have turned down his part in Field of Dreams and headed for the Hebrides instead.
It came about just over a dozen years ago after the children of John McKinnon, a local fisherman, entered a tennis tournament in Stornoway. The organisers expressed astonishment that anyone from Harris should want to take part, not least because Harris, for all its other charms, did not have a single tennis court. And yet the McKinnon brood were the stars of the event, with the youngest, Colin John, winning the 12-and-under age group.
It came to light the McKinnon's had developed their love for the game, and no little talent, by stringing an old fishing net across a road and marking out a rudimentary court. When a car came along they took the net down to let it pass, then strung it back up again and got on with their game.
The story generated some local publicity. In time, it was picked up by a national newspaper, which organised trips to Wimbledon for the family. Their experiences led to a fundraising drive that gathered support from a cast of characters as diverse as Sir Cliff Richard, Jo Durie, Bill Beaumont and Jonathan Dimbleby. When the Lottery Sports Fund weighed in with a cheque for more than £32,000, construction could begin.
Now I'd like to report that this glorious facility has become a focus of sporting endeavour and the hub of a busy social scene. In truth, though, the Bunabhainneadar court has been conspicuously empty on the handful of occasions I've driven past the place.
There were reports of a thriving tennis ladder a few years ago, but as those accounts also made mention of howling gales and plagues of midges it wouldn't be too surprising if participants had long since retired indoors and taken up carpet bowls instead.
So it's a bit of a white elephant then? Far from it. Frankly, I don't particularly care if Bunabhainneadar doesn't see a single player from one summer (a term that has a flexible definition on Harris) to the next; what interests and excites me is the simple fact that it is there. For all I know, the McKinnon children may all have grown up and acquired different sporting passions, but their enthusiasm has left a legacy that others can enjoy if and when the inclination strikes.
Because it's all very well in this post-Olympic and Paralympic period for politicians to bleat on about inspiring a generation, but if they don't back up their fine words with the hard cash needed to create facilities then the inspired generation will, quite literally, have nowhere to turn. Yes, we all cheered lustily as we watched British competitors hoover up the rowing and track cycling medals, but velodromes and rowing lakes aren't exactly thick on the ground.
For far too many people, a lack of facilities is still an insurmountable barrier to involvement in sport. After a period of chronic neglect and catastrophic decline through the 1980s, lottery cash has made massive improvements to the sporting infrastructure of the country, but the job is far from finished yet. For as wonderful as it was to watch Team GB's triumphs recently, it would be more wonderful still to hear that the emphasis over the next few years was to shift back from funding elite performers towards ramping up participation levels at grass roots.
Every sports administrator and sports club secretary knows that the window of opportunity for capitalising on interest and enthusiasm is tiny. If the pitches, the tracks and the pools aren't there, then that interest and enthusiasm will disappear at a frightening speed.
Which is why my mind kept wandering back to Bunabhainneadar as I watched Andy Murray's magnificent US Open victory the other night. I'm not yet 100% sure this country's next grand slam champion will emerge from the Isle of Harris, but I would be 100% convinced of the impossibility of that scenario had that court never been built.
Contextual targeting label: