Where is it?


Why do you go there?

It is a beautiful island and has so many nice people. I always say to my wife Nicola that when the kids are a bit older, it is a place I could see us living. When we visit, we either stay at the Auchrannie Resort or rent a cottage.

I love that you can drive round the entire island. I remember one weekend when the weather was glorious, we opened the car roof and went exploring. The kids fell asleep in the back, the sun was splitting the trees and we stopped off along the way at coffee shops or to buy an ice cream.

I'm been thinking a lot about how the coronavirus pandemic might be affecting many of the small businesses on Arran and feel sad about that. I hope things will be OK once lockdown is over.

How often do you go?

At least twice a year.

How did you discover it?

My wife had been and always wanted us to go as a family because she thought I would love it – and she wasn't wrong.

What's your favourite memory?

Walking up to Glenashdale Falls. We last did that earlier this year, just after I finished my panto run at the end of January.

READ MORE: Secrets of a crumbling castle and the heroines who defended it

I said to Nicola beforehand that I wasn't sure if the kids would be able to manage it. It wasn't easy. My seven-year-old daughter was crying at one point, saying she wanted to go home and play with the iPad.

But we kept going and when we got to the top, there was an amazing sense of achievement. The kids loved it. That felt special. The views were incredible.

Who do you take?

Nicola and the kids. Last year we went with my best mate, his wife and their daughter. My mate had never been to Arran before. It was good to have a drinking buddy to go for a couple of pints.

What do you take?

Walking boots. I learned that the hard way on my first visit. My son, who turns five this week, has hiking boots and thinks they are cool. My daughter is less keen. She is a fashion guru and wants to wear them with a dress. Towels, buckets and spades for the beach. Warm clothes. A rucksack.

What do you leave behind?

The hectic city life. I'm someone who is always watching the clock and keeping an eye on the time. When we're on Arran I don't need to worry about things like meetings, call times for work or picking the kids up from school.

READ MORE: The coded messages and covert meanings hidden within flowers

Sum it up in five words.

Peaceful. Calm. Beautiful. Friendly. Tranquil.

What travel spot is on your post-lockdown wish list?

Mexico. We went to Riviera Maya on honeymoon and have since taken the kids with us a few times. They love it too. It's a very chilled-out place. It holds a special place in my heart because when we were there on honeymoon Nicola was also pregnant with our daughter. I'd love to go back soon.

River City Rewind is on BBC Scotland, Mondays, 10pm