Where is it?

Meall a’ Bhuachaille. A Corbett of 2,657ft (810m) above Loch Morlich, near Aviemore. 

Why do you go there?

It’s a lovely hill and offers so many options for walks at all times of the year - you can go straight up and down from the Forestry Commission car park.

Or you can do a fantastic circular walk, heading up, over and down past Ryvoan Bothy and An Lochan Uaine, the green lochan that Nan Shepherd talks about, or head along the ridge to Creagan Gorm and Craiggowrie. 

It offers superb 360-degree views down to Loch Morlich and the forests of Glenmore and over to the Cairngorms, the Northern Corries and Cairngorm itself, Bynack More and then over towards the Lairig Ghru. The Monadhliaths run to the east, and you get fantastic views northwards over the Abernethy pinewoods to Morayshire.

Depending on the time of year there are lovely flowers to find along the path and on the top, including orchids, water avens and wintergreens, cloudberry and mountain azalea. And, around this time of year, the bog asphodel is gorgeous.  

How often do you go?

I probably try and go up to the top three or four times a year, but the hill and the ridge it’s part of are quite a constant for me.

I can see it from Loch Garten and around Aviemore, and though I can’t quite see the hill from my house, I can from quite close by. The ridge it’s part of gets the snow before us and it can be a good gauge of the weather that’s to come. 

How did you discover it?

I think one of the first times I climbed it was after a friend suggested meeting there. I walked up from one side, and she walked up from the other with her dog.

What’s your favourite memory?

We try to go up it around the solstices, so there’s something lovely about celebrating it each year and acknowledging the passing of the seasons.

I’ve seen some golden plover there (though not for a while now) and coming off the hill I’ve seen ospreys and peregrines flying over. I’ve yet to see an eagle from Meall a’ Bhuachaille, though I’ve seen them around the area. 

Who do you take?

I usually walk up with my partner, but it’s a great walk with friends that are visiting, who aren’t too familiar with hillwalking, for the great views from early on. 

What do you take?

Binoculars, a Gore-Tex jacket, a scarf, hat and gloves, no matter what month, a flask with some tea, oatcakes and chocolate. 

What do you leave behind?

Nothing. Take your litter home. 

Sum it up in five words. 

Hilly. Rugged. Stunning. Expansive. Exposed.

What other travel spot is on your wish list?

I could happily spend my time travelling round the Highlands and Islands. Shetland’s seabird colonies definitely, but Fair Isle and St Kilda probably top everything. 

Belonging: Natural Histories of Place, Identity and Home by Amanda Thomson (Canongate, £10.99) has been shortlisted for the 2023 James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing. Visit wainwrightprize.com/shortlists