GR HALLIDAY, CRIME WRITER

Where is it?

North Erradale, Ross-shire.

Why do you go there?

My partner Sarah’s family live in North Erradale and since they moved there, we have had an amazing time exploring the area. Sarah and I are both into swimming and paddleboarding. We love spending time in the sea.

I also love rock climbing and bouldering. There are sea caves with cliffs and arches that are brilliant for climbing on.

I find North Erradale an incredibly inspiring place. I got the idea for my first novel, From The Shadows, while spending time there. We were on a walk and started talking about what it would be like to find a dead body within this beautiful environment.

How often do you go?

At least once a month in the summer. In the winter, it is a bit trickier because of the shorter days, but I love that time of year because it is atmospheric with the big storms coming in off the Minch.

North Erradale. Picture: GR HallidayCrime writer GR Halliday. Picture: Chris Stuart

How did you discover it?

Through Sarah’s mum and sister living there. We realised it was a paradise with turquoise waters that are amazing for swimming. We have seen incredible wildlife, including seals, cormorants, guillemots, shags and sea eagles.

What’s your favourite memory?

On a beautiful autumn evening we went for a walk along the headland and spotted a basking shark going up and down in the bay. To see it that close was incredible. Sarah’s mum was with us and all three of us sat on the rocks and watched. That was magical.

Who do you take?

Sarah. There are always friends and family who want to come with us. It is great to have a picnic, go swimming and enjoy a bonfire on the beach.

What do you take?

Lots of sports equipment stuffed into the car, including paddleboards, wetsuits, climbing gear and woolly jumpers. I always take my laptop and try to find a quiet spot to do a bit of writing once I have been in the sea. Relaxation, a beer and writing beside the fire.

What do you leave behind?

Our army of cats – we have six. It started with one feral cat called Dolly who brought her kittens into our woodshed. A year later she came back with another litter. They never left. That is our semi-feral cat family.

North Erradale. Picture: GR HallidayNorth Erradale. Picture: GR Halliday

Sum it up in five words.

Wild. Atmospheric. Beautiful. Inspiring. Magical.

What other travel spot is on your wish list?

I love travelling but that has been curtailed by the pandemic. I find myself thinking a lot about the Middle East, Iraq and Syria. I studied ancient history at university and have had a long-standing interest in those areas. I would love to visit at some point in my life.

Under The Marsh by GR Halliday, published by Vintage, £8.99, is out now. Serial Killers: Alice Hunter, GR Halliday and Victoria Selman is part of the Bloody Scotland festival in Stirling on September 17. Visit bloodyscotland.com