SAM HEUGHAN, ACTOR

Where is it?

Glen Shiel at the heart of Kintail. A dramatic nine-mile long glen that is surrounded by some incredible peaks, including the Five Sisters range and the South Glen Shiel Ridge, comprising seven Munros.

Why do you go there?

Most tourists en route to Skye drive through Glen Shiel without stopping until they reach Eilean Donan Castle. It was restored from around 1918 and has featured in many film and TV productions – well worth a visit.

However, the glen and mountains for me are hypnotic. I can’t drive past them without yearning to climb up to their peaks.

How often do you go?

The reason for my first visit to the ridge was to climb the south side to celebrate completing the first season of Outlander. After our wrap party, I jumped in the car and drove up to stay at the small but cosy Cluanie Inn, a lone building in the vast landscape.

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Early the next morning, the generous barman drove with me to the far end of the glen. We dumped my car there, hoping I’d see it some eight or nine hours later, then he drove me in his car back to the start of the ridge. Excited and slightly nervous, I set off, hoping to “bag” all seven Munros in one summer day.

How did you find it?

The peaks are intimidating from the bottom of the glen, but once up the first mountain each leads to the next peak along a ridge. The magnificent The Saddle/An Diollaid peak is seen from the glen and well worth the climb.

HeraldScotland: Glen Shiel. Picture: Andrew Lockie/GettyGlen Shiel. Picture: Andrew Lockie/Getty

Nearby lies the site of the Battle of Glen Shiel where the Jacobites, supported by a large number of Spanish soldiers, were heavily defeated by the British troops [in 1719]. Also nearby is The Falls of Glomach, one of the most dramatic waterfalls in the UK.

What’s your favourite memory of being there?

It was a glorious Scottish summer’s day, the sun wouldn’t set until late, so I knew I’d have time to do the long day’s hiking. I took my time and enjoyed the views down to Loch Cluanie and beyond to Skye.

Who did you take?

One of my best friends. We shared a little nip of whisky at the top of the first Munro and placed a stone on each cairn that marked the individual peaks. Seven mountain tops and seven cairns.

HeraldScotland: Sam HeughanSam Heughan

By the time we made it back to the inn, we were exhausted but happy and looking forward to a local beer and some hot food. A great way to celebrate finishing shooting Outlander. I shall have to return to do the north ridge on completion of the final season, whenever that is ...

Sum it up in five words.

Majestic. Rugged. Peaceful. Thrilling. Rewarding.

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

I’ve always wanted to see Everest and the Himalayas. But I may need more than a day to do that.

Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish is published by Hodder & Stoughton, priced £20