IONA FYFE, FOLK SINGER

Where is it?

Portsoy. A coastal village in the north-east of Scotland with a 17th-century harbour.

Why do you go there?

Growing up in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, a Sunday drive almost always involved a wee trip to the coast, whether it be Lossie, Cullen or my favourite, Portsoy.

My dad and I would get butteries (or rowies) from the bakery and eat them down by the harbour. The streets are winding and narrow and the village is gorgeous to walk around. In the summer, we could camp at the caravan site which is right on the beachfront.

How often do you go?

During my teens, I would pester my parents to drive me to Portsoy once a month to go to the folk club which met at The Salmon Bothy – one of my favourite intimate venues which overlooks the sea.

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It's probably the folk club with the best view oot the windae in Scotland. Now that I live in Glasgow I visit far less often, but it remains one of my favourite places to go, catch some fresh air and switch off.

How did you discover it?

My parents took me to the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival at Portsoy when I was wee and I think that was where I experienced live music for the first time. The midsummer event had lots of live music and singarounds which fostered my love for traditional music.

The festival always had its mainstage built on the harbour. With good weather, you could watch the headline bands during sunset looking out to the sea with hundreds of boats bobbing about.

Portsoy is also the birthplace of itinerant farm worker and traditional singer, Jimmy MacBeath, who was recorded by folklorists singing bothy ballads and songs which would then be a source for other singers to learn songs from.

HeraldScotland: Folk singer Iona Fyfe. Picture: Elly LucasFolk singer Iona Fyfe. Picture: Elly Lucas

What's your favourite memory?

In 2015, I was working as an extra for the film Whisky Galore. I was invited to a shoot, which was the wedding of the principal characters. It was in the height of summer and we spent our evening ceilidh dancing and quite literally rubbing shoulders with actors like Eddie Izzard and Kevin Guthrie – 17-year-old me was starstruck.

More recently the cast of Peaky Blinders filmed on location at the harbour. It really is beautiful and attracts film crews which, in turn, puts the north east on the map.

Who do you take?

Anyone who is willing. When I visit Huntly and meet up with school friends, one of our favourite activities is going for a wee jaunt in the car to Portsoy, never missing the opportunity to visit the award-winning ice cream shop.

What do you take?

Crocs. I love having a paddle at the sandy bit of the harbour, but I'm irrationally scared of being in the sea without something on my feet. No judgement, please.

What do you leave behind?

Emails, admin and responsibilities.

Sum it up in five words.

Baltic. Scenic. Spacious. Bonnie. Quiet.

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

Lake Como in Italy. In 2018, I did a solo show in the Como Silk Museum, so I scheduled a mini-break around the gig and spent time exploring Como and Milan. I took the Brunate Funicular up the mountain and had a wee gin at the top. Unfortunately, nae spottings of George Clooney.

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Whenever I tour abroad, I'm usually with my band and there's tight scheduling, so travelling alone and having time to relax and explore a new place alone was so empowering and enjoyable.

Iona Fyfe's new single, The Wild Geese, is out now. Download or stream here: threads.lnk.to/ifgeese Visit ionafyfe.com