Best beach

My dad lived in Tayport when I was growing up so I spent every second weekend and half of my school holidays there. My favourite beach has to be Tayport, stretching into Tentsmuir.

HeraldScotland:

I have a handful of memories when it was sunny, but I loved grey days and have so many memories of wandering down to the tank traps and finding bits of pottery. You also have the forest practically on the beach and feel you can walk forever.

Best building

My favourite is a ghost of a building. My grandad was a builder in Stirling and one of his buildings was the Stirling Provost Pool, known later as Rainbow Slides. I always felt a sense of propriety over it.

We went every week but it was demolished a good few years ago. Every time I go past the car park where it was I build it again in my mind.

There was a brilliant mural on the building by Charles Anderson but that was preserved and moved to the Ogilvie Group on Glasgow Road.

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Best street

The Gallowgate in Glasgow. As a teenager I loved rooting about bootleg tapes on stalls. With a friend I even went into the Sarry Heid at 14 because we read it was Marti Pellow’s favourite pub. As you can imagine, we left pretty quickly.

Later, I found out that my much-loved and missed mother-in-law had a stall from the 1970s until relatively recently when we lost her.

And, of course, it’s the home of the Barrowlands. There's nothing that encapsulates my lifelong love of music and gigs as much as seeing that sign lit up.

Best childhood memory

Every summer my mum borrowed the neighbour’s caravan. She would take me, my brother, our friends, and our wee cat up to Loch Lomond.

We’d go to Milarrochy Bay near Balmaha. The destination was decided after my friend and I had read, again, it was Marti Pellow’s favourite place to get chips. My mum indulged me in that. My friend and I walked into Balmaha every day in case we would find him.

We never did. 

HeraldScotland:

Our tent was pitched by the lochside where we would swim in all weathers. The showers staved off midges and potential frostbite.

Best walk or cycle

I've been going for walks up Sheriffmuir since I was tiny and I still love it. When I was younger it had the added glamour of the Sheriffmuir Inn, a lovely pub in the middle of nowhere where Hercules the Bear lived. So when my parents said “Let’s go for a walk up Sheriffmuir” I knew we would be stopping in for a drink and crisps – and a wee visit with the bear.

My husband and I also walked up Dumyat the day we got married, and we take the kids up there now.

Best view

I spent most of my 20s living in London and was hugely homesick, for Causewayhead in particular. If I had a weekend to myself, where I wasn't away somewhere around the world, I would catch the first train out of London, get off at Stirling and walk as fast as I could up Abbey Craig. If I managed to catch a train early enough I could be there by 11am.

I remember thinking it was the first time for so long that I could actually breathe and see distance, which you never felt in the city. It was inevitable I would move back because in my mind I never left.

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Best shop

Always record shops. When I was in Tayport I would visit Dundee and I dearly loved Groucho’s when it was open. Also Monorail in Glasgow, where I was lucky enough to work for a while. It really has to be Europa in Stirling, though, because Ewen Duncan, who runs it, has made it the heart of counterculture. The second-hand vinyl room in the back is the place I lose myself. It’s eclectic and it’s paradise – but with more Donna Summer records.

Best Scottish delicacy

Irn-Bru is a given, so I’ll go for Cullen Skink and the best I ever had was at a Scout hut in Glen Lyon.

On the day I moved back from London I enrolled in a two-week residential archaeology school on the banks of Loch Tay. It’s where I met my husband, who is an archaeologist and was leading the excavation.

HeraldScotland:

We all piled back to the Scout hut where the archaeologist-cum-chef, a guy called Foxy, made the best bowl of Cullen Skink ever. Also, this came at the end of a day when I had been doing proper physical hard graft for the first time in a long time.

Best place for a cuppa

Corrieri’s Café at the foot of the Wallace monument. I've been going there as long as I can remember, with Robert and Peter in charge. I worked there when at school and they taught me how to make pizza and let me buy records for the jukebox. If you were there in the early 1990s, you would have heard a lot of Deacon Blue and Waterboys. There was a point during lockdown where I feared it wouldn’t open again but it has. I'd miss the company just as much as the food and brilliant coffee.

Best places for alone time

I don't think it’s an accident we try to recreate happy memories from childhood. We’ve been going to Port Ban on the Kintyre peninsula for years now – us, the kids and now the wee dog. We pitch our tent at the waterside, which looks straight across the Sound of Jura. It’s utterly gorgeous for walking and barbecuing freshly-caught mackerel.

Nicola Meighan presents The Afternoon Show on BBC Radio Scotland, Fridays, 2-4pm.

@Nicola_Meighan