HELEN SEDGWICK, AUTHOR

Where is it?

The Tarbat Ness headland on the Tarbat peninsula, Easter Ross.

Why do you go there?

It's a short drive from my house and it is the place I turn to when I'm searching for inspiration, struggling to write, stressed, happy, restless or overwhelmed.

The drive takes me past green fields and clusters of pretty houses, with panoramic views of long sandy beaches. Then the road narrows and I follow the single grey track to the lighthouse.

The weather always turns at this point: the wind picks up, the landscape becomes dominated by the deep, glistening grey blues of the sea, the jagged blacks and browns of the rocks, the thorned yellow of gorse, and the distinctive red and white stripes of the lighthouse. The rest of the world fades away.

How often do you go?

As often as I need to – I've been known to visit on a daily basis. It's part of the rhythm of my life, which with a three-year-old can be unpredictable, but if I've not been for a while, I long to go back, and I never tire of it.

How did you discover it?

I had no idea it was there before I moved to the area. I saw a sign on one of my first visits to Portmahomack, followed the track to the lighthouse and found myself facing the most breathtaking view, surrounded by the sea in almost every direction.

HeraldScotland: Author Helen Sedgwick. Picture: Michael GallacherAuthor Helen Sedgwick. Picture: Michael Gallacher

I clambered over the rocks until I was at the furthest point of the land. The wind was wild and the waves were crashing against the rocks. I thought: "This is the place."

What's your favourite memory?

There are so many it's hard to choose, and every time is different. One that stands out is the first time I saw a whole pod of dolphins playing along the coast; that was magical.

Who do you take?

My partner, our daughter, and any visitors we have.

What do you take?

If I'm going on my own, a notebook and pen. It's a place that inspires ideas and compels me to write. A camera or binoculars if I want to watch for the dolphins. And always a woolly hat because it's never not windy and the wind has bite.

What do you leave behind?

Whatever is in my way. The landscape reminds me of how small we are, and how vast the world is in comparison. Whatever was worrying me seems unimportant when I can watch entire weather fronts moving across the sea. It's liberating.

READ MORE: Outlander stars Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish share their epic Scottish road trip

Sum it up in five words.

Vast. Jagged. Windswept. Ancient. Inspiring.

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

The same as my pre-lockdown wish list: Antarctica. I'm not sure if I'll ever get there. But the wildness and expanse of Tarbat Ness, particularly during a storm, is a pretty impressive substitute.

When The Dead Come Calling by Helen Sedgwick is published in paperback by Point Blank on Thursday, priced £8.99