I would have to say Kinghorn Beach in Fife. That holds a lot of great memories for me. I’m from Portobello originally and we used to go on the train across to Kinghorn every summer for our annual holidays during the Trades fortnight. I have memories of my parents, my grandparents and extended family all sitting on Kinghorn Beach in their overcoats and scarves.It’s such a pretty beach too and I still visit regularly – I’ll take my recording equipment there early in the morning and record the sea, which is one of my hobbies.

I’m very partial to Dalmeny Kirk, which is one of the oldest Norman churches in Scotland. There’s a modern extension but it’s a very old building, which sounds beautiful. It looks beautiful too – there’s a lot of strange writing on the walls, which gives it so much mystery and history rolled into one.

One that has so much significance because I’ve been there so often, even as a teenager, is Forrest Road in Edinburgh, where I spent a lot of time smuggling myself into Sandy Bell’s bar. The hub of traditional music in those days, all the visiting bands would pass through there too and it was where you exchanged music, teaching and learning tunes in communal sessions. So if there’s any street I’ve hung out on most, it’s Forrest Road, particularly back in the mid-70s.

My grandmother and I were great friends all of my life. I would visit her every weekend and she was a wee pocket granny, she was probably about 4ft 10. I used to love going up to her when she was working away in the kitchen, picking her up and putting her down in another room. Her wee legs would be kicking and she would be waving her wooden spoon at me, but it was my fun thing I did with her.

That would have to be Ruilick Glen, just outside of Beauly. I used to go every day for a walk with my Hungarian Visla and we go once round the glen fast for exercise and once to smell the roses slowly. 

It has to be the southern aspect of the road between Durness and Ullapool. When you’re driving south with the sea on your right and the hills on your left. Aly (Bain) and I usually tour in August and September and when we’re on tour in the Highlands, it’s around the time when the heather is full blossom. The light means that the hills are so bright purple-blue and the sea looking a little rough on occasion. It’s never the same twice.

I’m a gadget geek, I mean really daft, so I have to say that my favourite shop is the Apple Store in Edinburgh. I cannot go past it. This is how daft. I bought a new Apple pencil the other day, it was the wrong one… but instead of exchanging it, I went a bought another iPad that would work with the pencil. It's madness.

Homemade mince and tatties with doughballs. Everyone has a different mince recipe and I would be quite happy to eat mince three times a day, seven days a week.
My uncle was quite a famous chef in Edinburgh and I picked up some tips, but then living in the Highlands I got that take on it, so I always put a handful of medium cut oatmeal in my mince. It absorbs the fat, locks the flavour in, and helps to thicken the gravy when you put the stock in.

For 40 years I had an allergy to coffee but that left me a few years ago so now I can enjoy it. I go to the Manna House Bakery in South Queensferry. They make a lovely flat white. On some mornings I’ll go down there and have scrambled eggs and a couple of flat whites and do my e-mails. There’s a beautiful view of the bridge and a great atmosphere.

I live on my own and I live in quite an isolated place, but there’s a loch at the top of the hill, Dundas Loch, where I’ll sit for many, many hours with a recording device. That’s what my alone time looks like. No music involved but I can listen to the sound of the loch and the trees. It’s really therapeutic and it gives me that sense of “the empty head”.

Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook visits Dumfries Easterbrook Hall on December 14, The Albert Halls, Stirling, on the 15th, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on the 16th, Aberdeen Music Hall on the 18th, Perth Concert Hall on the 19th, and the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh on the 20th and 21st.