BEST BEACH

Sandwood Bay in Sutherland. I spent 18 months going back and forth to Sandwood, trying to capture in music what it meant to me to be there on the beach and what I experienced there at different times of the year. My album Sandwood was borne from those visits.

HeraldScotland:

Sandwood Bay is a remote place of incredible beauty, a place of whales and ghost sailors, a place where time is irrelevant, where you cast off everything from the modern world. Wisdom sits there.

BEST BUILDING

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has been a special place for me for many years. I first visited when I was in my teens and was transfixed by Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross. I have performed there on two occasions, the last time for a television broadcast with the Scottish Ensemble.

HeraldScotland:

The building has a very special feel, and the acoustics are fantastic. I think a visit to Kelvingrove is a search for beauty, truth and meaning for everyone that enters that fantastic building. It brings so much to the people of Glasgow and beyond.

BEST CHILDHOOD MEMORY

I had a wonderful childhood so fortunately I have many good memories that fill me with happiness. Being given my first full sized fiddle must have been one of the most memorable. My fiddle teacher Donald Riddell made the instrument from wood he found at Glen Affric, in the ancient Chisholm lands. He called the fiddle ‘Affric’ and presented it to me when I was around 10 years old. For weeks after I would get great joy just from looking at it.

HeraldScotland:

BEST WALK OR CYCLE

Reelig Glen, west of Inverness is a short walk that I take the dog most days. Among the conifers and broadleaves it has 100 year old Douglas Fir trees which stand well over 170 feet high and sit along the River Moniack. It is a truly beautiful place at any time of year. A great cycle is going into Glen Strathfarrar, west of Beauly. It’s about a 26 mile round trip which takes you up as far as the Monar Dam and through my favourite glen in Scotland.

BEST VIEW

I spent last year recording a series of short films for social media called #TuneWithAView. Within the series I visited many beautiful places and recorded a two-minute tune on location. I had the opportunity to see places I had never been to before. I think the most memorable of these was in Moidart, on the cliffs above Loch nam Bairneas. The sky that day was cloudless and the view out to Eigg and Rùm was otherworldly, something I will never forget for as long as I live.

BEST SHOP

Morison’s Ironmongers in Beauly. This family run shop provides an incredible service to the community, delivering to the elderly and providing people with essentials during the winter months. In a world of large corporations it is wonderful that small businesses like this still exist, caring for those around them. There’s always a good bit of craic to be had at the counter too.

BEST STREET

I think the main street in Stromness has probably given me the happiest of times. I have always loved the people of Orkney, loved their music and the grounded way they carry themselves.

HeraldScotland:

I have always felt at home in Stromness and hope to visit again soon.

BEST SCOTTISH DELICACY

Myself and my great friend Iain MacFarlane from Glenfinnan were fishing together on Loch Shiel when within seconds each of us caught a sea trout.

We took the boat into shore, gutted them and within minutes we were cooking them at the side of the loch with some salt and chilli oil. Helped down with some homemade bread and some mysterious hooch from a hip flask, it was probably the best meal I’ve ever had.

BEST PLACE FOR A CUPPA

The Coastline Coffee Shop in Melvich, north Sutherland. Great coffee served by lovely local folk… great ice-cream too!

BEST PLACE FOR ALONE TIME

Castle Tioram is a ruined 13th century castle that sits on an island in Loch Moidart. You can only get across to the castle when the tides allow.

HeraldScotland:

I used to enjoy being there alone and hearing the whispers of history around me.


Duncan will be appearing with his band at the opening concert of Edinburgh Tradfest at the Assembly Rooms on 29 April before heading out with Hamish Napier to perform live dates in intimate venues around the Highlands during May. For details and to check out his album Sandwood go to www.duncanchisholm.com