Head of Art and Media at the University of the West of Scotland, David Scott is the frontman of The Pearlfishers. He also presents Classic Scottish Albums for Radio Scotland. As told to Lorraine Wilson

My favourite is North Berwick. It helps when the weather is nice but there is something fantastic with that beach, which is almost in two parts up to the Marine Hotel then up to the harbour. The east coast has its own magic – I love the openness and colour. People talk about the light and there is a quality about it where you could be in France. Not that you would want to be anywhere else apart from Scotland.

I did have a favourite but it burned down twice. The other is linked to Glasgow School of Art, though, because the architects were Gillespie, Kidd & Coia and it’s a church called St Mary of the Angels in Camelon. Inside there are coloured panes of light – not detailed stained glass, just big bold primary colours of light, which I remember so well visiting as a child. Unfortunately, and I'll say this with respect, the building is now an undertaker's.

Renfrew Street in Glasgow – one not a lot of people would think of. I lived in Garnethill through most of the 1990s and it’s like a village inside the city. It’s just a street back from Sauchiehall Street, which was really vibrant in those days, but walk up Hill Street and there’s a primary school, the art school, a synagogue, a wee park – you’re connected to the city but also apart. The first Pearlfishers album Za Za’s Garden was influenced by living there, so it still has a deep connection.

My Uncle Ian and Uncle Billy are both musicians. At Ian’s, I was always allowed to pick up his guitars or banjos, even though they’re expensive instruments. My Uncle Billy would turn up and say: “I bought you a trumpet. See what you can do with that.”
I do the same with my grandchildren. I have lovely guitars but it’s important they get a chance to hold and try these instruments. I don’t think: “This four-year-old is going to brain this Gibson Hummingbird.” How I experienced music taught me that it’s for everyone.

I'll satisfy a cliché about musicians, and say the best walk is probably the shortest. A couple of minutes from our home in Troon is South Beach. Walk five minutes and at the Marine Hotel we can sit at the front and have a drink as the sun is beginning to dip, then walk back along with a wee buzz from a gin and tonic. So, you have that experience of stretching your legs and a wee reward for that very short walk.

Europa Records in Stirling. As a kid I would do the record shops in Falkirk – there are none now – but Ewen Duncan has fought to keep independent vinyl sales going at Europa, which hasn’t been an easy task. It always reminds me of Mr Benn because you have the shop, then there’s a little passageway and at the end you’re in a treasure trove of second-hand vinyl. 

I do visit Patricks in Camelon, which is a butcher, but as amazing as the sausages are, I’m going to talk about the tablet. Falkirk is now the home of the best tablet in Scotland, made by Johnston’s. It’s smooth, melting, not too sweet, goes down a treat. It’s Scotland’s delicacy at the moment for me.

In Falkirk, there’s a point on the Slamannan Road where you can see over the Firth of Forth as it comes up past Grangemouth. It’s sightly blighted by the refinery but you do get a sense of the beauty of the Forth. It makes me think of The Underground City by Jules Verne too. In it, he describes a journey from Leith to Irvine (he mangles Scottish geography a bit) but he talks about the boat passing Grangemouth and Falkirk, so I always think of that.

The Ayr campus of the University of the West of Scotland. During lockdown our café, right on the River Ayr, saved the model by investing in 12 outside tables. It became a destination for people who would be out walking, where you could sit outside and have a cuppa when cafes were still closed. It’s what I’m trying to do in my job as head of art and media at UWS – make that place more of a hub that people can come and visit.

I’m not always good alone and just want to hang out with Margaret Scott. When I’m through to see my mum in Falkirk, I’ll take a wee detour and walk through the town. It’s many years since I’ve lived there but it’s still my hometown, and I like to feel that connection and soak it in. The other place is bookshops and libraries. When you pick up a book and sit down, you can let the rest of the world go away for a while.