Best Beach
My favourite beach is Broughty Ferry.

The sky, the light as it changes all the time, staring at the beautiful shoreline. I sit there for ages taking photos as it inspires and moves me. I recorded a thought piece for The Looking For Esther podcast there and it seemed so natural sitting on the beach. The sounds of the waves connect with me and always help me to calibrate. I beachcomb too – the garden is full of driftwood and shells and pieces of old glass and china I’ve found.


Best Building
I never tire of a wander round the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. I especially love sitting in the balcony area above the Great Hall – it’s officially called the ambulatory – and just soaking up all that creativity, all that history. And now, when I look up in there I can see the painted star my partner Gayle adopted for me on the giant frieze on the ceiling. It was the most romantic birthday present ever. 

 

Best Street
Thistle Street in Edinburgh is pretty special to me. I lived in a top flat there in my twenties and I have fond memories of the amazing adventures I had and the amazing people I met there. I kind of came into my own and grew up when I lived there. It was basically just one step up from a squat when we lived there - the entrance to my room was actually behind a mirror in the hall! It’s such a historic street too. I loved the sound of my high-heeled shoes clicking on the cobbles as I came home in the early hours of the morning after clubbing.


Best Childhood Memory
I was about seven and my family and I were invited to a fondue wedding! The couple were friends of my mum and they laid on a fondue buffet. It felt so sophisticated. I wore an orange and red kaftan. We didn’t go to many events or parties as a family – there were seven of us so I guess it was a lot to invite plus my dad was a minister so he was usually busy with parish duties.
Honestly, Mike Leigh could have written a play about that whole day. 


Best Walk Or Cycle
I love walking along the Water of Leith from Canonmills to the Scottish National Galleries of Modern Art. It’s such a beautiful area and you don’t feel that you’re in the centre of a city. I generally check out the latest exhibition then have a spot of lunch in the café – I love to sit outside in the gardens in summer. Then it’s home via the Dean Cemetery making a quick stop to visit the grave of one of my heroines, Elsie Inglis, on the way home.

Podcaster Esther Robertson shares her 'best bits' of Scotland
Best View
For me it has to be from the Forth Rail Bridge. I spend some of my time in Broughty Ferry and some in Edinburgh and I don’t drive, so it’s a journey I make a lot. I never tire of it and almost always take more photographs even though I already have thousands. It’s a journey that feels like coming home for me, no matter what direction I’m travelling in.


Best Shop
The Shelter charity shop in Stockbridge is a favourite – although I love all charity shops. I can often be found exploring the ones in Stockbridge or Morningside or Broughty Ferry. You never know what you’re going to find, that makes it so much more exciting than “normal” shopping. One of my favourite recent finds was a pair of John Lewis ‘onion goggles’ to make chopping them less of a weepy experience.


Best Scottish Delicacy
It’s got to be Arbroath Smokies. When I first came to Broughty Ferry I heard a van horn toot and my partner headed outside saying she was going to buy smokies and some dressed crab. I couldn’t believe that fish vans stopped right outside her front door. Most of the chefs in Britain would go crazy for that privilege. I also love Scottish lobster and nipping over to the Lobster Shack in Crail, eating lobster and chips by the harbour is another total delight.


Best Place For A Cuppa
Kitschnbake over the Tay Bridge in Wormit is a firm favourite. A great location by the river and the best scones for miles. Scone quality is very important to me as is the standard of the Earl Grey. 

 

Best Place For Alone Time
When I need to be alone I generally head to the cinema. Edinburgh has some wonderful ones and the Cameo Picturehouse is my favourite. It’s one of the oldest cinemas in Scotland still in use and pretty iconic. It even featured in a film – The Illusionist. I’ve been going there since I was a nipper and I love the old-school velvet grandeur of it.


Looking for Esther is an eight-part podcast now available on Spotify. Esther had three different names before she was three years old and this podcast is her journey to finding out why, discovering the truth about her past, and tracing her birth mother.