As told to Lorraine Wilson 


I’M a big fan of concrete and Scotland isn’t very well served for brutalism. I’m also a big fan of 19th century train stations, so I’m choosing Central Station in Glasgow.

As a writer I love train stations of course. People are always going somewhere and station bars are fascinating too – places where people only ever stay for one drink. It’s about the grandeur architecturally too – the iron and glass over your head. I also love the feeling when you arrive in these places – there’s a real sense of drama. 


IT’S Great Western Road. For a start, I love its name; I like when it’s referred to The Great Western Road. At one point it was Scotland’s longest street but I think it’s been seen as something of a poor relative to Byres Road, always though of as the chichi place, and even the strip at Finnieston, which is now the new sexy place.

Looking at Great Western Road though, because it’s so long, there’s so much to it – from the amazing Botanic Gardens, through to all the bars and shops and some amazing architecture. 


IN common with a many Scots of my age, one of the most formative experiences was the 1978 World Cup. The great memory comes with day that the team left from Prestwick. My dad wasn’t one to get excited but he drove us up and we joined the crowds at the fence waving them off as they boarded the plane.

It was a really magical moment, being caught up in all that excitement. I don’t remember us as a nation being like that about our teams – maybe that’s partly down to what happened in Argentina over the next two weeks. 


A WALK that I love is between Shieldaig and Torridon that goes through the Ben Damph estate. There also a walk there at Loch Damh, a little peninsula walk that I enjoy – I’m not one for serious hillwalking. Around there you can spot deer but I haven’t managed to see a sea eagle yet – one day.


I HAVE to choose Voltaire and Rousseau, a bookshop in Otago Lane in the West End of Glasgow. It’s a place of utter chaos. There’s no alphabetisation and books are piled high on the floor.

There are cats everywhere and they are easy to stand on. I came to Glasgow as a student around 1985 and I found it then. For me it was like the shop in Mr Benn, where you can step into another world. And I still feel a bit like that when I go in.



I LIKE the fact that no matter where you live in Scotland, you’re not too far from the coast. I wouldn’t like to live somewhere like Madrid, where you're so far from the sea. As a child, we would go to Wester Ross three times a year because it’s where my mum is from, but my favourite has to be the east coast and Cruden Bay.

As a boy, there seemed like such a vast expanse and there were amazing dunes that I would go down on a sand sledge. Like so many Scottish beaches it can be deserted too. And although I know it’s the North Sea, the water can only be described as Baltic.


I'M not foodie in the sense of liking high-end restaurants but I do love to cook. When I was at my granny’s at Loch Carron I would muck around on the shore and pick whelks.

I would take them back to my granny, who had a simple recipe, Give them a boil and a half. It’s the fact that you’ve picked them yourself – and I still do it when I’m there. Nowadays I would cook them with a lot of garlic butter – I’m not sure what my granny would think of that.


I DON’T drink tea and I’m not really a coffee connoisseur, so it’s more about location for me. I live within walking distance of what must be hundreds of cafés, but the best for me is the Torridon Café.

It’s about sitting outside and enjoying that view. Looking at that view sings to me. However, they also do an amazing chocolate brownie, which is great after a long walk. Or maybe some millionaire’s shortbread… 


AS a writer I spend a lot of time alone, but I don’t like being alone. I don’t need more alone time, but the one place I do enjoy spending time alone is pubs.
Sitting quietly in the corner of a nice pub with a pint, with people around you is great. You can also surreptitiously eavesdrop.

I’m going to pick The Three Judges on Dumbarton Road in Glasgow. It’s a place where I can feel anonymous – I’m not such a regular that I’m known there. I can enjoy being alone where there are a lot of people around. 

Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet has been longlisted for the Booker Prize 2022. The shortlist is announced on September 6.