Where is it?

Glen Esk in Angus.

Why do you go there?

I know the landscape well and love the journey up the winding road, past the lines of ancient grey-barked trees as you get higher up the glen, looking out for the Hill o’ the Rowan, to reach the village of Tarfside.

Then on to Lochlee, where the poet Alexander Ross is buried; Burns was an admirer of his. The glen grounds me, it feels familiar, and is a place where I sort of bask happily in the memory of my family’s many trips there over the years.

How often do you go?

When I was growing up in Angus, it was somewhere we went regularly throughout the year, as it was less than an hour’s drive. These days, I try to get there at least once a year, but it’s a bit trickier living nearly three hours away, with a young family, alongside school and work commitments. I definitely get a bit restless if I’ve not been there for a long time.

How did you discover it?

My mum’s family was involved with a range of outdoor activities for girls, such as the Women’s Junior Air Corps and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, so we went “up the glen” for various expeditions. It’s somewhere I’ve known since I was a baby – in fact I spent my first birthday there, paddling in the North Esk.

What’s your favourite memory?

Over the years, we have got to know various residents of the glen, including Greta Michie, schoolteacher and founder of the pioneering Glenesk Folk Museum. Greta once left a marker on a fence post to show us the location of a secret thing in the glen that I can’t tell you about.

And Tibbie Caithness’s wee shop – I can still smell it and see the chocolate bars in the glass cabinet.

Who do you take?

My mum – the glen means a lot to her.

What do you take?

Binoculars, walking boots, waterproofs and a camera with good manual zoom. I sometimes take my audio field recorder too – one recording I made of curlews shrieking overhead appeared on a friend’s folk album. I also make sure to take enough time to visit the museum and its excellent cafe.

What do you leave behind?

It sounds trite, but my worries. And a promise to always come back.

Sum it up in five words.

Purple. Peewits. Rowan. Lichen. Peace.

What other travel spot is on your wish list?

My late father was Irish and I’m itching to go on a wee family road trip.

So, a holiday down to Wexford, over to Cork and up the west coast to Galway would be bliss. Exploring all the places I’ve heard sung about in songs and referenced in folklore fieldwork archives for years now.

Steve Byrne is a founding member of folk band Malinky and the recently appointed director of TRACS (Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland). Visit tracscotland.org