Where is it?

Culbin Sands. An RSPB nature reserve that can be found to the east of Nairn.

Why do you go there?

Beauty. I have family in the area and whenever I visit, we go to Culbin. It’s peaceful. The sands are wide and flat and easy to traverse in wellies.

There are long grasses and shallow, flat pools of water that dogs and children can splash in. But you must be careful as the tides and winds shift, and those pools may fill and trap you on a sand spit.

You might encounter one or two other walkers or someone’s lolloping dog. But it’s never crowded, even on the clearest summer day. Though, if I want to preserve this isolation, perhaps I shouldn’t be talking about it in a newspaper.

How often do you go?

About once or twice a year. It’s an obvious choice in June. But, if you can visit on a dry day in December, it is no less lovely. The frost catches on the grasses and turns them silver. The early dusk paints everything deep blue and pink.

How did you discover it?

I don’t actually know the first time I was taken there as a child. I remember the taste of chips bought from a shop in Nairn and the heat in my belly. I recall two layers of socks and a too-large jacket. And I’m sure there was a flicker of wings that could have been pipits, linnets, godwits – or maybe just gulls.

What’s your favourite memory?

It’s hard to isolate a singular memory. For me, it is more about the conversations Culbin Sands makes space for. My latest novel is set on an English, rather than Scottish, coast. But there is a chapter when the protagonist and her mother walk to the sea.

The water and the space allow them to slide into an intimacy that might not be possible indoors and face to face. That is stolen from my memories of Culbin.

Almost always, we would drive to a small car park and then walk our way into Nairn. And, in that long stretch, there was always time for the unfolding of buried thoughts.

Who do you take?

My dog and any humans who want to come along. I haven’t yet brought my daughter. But I’m looking forward to that day.

What do you take?

Oranges and apples stuffed into pockets. Bottles of water. A travel bowl for the dog.

What do you leave behind?

As little as we can.

Sum it up in five words.

Wide sky and clean wind.

What other travel spot is on your wish list?

I’ve never spent any time in Glasgow and that is something I keep meaning to remedy.

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is the award-winning author of Harmless Like You and Starling Days. Her third novel, The Sleep Watcher (Sceptre, £16.99), is out now