Where is it?

The place closest to my heart is Islay. It’s big and varied, so I’ll home in on one particular spot: the fabulous beach at Sanaigmore in the north-west of the island.

The long arc of fine sand is bookended by outcrops of gnarled rock and magical rock pools. We usually linger there, enjoying geology’s natural sculpture and the view of Mull.

Why do you go there?

Prosaically? For the walk, and to throw a ball for Jim, our sheep-shy Border Collie. But I can do that in the village of Port Charlotte where I live, so Sanaigmore has a special draw. It’s approached by a single-track road, then an unmetalled track to where you park the car.

From there you walk through dunes to the beach. The effect is like passing through a decompression chamber, so that you are relaxed and receptive by the time you get there.

It’s a place for letting ideas float into my mind. Beach time at Sanaigmore has played a part in my last four books and many documentaries that I’ve made.

How often do you go?

Every Sunday morning that we’re home on Islay - and in all sorts of weather. More often during holidays. This year I introduced my four-year-old granddaughter Ivy to it. She was thrilled. How did you discover it?

I’ve known it so long that I don’t remember. Perhaps I was an Ileach (Islay native) in a previous life?

What’s your favourite memory?

Going there with our first collie is a special memory. Nell was a rescue dog who had been locked in a shed for two years before we got her. I’ll never forget her joy at being free to run there.

Who do you take?

Apart from the dog? My wife Jenni. She’s a politician and really thrives on the switch-off hours at Sanaigmore. Often our friend Jan comes too. Jim bounds between us, demanding the ball be thrown. What do you take?

A bag to collect plastic and nylon rubbish. And my wallet. Nearby Kilchoman Distillery has a great cafe and we call in there on our way home. Sadly, it doesn’t open on Sundays during the winter (the cafe, not the wallet).

What do you leave behind?

Footprints, stress, and some thorny problems about narrative and structure. I absolutely understand why George Orwell went to Jura to write Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Sum it up in five words.

Isolated. Beautiful. Peaceful. Haunting. Inspirational.

What other travel spot is on your wish list?

I don’t just “tick off” destinations. I prefer to revisit places I love and get closer to their essence. I love India and have been there five times - as a tourist, documentary maker or writer (sometimes mixing the roles up).

I’ve yet to go to Motihari in Bengal to visit Orwell’s birthplace. I was privileged to stand in Orwell’s room at Barnhill on Jura where he wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four, and I’m determined to visit where it all began.

Les Wilson is the author of Orwell’s Island: George, Jura and 1984 (Saraband, £9.99), out now