Mallaig. Where the Road to the Isles and the West Highland Railway Line finish, yet it is far from an end point. The mainland runs out here, but beyond lies the Sound of Sleat and the Atlantic Ocean.
To the west are those hauntingly distinctive silhouettes of Eigg and Rum. To the north is Skye and the Knoydart peninsula. Boats and ferries are constantly coming and going in and out of Mallaig’s harbour.
It’s a nexus point for locals, tourists, fishermen: people who live there and people passing through on their way to somewhere else. More than anything, it is a place alive with possibility. The sea and the islands seem to call you inexorably onwards.
Why do you go there?
I have stayed in and travelled through Mallaig countless times over the past few years. But more than anything else I’ve come to associate it with my work filming the BBC documentary series Scotland from the Sky.
The harbour has been the staging post for many trips: to the likes of Canna, Rum and Skye, to the Ardnamurchan peninsula and even as far afield as South Uist.
It has become a kind of home from home for our crew. A familiar spot to begin and end our journeys, a place where we have met up after months, or even years, apart or said goodbye after spending months working together.
What’s your favourite memory?
I can think of so many over the years: travelling to Knoydart for the first time and catching the old ferry, the Western Isles, across Loch Nevis to Inverie, with the great shape of Sgurr Coire Choinnichean rising up behind; or sailing to Eigg on a cold, bright March day to go stay in an artist’s bothy for several nights.
But I think this summer offered up the best yet. After a day of filming on Rum, we were heading back to Mallaig harbour in the early evening. The wind had dropped and the sea was glass flat and beautifully limpid.
The sun was setting behind us on the open water between Skye and Rum, and as we approached the mainland, a small pod of dolphins appeared right alongside our boat, some keeping pace just feet away from us.
It was one of those times where the light, the landscape, the weather, the setting and the company just combined perfectly. In those moments, it is hard to think of a more beautiful place anywhere on earth.
What do you take?
Clothing for all conditions, regardless of the time of year. I’ve been there when it has felt like the Mediterranean, with days of endless sunshine and a hot wind blowing off the sea.
And I’ve also watched the landscape disappear as huge dark storm clouds roll in from the west, and you wonder if you will ever see the sky again. It is an endlessly changeable place, and that, perhaps, is part of the appeal.
What do you leave behind?
The rest of the world. Whether I’m there for filming or on holiday, it always feels like there is nowhere else I’d rather be.
Sum it up in a few words.
A vital, vibrant and bustling frontier town.
What other travel spot is on your wish list?
I love a good beach and despite travelling to various parts of the Western Isles and Outer Hebrides, I’ve still never been to Luskentyre on Harris. If ever there was place to see from the sky, it’s that huge stretch of white sand and turquoise sea.
Scotland from the Sky continues on BBC One Scotland, Mondays, 9pm. Catch-up on BBC iPlayer