Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

My Favourite Holiday: Magical Hebrides are just what the doctor ordered, says Jane Shemilt

© GettyPost Thumbnail

GP Jane Shemilt turned to writing alongside her medical career and had instant success, with her first novel, Daughter, selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club.

Her new book, How Far We Fall, is published in hardback by Michael Joseph on June 28.

Jane and her neurosurgeon husband have five children and live in Bristol.

WE first discovered the white beaches and dive-bombing terns of the Hebrides when, as young medical students, my boyfriend and I biked around the coast of Lewis and Harris.

We stayed in the post office opposite Scarista beach, climbed the hills, swam in the icy sea and fished by the midnight sun.

We returned years later with our five children, and the post office lady remembered us.

The gorgeous beaches were as unspoilt as before, the water as cold and the terns still swooped above our heads.

It was as perfect as it had been and we voted it our best family holiday ever.

Place is a big character in any novel. When I began writing How Far We Fall, a modern Macbeth fable, I wanted to set it partly in Scotland and my thoughts turned to Jura in the Inner Hebrides.

I was lucky, the island is as atmospheric as its western neighbours, the landscape as wild.

Jane Shemilt

Deer outnumber the inhabitants by thousands. Stags strut over empty roads and the clear air smells of salt and grass, tinged with whisky near the famous distillery.

There was a sense of deep peace about the untrodden moorland and cliffs – the kind of place where I could imagine my neurosurgeon protagonist growing up, influenced by his mother’s island stories which wove fate and destiny together.

We walked to the north to visit the Corryvreckan whirlpool, second largest in the world.

We walked past the house where George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four, sheltered by a curve of hills, facing the sea, sunlit yet brooding. I knew I’d found the place I needed for my protagonist’s childhood home and the setting for a later crime.

I’m not sure if Shakespeare visited Scotland but the haunting grandeur of the landscape found its way into Macbeth and was the starting point for my reinterpretation.

We’ll return. The Hebrides are magical. They will always be a favourite holiday destination.