My Favourite Holiday: BBC poet Stuart A. Paterson says Scotland is still fantastic… apart from the midges​

Stuart A. Paterson

BBC Scotland’s latest Poet in Residence is Stuart A. Paterson.

Ayrshire-born Stuart, 51, appears on the Janice Forsyth Show on BBC Radio Scotland.

He writes in both Scots and English and his latest book, Looking South, is just out.

Stuart now lives with his partner in Dumfries and Galloway.


WE were a working-class family and my mum and dad didn’t drive, so holidays as kid tended to be to caravan parks that were easily reached.

It’d be in Ayrshire, like Butlins at the Heads of Ayr, or Girvan.

And when it comes to favourite holiday places I’d have to say it’d still be Scotland. There a couple of places in particular, Skye and Oban.

Skye is so dramatic and just such a unique place. You can see past the people and the human side and see these rock formations that are among the oldest in the world.

You’ve got dinosaur finds, the Fairy Pools, the cliffs. They all take your breath away and, for a place with so many visitors, you can go to bits and not see anyone for a day or two.

You do get driven daft by midges, mind.

I was probably about 40 when I went for the first time but now I try and got every year.

​The dramatic Isle of Skye has the power to astonish and inspire (Getty Images)

And I’m a big fan of Oban. It’s in such a beautiful setting but it also gives you the chance to step off to so many different, beautiful places.

Mull, Kerrera, Lismore and Ben Cruachan are just a few. So while I love going there, I love going from there.

The social life is great, too, with lots of live music which is a big thing for me.

And Powillimount beach, right on my doorstep in Dumfries and Galloway, is another brilliant spot.

It’s quiet, has great views to the Lake District and has this massive rock in it called the Thirlstane. It’s cloven in the middle and you walk through when the tide’s out.

I don’t drive and I always find that when you go by public transport you’re more likely to discover more places because you get a chance to really look.

If there was one place I had to pick, it would be Venice.

I love boats and any place where they are the main transport is on the water has to be special.

There are loads of islands and it’s lovely just to hop on a boat and explore them.

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