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Once a year I lose myself in the Western Isles to walk and think – before going back to the life I love

This remote part of Scotland, so central to my beginnings, works like a time machine on me

West of Sligachan, the Black Cuillins rise – icebound in the winter and shrouded in cloud. I begin my walk beneath their sentry, Sgùrr nan Gillean, the peak that heralds the start of the dark serrated ridge that coils around the most mysterious of all Scotland’s lochs – Loch Coruisk, whose name means “cauldron of the waters”.

This is the Isle of Skye, where you will find all seasons in a single day – blinding snow, pelting rain, snatching wind and sudden, inexplicable sun. And it’s here I like to come to forget myself and to remember who I am.

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