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Travel: Tide Lines frontman Robert Robertson on his love for Lochaber

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A particular spot on the banks of the River Lochy, Lochaber.

Why do you go there?

It’s a short walk from behind my mother and father’s house and I’ve gone there all my life whenever I want a breath of fresh air. I sometimes even manage a swim on the rare occasion the weather is good.

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I’m clearly biased but I think the scenery there is unmatched anywhere: panoramic views of Ben Nevis, Aonach Mor, and Carn Mor Dearg; native Caledonian pines; fields full of sheep, horses, and Highland cattle; banks of gorse in full bloom in the summer; and all sloping down to the crystal-clear waters of the Lochy.

How often do you go?

Any time I’m home.

How did you discover it?

I’ve always known about it but, thankfully, it remains relatively undiscovered by the rest of the world – so don’t be telling anyone.

What’s your favourite memory?

I have millions of memories that all blend into one long, hot summer day in my childhood, swimming up and down and having a picnic on the shore. But a particularly bizarre recent memory was during the first lockdown in 2020 which I spent back home with my mum and dad.

Tide Lines needed social media content to promote a new album we had released at the time. It was during a spell of beautiful weather, so I went down to the river most days with my guitar and my mum and dad would film me singing songs from the album.

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The backdrop for the footage was perfect but I must admit I’ve worked with better camera operators in my time.

Who do you take?

Nowadays, I enjoy going down on my own for a bit of exercise and time to myself. But I’m also always happy to show off the great Lochaber scenery to anyone who I feel needs to witness it.

What do you take?

A bike if I’m feeling lazy. I walked down there on a scorching day last summer with an old school pal who also now happens to work in the music industry. We took swimming shorts, sun cream, and a rucksack well stocked with chilled lager. Just perfect. Until the midges arrived …

What do you leave behind?

A wee bit of myself every time I go back down the road to Glasgow. Thankfully the river is always there when I return.

Sum it up in five words.

Beautiful. Secluded. Mountainous. Nostalgic. Home.

What other travel spot is on your wish list?

I’m lucky, being a musician, that I get to travel a fair bit – especially in Europe. I’d love to explore the US a bit more and perhaps go somewhere totally different to the scenery I’ve just described, like the Grand Canyon.

The latest Tide Lines single, Written In The Scars, is out now. The band’s new album An Ocean Full Of Islands, available for pre-order, will be released on February 24, accompanied by a headline UK tour from March 9. Visit tidelinesband.com

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