TV adventurer Ben Fogle reveals why Luskentyre in the Outer Hebrides is his best-loved beach in the British Isles and how he comes alive when he’s by the sea
My favourite coastal place in the British Isles would be a beach called Luskentyre on Harris in the Outer Hebrides. I lived opposite it for a year when I was on Taransay [filming the BBC series Castaway 2000]. We’d look at the vast stretch of white sandy beach and wonder if it was as beautiful close up as it was from afar.
When I finally left the island, I went to visit Luskentyre for the first time and just fell in love with it. I went back for my honeymoon. I took my wife there and we have the most beautiful photographs.
It’s a riot of colours – you’ve got the beautiful, turquoise waters, the ever-changing sky and you can watch the weather roll in. There are mountains in the distance, which most of the year have a sprinkling of snow on them. And then you’ve got white beaches all around. It’s unlike any other landscape, in my mind, in the British Isles.
I was last there in November and I was the only person walking along the beach that day. There was not another footprint. It was absolutely beautiful. For me, the coastline is an escape from my adventurous life, in some ways. I’m quite happy just walking and contemplating and listening and reflecting. I don’t need lots of other stimulation when I’m on the coast. The ocean is enough.
I could fill your magazine with my favourite coastal walks. We’ve done lots of dog walking in the West Country around Putsborough and Woolacombe on the north coast of Devon. And we spend a lot of time in North Norfolk, around Holkham and Brancaster.
I think the idea of the Dogventures campaign I’ve done with Harringtons is just to say to people: every so often, why don’t you try to diversify your dog walk a little bit? It could be that you do something different, or you go somewhere different. For example, I’ve just been out with my dog in an open canoe on the Thames.
The coast is my happy place. I think most coast readers are going to be people like me, who just come alive when they’re by the sea.
For more on Ben’s partnership with pet food brand Harringtons, see harringtonspetfood.comdogventures/ben-fogle.