Exploring less well-walked trails during the summer months can sometimes turn into a mini jungle adventure, encroaching vegetation prompting thoughts that packing a machete may in future pay dividends.
Ben Gulabin has long been something of a ski season standby, a hill to climb if conditions on the slopes of Glenshee above were too poor to warrant the purchase of a lift pass, or if the road over the unyielding Devil’s Elbow was snowbound.
Sunshine drew me to the coastline for a wee wander along the eastern fringes of Fife and through the wooded policies of Cambo Country House & Estate, a short drive south from St Andrews.
Built in 1859 on an elevated spot overlooking the River Isla, Ruthven Parish Church is very much the archetypal rural kirk, a beguiling wee red sandstone building adorned with octagonal bell tower and buttresses set in a graveyard of antiquated headstones.
The hike from Clova up to Loch Brandy is strenuous but enduringly popular, thanks to the spectacular glacial scenery that awaits walkers, the high-level pool nestling in a perfectly sculpted mountain corrie.
Formonthills Community Woodland sits on the northern edge of Glenrothes.
Of the little lochs that lurk in the lands of Atholl Estates to the north of Dunkeld, Lochan Oisinneach Mor is one of the most remote and, as such, tends to attract fewer visitors than popular pools, like Loch Ordie.