For me the Highlands have always been there for hillwalking, it was all about the mountains and the rest was really a backdrop to enjoy in the evening.

But having young children has been something of an eye opener, revealing the many activities I knew about because of roadside signs but had never tried out.

So, on a family camping trip to the Cairngorms this summer more time was spent on water than the paths and ridges of the superb mountains.

Both our ten and seven-year-old love the idea of reaching a summit but when they gaze down from Cairn Gorm their eyes are drawn not to Coire an-t Sneachda but Loch Morlich in Glenmore Forest.

The area has long been established for it winter sports but nowadays the summer season is just as important and no more so than on the loch.

Its beautiful beach, at 1,000ft, is dominated by the Northern Corries and on a sunny day can look a little Mediterranean – there is even a barbecue on the go. All of this is helped by watersports on the loch.

The youngest is desperate to follow his big sister on to a paddle board (he just needs his arms stretching to be able to hold the paddle). No matter, all four of us were able to explore the water, if a little inexpertly on one windy day, exploring a little river and generally enjoying a side to the great outdoors I have ignored since my youth when Duke of Edinburgh Awards were part of my life.

Other than that, the wetsuits never had time to properly dry out as wild swimming became “a thing” in the family and those who were bravest made it into water deeper than they could stand up in.

One of my favourite walks in Scotland, or anywhere for that matter, starts at the west end of the loch and goes up to the magnificent Braeriach and its corrie which looks like something out of Lord of the Rings.

But when the rest of the family were spending a day with some friends who live locally what did I do? Hire a kayak and spend a few of the happiest hours you can imagine paddling around and across the loch, admiring the views of the mountains from below.

Some may say it is a type of midlife crisis to go back to things I enjoyed in my youth but it is one I intend to embrace with no regret.

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