So the weather has changed. The couple of weeks of blue skies and beautiful sun framing the Scottish glens, mountains and coastline has been replaced by rain and low cloud, at least in the Trossachs. But to say going outdoors is no longer any good would be a defeatist, and wrong, attitude.

I’ve just returned from Kirkton Glen above Balquhidder after leading 35 keen members of the Scots Magazine’s hiking club on a route to a hidden lochan.

The cloud was down and rain came on in fits and starts but as the group strode up the track it was still with anticipation of what was to come. For me a walk in the countryside is always enlivening – it is not like a walk to the shops, bus stop or office, it is a walk where you never really know what you might see.

Today, once high up by Rob Roy’s Putting Stone – a huge boulder the size of a bungalow where the outlaw was believed to have hidden – the isolated Lochan an Eireannaich was reached. Damp drizzle accompanied a lunch break but as the mist swirled above, revealing glimpses of the crags and hills, this was still as magical as if suncream conditions were prevailing.

The lochan itself was like a millpond when the wind dropped and it was not hard to conjure up images of the Irish missionaries who came this way in the 5th century and are still remembered in the name of the small body of water – translated it is Loch of the Irishmen.

So, whatever the weather, today was proof that it is always a good idea to get outside.

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