Bothy extravaganza time

by backpackingbongos

Do you often find yourself revisiting the same place over and over again on a map?  Do you have a spot which for some reason fascinates you, but you are not sure why?  Do you ever have the urge to visit places that are ridiculously remote and inaccessible?

I can safely answer yes to all of the above which often leads to a large outdoors ‘itch’.  From Saturday I will get the opportunity to give that itch a damn good old scratch.

I have to admit that I enjoy visiting bothies, especially if they are situated in wild and remote areas.  For me they compliment the wild places and I love the sense of place you sometimes get when walking through their doors.  At this time of year, when the weather starts becoming even more unpredictable they can provide very welcome shelter.  Sitting in front of a bothy fire whilst a storm rages outside is a great pleasure.  Therefore I have planned a trip that makes remote bothies the central focus.

Sutherland is a magical place, it looks like the bare bones of the earth have risen to the surface.  It is full of iconic peaks that should be climbed at least once in the lifetime of all hillwalkers.  They are not part of the plan.  The places that fascinate me and will be the focus of the trip are probably unknown to many people, perhaps that is why I am keen to go.  The Ben Armine Forest, Forsinard, A’mhoine, Glendhu forest, all places that I have obsessed about on the map for years.  Will they live up to my expectations?

Fellow blogger Pete from Writes of Way, myself and our two dogs will be doing a loop from Lairg up to the north coast.  Rather than do one long backpack we will be doing several short ones of 2 to 3 days duration.  This means that extra food and clothing can be left in a vehicle and picked up after each foray into the hills.

Unfurling my maps and looking at a tiny building located in the middle of the vast Sutherland moors gives me butterflies.  Will it exist or be locked? Will anyone be there? Will there be wood to burn?

It is over four years since I visited the far north, sleeping in this lovely bothy tucked away miles from the hustle and bustle of the 20th Century.

Just a shame that it’s a two day drive to get up there!


12 Responses to “Bothy extravaganza time”

  1. Have a splendid trip, James.

    It is wonderful country up there. The emptiness is fabulous; wild, long moorland and big rivers, a wonderful place to unwind. Throw another log on the fire and stare into the flames as the wind whistles down the chimney. Take a rod and line and have brown trout for breakfast.

  2. It’s definitely feeling a bit ‘autumnal’ up here in God’s Own Country this morning, brrrrrr.

  3. > Just a shame that it’s a two day drive to get up there!

    If it wasn’t, then everone would be going there… Have fun – I’m very envious!

  4. enjoy… just spent last weekend in Strathan Bothy myself near Sandwood Bay. Big clear skies, meteors and the ISS passing overhead on the first night and a thunder and lightning show on the second night. Its getting cold up here now though.

    • Luckily winter disapeared when we got up there David and it was very mild for the time of year. It was a stunning area.

  5. Have a great week or so James.

  6. Here in Norway there is a system of huts and mountain accommodation (hyttes) that is sublime in it’s quality and quantity. It’s perfectly possible to travel great distances through splendid terrain without a tent and stay in these immaculate huts. You’re right, there is something very special about spending a night in front of a fire with a storm raging outside.

    • Norway is somewhere I would love to hike one day Joe, the huts being a good way to get out of the weather if it turns bad. It was lovely laying in bed whilst on this trip listening to the wind and rain howling outside.


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