If Backpackingbongos designed a bothy…………….

by backpackingbongos

Whilst staying in Strathconon I decided to head deep into a remote glen in search of a bothy.  Half of the fun was the fact that I was not even sure if the place existed.  There are loads of bothies in the Highlands, many looked after by the MBA which is an organisation worth supporting.  I love the ethos of bothies, an unlocked shelter in the hills there for anyone to use for free.  You turn up and take a chance on whether you will have company.

Often the bothy books of the more popular places north of the border are full of the semi-literate ramblings of the virtues of Tennents* and Buckfast*.  After scrawling about how ‘Bonnie’ and ‘Braw’ Scotland is they then show how patriotic they are by leaving empties everywhere and taking a dump round the back.  Thankfully as yet I have not had to endure such inhabitants and most people encountered have been decent folk.

Its is easy in the age of the internet to find bothies.  Log onto the MBA website and they helpfully list them alongside grid references.  I have mixed feelings about this to be honest.  Yes, bothies are for everyone but surely it is not too much to ask to pay the membership fee to get the handbook?  When I started bothying the MBA did not even publish a list if you were a member.  Much of the fun was wondering if that building symbol in the middle of a map would provide shelter.

I still like to do that, heading into the hills to find remote estate bothies.  Off the radar they are often better looked after and cared for by visitors.  You get the feeling of stumbling across a secret place.  I was not disappointed during this stravaig on a grey afternoon, the bothy I came across being one of the best I have visited.  The place was comfortable and spotless and it was evident from the bothy book that people came to enjoy the hills rather than alcohol of dubious quality.  Even the discerning Tracksterman had paid a visit and left without having to haul out other Peoples rubbish.  I will have to return to spend a night or two………

*Alcoholic beverages that are not to be confused with beer or wine.  Unfathomably popular in Scotland.


17 Responses to “If Backpackingbongos designed a bothy…………….”

  1. Ah the joys of Buckie! Or Coatbridge* Champagne as it’s known in some parts. Buckie is best enjoyed al fresco, drunk in your local park or other public spaces. A curious side effect of drinking Buckie is it renders the drinker unable to identify the nearest bin in which to place their empties, and in certain cases it causes violent spasms making the drinker throw the bottle to the floor so that passing labradors by the name of Dougal lacerate their paws (happened this morning, still fuming).
    Sorry about that. That is indeed a very, very lovely looking bothy, Jimbob, it even appears to be furnished with velvet cushions! I do very much like the picture of the wall-mounted stag’s head; I bet you’d feel a bit like you were being watched if you slept there, mind…

    *Coatbridge – one of the less salubrious dormitory towns of North Lanarkshire.

    • Boo to the person who smashed their Buckie bottle, hope that the passing Dougal is ok there Pete? Mentioning Dougal, i had a dream about him last night. I removed a huge tick from his head which was then kept as a pet, I think it learned to speak. Strange but true.

      I was rather jealous of the stag head, I want one for my lounge. Only found a single antler though during the whole week.

  2. Rather nice looking inside. Your description of the rubbish left around bothies, rather puts me off them, but I am sure there are some good ones.

    • There are many good ones out there Mark. It’s the ones close to roads or with easy access which attract the litter dropping masses. A strange paradox as you would think it would be easier to take home with you.

  3. Looks like a good find James.
    Gives you yet another excuse (if you ever needed one) to head back up North.
    Only ever stayed in one bothy and that was at Coire Mor near Seana Bhraigh, that was pretty tidy as well.

    • I never need an excuse to head back up north, just need the time! The bothy at Coire Mor near Seana Bhraigh is a corker. There is a whole terrace of them!

  4. I suspect this may be on next week’s TGO route for me.

  5. Whilst I understand your spleen at dubious types using bothies for nefarious purposes, at least they have used a small amount of gumption in
    1. Organising a outing
    2. Getting gear together to see them through the night
    3. Showing a certain amount of dextarity to get to and from bothie without getting lost

    Bothie are there for everyone, not just the elite few who turn up with a grand’s worth of kit in there rucksack, I never understood the MBA’ s few of not advertising in there newsletter the very thing they existed for.

    • I agree Simon, people should be congratulated for managing to put their shoes on the correct feet and for being able to do up their shoelaces.

      Joking aside my only real issue is the fact that some people are often selfish and expect others to pick their crap up after them.

  6. Purple velvet cushions! How very gauche 🙂

  7. Looks almost luxurious there! I’m sure the doggies would all appreciate those cushions too.


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