SCOTLAND’S bothies while not being famed for their luxury hold a romantic affinity for those passionate about the country’s outdoors.
Most are free of charge and are usually left unlocked however it is common for many to fill up during the summer monthts so it pays to have a back-up tent should you visit and find a full house.
Bothies are normally owned by the land-owner and are used by seasonal workers and intrepid travellers.
The Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) maintain 79 bothies throughout Scotland.
Magnersta Stone Bothy, Lewis
This small stone and wood bothy nestles into the side of the Mangersta cliffs, in Uig on the Isle of Lewis, with wide views across the Atlantic Ocean to the Flannan Isles and St Kilda on a clear day.
It was designed and built by John and Lorna Norgrove who run The Linda Norgrove Foundation to continue the work their daughter was doing in Afghanistan. Linda was kidnapped in Kunar on 26 September 2010 and died in an attempted rescue by US forces in 2011.
Gameshope bothy, Southern Scotland
Grid Ref: LR 78: NT 135 185
Sitting in the Talla and Gameshope estate, this is a bothy surrounded by pectacular hill country, including the summits of Great Hill, Molls Cleuch Dod, Carlavin Hill and Firthhope Rig.
Today it remains a relatively remote area but its formerly wild and natural qualities have been largely tamed due to overgrazing.
It was built in the 19th century with the last permanent residents leaving in 1919.
The Schoolhouse, Northern Highlands
Grid Ref: LR 20: NH 340975
The Schoolhouse is one of a number of buildings of its type constructed by local authorities in the Highland area, but is one of the few now remaining. It is believed to have been used as a school until the 1930’s.
It was restored after being taken on by the MBA in 2008.
Cruib bothy, Jura
Grid ref: LR 61 NR 566 828
Owned by the Ruantallain Estate, Cruib sits on the shores of Loch Tarbert.
Opened in 2012, it was recently taken under the wing of the MBA who have renovated it but warn on their website that “considerable further work” is still to be carried out.
Badrallach sits on the shores of Little Loch Broom, overlooking An Teallach.
It is an ideal base for walkers and climbers looking to explore the hills of Wester Ross, Caithness and Sutherland.
It also has shower facilities with the owners also offering meals alongside canoe, kite and bike hire.