Scotland’s bothies are better than any five-star hotel – leader comment

After a mountain rescue team and an exhausted walker take refuge in a bothy in the Cairngorms, The Scotsman sings the praises of the traditional bothy.

Shelter from the storm: a Scottish bothy (Picture: John Devlin)

They provide a shelter in places where that can be the difference between life and death. They are unlocked, open to all and maintained purely by volunteers and the people who use them.

In our often over-commercialised world, the bothy is a beautiful thing. After a long day in the hills, these small, simple and often ramshackle buildings provide everything you really need – the chance to cook some hot food, get warm and dry by a roaring fire, and have a good night’s sleep.

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10 of Scotland's best bothies

Waking up in the middle of The Highlands, having breakfast as the sun rises over the distant hills, is a pleasure that cannot be matched by any five-star hotel.

So, after members of the Braemar Mountain Rescue team and an exhausted walker they were called out to help took refuge overnight in one near Beinn Mheadhoin, The Scotsman would like to salute all those who help maintain Scotland’s bothies.

They may perhaps feel like something of a remnant from a simpler time, but we can only hope this tradition continues long into the future.