Glencoul

Big Bothy Walk #30 The bothy sat in a fold of the glen beside the Glencoul Loch, carved out by retreating ice many millennia ago. An old schoolhouse once, to the children of all the tiny settlements in the creases and cracks of the nearby hills. Many of these children would grow up and be … Continue reading Glencoul

Suardalan

Big Bothy Walk #29 I was jumping ahead of my original plan, in order to meet Emma. Emma had been walking the UK perimeter for the last four hundred odd days and was now up in northwest Scotland. We had ended up on the Wales Coast Path at the same time this past winter, heading … Continue reading Suardalan

A’chuil

Big Bothy Walk #26 A'chuil is the first MBA bothy reached by those on the Cape Wrath Trail; the 200 mile trail that winds its way through the rugged fringes of isolated Knoydart, on to Torridon and the edge of Assynt before the final push across the peat-hagged Parph to the Cape Wrath Lighthouse at … Continue reading A’chuil

Essan

Big Bothy Walk #20 No other bothy manages to be both as visible and as inaccessible as Essan. Perched on the south side of Loch Eilt, the railway line that carries the trains between Fort William and Mallaig runs only 100 metres or so in front of the bothy, with the A-road carrying cars the … Continue reading Essan

Leacraithnaich

Big Bothy Walk #19 I had managed to wrench myself away from the islands for now, which was good because I somehow lost all track of time and myself on them. Their slower pace, friendliness, individuality and, well, many distilleries, means I could pretty much turn into whatever the equivalent would be of an Odyssean … Continue reading Leacraithnaich

Abyssinia

Big Bothy Walk #15 I finally reached Abyssinia three days after leaving Mark Cottage. A rest day in Inverary had been spent exploring the jail and the castle, and the next day I had set out to reach the bothy. Things happened. It was raining. A steady stream of rain had continued into the morning. … Continue reading Abyssinia

Mark Cottage

Big Bothy Walk #14 A century ago, Scotland's oldest man lived on the western bank of Loch Long. James Grieve was a shepherd and he had worked as such for as long as he could remember. James was 110 years old, so he could remember plenty. He still lived in the but-and-ben house he had … Continue reading Mark Cottage

Doune Byre

Big Bothy Walk #13 "We've set up ten minutes down the loch. Camp with us, it's not even flat here" "Yes it is" (It wasn't) "You don't have to stay here, this bothy is shit" "No it isn't" (It was) My own rules for this Big Bothy Walk stated that I had to sleep inside … Continue reading Doune Byre

Rowchoish

Big Bothy Walk #12 I had completed the border bothies with my night at White Laggan, and made a messy trip through the mire and marsh and mist that hung and clung around the path that headed north, sloshing and meandering around the hills. I had missed a turn to head up to a forest … Continue reading Rowchoish

Clennoch

Big Bothy Walk #9 I had come to Clennoch after spending the previous night stopped off in Sanquhar; a small town far more charming that I expected it to be with a museum in the old town hall, the original jail cells, a castle, the oldest post office in the UK and locals that were … Continue reading Clennoch