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

Tomsleibhe

Big Bothy Walk #18 I had run into Jude again in Oban. He had been watching ducks (or something involving birds) on Colonsay before arriving in Oban, and was preparing to go to Mull. As was I. So we decided to go together. "Will it be a you-walk or a normal walk?" he asked on … Continue reading Tomsleibhe

Cruib Lodge

Big Bothy Walk #17 The maelstrom of Corrywreckan can be heard ten miles away. The whirlpool crashes 10 metre high waves around a towering pinnacle of basalt, protecting the northern shore of Jura. Jura. What is in a name? Often said to have its roots in Norse observing the many deer, but there is another … Continue reading Cruib Lodge

Carron

Big Bothy Walk #16 The serpentine River Add slithers up the creases of a wide moor and slings a coil to curl under a stoic sycamore tree, behind which hides the bothy that took its name from the water - Car Abhuinn; 'winding river'. I had sloshed through a final track from the forest lane … Continue reading Carron

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

White Laggan

Big Bothy Walk #11 I was dragging on only a couple hours sleep leaving Tunskeen. I miserably headed back up the path I'd arrived on, this time turning off through the forest to walk around the head of Loch Riecawr and continue through the trees until I arrived at the west side of Loch Doon. … Continue reading White Laggan