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

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

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

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

Tunskeen

Big Bothy Walk #10 Bothies and informal open shelters existed long before the MBA came about. Depopulation of rural areas followed the World Wars as hillfarming rapidly declined, leaving many farmsteads abandoned. At the same time, there was a national initiative encouraging the population to take their leisure time outdoors, and as cars became a … Continue reading Tunskeen

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

Kettleton Byre

Big Bothy Walk #8 Kettleton Byre may only have the one room, but its appearance has changed a lot in the years since the MBA took guardianship of it in 1983. An attic that was once accessed via a staircase that ran from the area where a draught-defying porch has now been built has since … Continue reading Kettleton Byre

Burleywhag

Big Bothy Walk #7 I often get asked which has been my favourite bothy so far. I never really have an answer because so many factors make up an individual bothy experience that far extends beyond the building itself. However, despite it not being the most elaborate or large or impressive of bothies, nor placed … Continue reading Burleywhag

Brattleburn

Big Bothy Walk #6 The wind had kept me off the hills the morning I left Gameshope, so I had surrendered myself to the route out by the Talla Reservoir and a lengthy trudge along the road in the drizzle. It was deeply uninspiring. The only small joy being the viewpoint at The Devil's Beeftub; … Continue reading Brattleburn