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

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

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