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


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


Big Bothy Walk #27 Glenpean sits just the other side of Monadh Gorm from A'chuil. So close, and yet so entirely different. Where the setting for A'chuil is both well walked and wild, the Glenpean valley is off the Cape Wrath Trail and thus the bothy is much less visited. However, where A'chuil looks out … Continue reading Glenpean


Big Bothy Walk #25 Invermallie was the 25th bothy on my walk and, up until this point, the majority had contained a now-predictable layout of two larger outer rooms sandwiching a smaller one - classic but-and-ben buildings. Occasionally the space would be separated into two rather than three, or there would be the added novelty … Continue reading Invermallie

Gleann Dubh-Lighe

Big Bothy Walk #24 Gleann Dubh-Lighe translates as glen of dark water with 'lighe' referring to water that is full, flooding, or in spate. It had been raining in the days before and the Dubh Lighe river was churning and hurling itself in a frenzy of white, fast and high along the deep, shadowed chasm … Continue reading Gleann Dubh-Lighe


Big Bothy Walk #23 There was once a large orchard at Cadderlie; a vibrant, brimming garden so fantastic and beautiful it was written into both history and local lore. We have only old words and handwritten records of it now after a freak tide chased up the land during a devastating storm four hundred years … Continue reading Cadderlie


Big Bothy Walk #21 Stewart had dropped me off at the top of the path that would take me south out of Glenfinnan to the west side of Loch Shiel. All that overdramatic faffing around at Essan had cut my day short, I set up my tent by the bank after a few hours of … Continue reading Resourie


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


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


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