This is a lovely, charming book all about the experience of using bothies and also a practical guide about where they, how to get there and what facilities are available. What makes this book a joy to read is that the author has included a diary entry with each bothy describing her experience of staying there. These entries spark your imagination and make you want to make the journey to the bothy.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of a bothy it is a building in a remote location that is free to stay in. They are maintained by the Mountain Bothies Association:
"The easiest way to describe bothies is simply as stone tents. They may look like country cottages from the outside- pretty enough, with a ramshakle type of charm to earn them a spot on chocolate boxes- but inside it's a different story. With no gas, no electric, no running water, no bathroom, no beds and certainly no TV, these are as basic a shelter as they come."
Bothies can be found all over Britain, but the vast majority are in Scotland, so most of the entries in this book are north of the border. Bothies tend to be used mostly by walkers and climbers as they are in rural areas, usually far from roads. They are not as convenient for cycle tourists unless you are using a mountain bike.
You have to enjoy roughing it a bit to get the best out of a stay in a bothy. You might have mice for company, you might arrive to find it full with other walkers and have to stay outside and you might even have to carry your own fire wood or coal. But this book convinces you that there are more pros than cons to using bothies.
It is a beautifully presented book with plenty of idyllic photos and crammed full of the author's personal experiences of staying in the featured bothies. These stories are wonderfully written and really capture the magic of the bothy experience. There are also maps, GPS coordinates, information about fuel and water sources, suggested walking routes to get to the bothy and the wildlife that can be spotted. There is a detailed description of how many rooms and exactly what is inside the bothy, which in most cases, is not very much.
This is a lovely book for anybody curious about bothies and for walkers and climbers looking for a serious guide.
You can buy the book by clicking on the Amazon image below:
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.