Many people don’t actually know what a bothy is, which is quite understandable. Bothies aren’t holiday homes, they are more like empty buildings where you can camp and enjoy the beautiful wildlife that we have in the UK.
A huge amount of bothies do have a number of useful items inside however, which include a washing line for drying your wet clothes, and candles.
Here are some interesting facts about bothies in our country:
1. Things You Will Find Inside a Bothy
Before going to a bothy, you should assume that there are no facilities included. Imagine going camping, but basically you don't have to take your own tent!
So no sink, beds, water supply, toilet facilities and of course no lights.
Although most bothies don't have a fireplace, some do! Take your own wood, or you can forage as you normally would whilst camping. Most bothies do have a sleeping platform included, but if there are a number of people using the same bothy as you, there might not be enough space for you to sleep, so just keep that in mind.
How fun is this for all our fellow hardened campers!
2. Where Can You Find Bothies?
Most bothies are located high in the hills of the UK, they are often found on working farms, sporting estates or in commercial forests. During the year, there will be times when accessing a bothy is restricted, including during the stag stalking season in Scotland.
3. Bothies are Free!
Anyone can visit a bothy and it doesn’t cost any money to do so. All bothies maintained by the MBA are free at the point of use. However, you are able to leave a donation, which will be used to help keep the bothy open and in a usable condition.
4. The MBA was founded in 1965
The MBA (Mountain Bothies Association) was founded in 1965. They were set up to take care of remote buildings that have little or no use to their owners but are important to people looking for shelter when going on a long walk. The MBA only actually owns two buildings:
· Over Pawhope in Southern Scotland
· Glenpean in the Western Highlands of Scotland
All other bothies are maintained with the encouragement and agreement of the owners. The MBA finance any work that is needed on a bothy from donations, subscriptions, and benefactors. Many of the donations are made by families who want to commemorate a family member or friend who was a climber or hill walker.
5. You Can Volunteer
If you enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, there's a good chance you’ll have come across a bothy. Perhaps you used it as a place to shelter from bad weather or maybe you spent the night in one whilst exploring a remote area. Whether you’ve seen a bothy or not, you can support the MBA by becoming a member. Members are encouraged to not only donate to the upkeep of bothies, but they can also help with maintenance efforts. Volunteers can help by visiting bothies to make sure they are safe and arrange for any maintenance if needed.
Bothies are simple shelters that are located in remote areas of the UK. They are free to use and can be used by anyone.
We hope you enjoyed the article. Obviously at this crazy time we are in, travelling is NOT an option! However, we hope you found some, or all of the facts interesting about Bothies for future reference.
Many thanks also to Scotland Travel Adventures for their help in providing us with this information.
Keep safe and well!