6 of the Best Bothies In Scotland

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There’s a lot of beautiful bothies out there and whilst we fully encourage you to go and experience them all, some of you might find that a pesky little thing like work gets in the way of doing a grand tour of them all. Luckily, that’s where we step in. We’ve rounded up our six favourite bothies in Scotland to help inspire your next adventure. 

Most bothies have the bare minimum of a fireplace and a wooden sleeping platform, while many have tables and chairs. Remember, that bothies never have electricity and don’t always have access to a water source though. Check before you go. The Mountain Bothies Association website is a good place to go when it comes to seeking out useful bothy information. 

From remote corners of Scottish islands to panoramic sea views, and bothies sat in the shadow of mountain peaks, these shelters in Scotland are guaranteed to knock your adventure-loving socks off. 

Glenpean

Originally an estate cottage belonging to a shepherd and his family, Glenpean offers up a view that always turns heads. This landscape was made for a bothy. With mountains here often wearing a light dusting of snow, this place is the stuff of romantic literature.

Flanked by Càrn Mòr and Sgùrr Thuilm, there’s no shortage of summit hikes in the area. The River Pean also runs straight past the bothy meaning that you’ve essentially got running water. Talk about luxury, am I right? In all seriousness be sure to bring some warm clothes and a good sleeping bag. It can pretty chilly in this place, even by Scottish bothy standards. 

How To Get There

Park at Strathan or Glenfinnan. From Strathan, it’s a three mile walk along a forestry track which disintegrates into a boggy obstacle course right at the end.

From Glenfinnan, the route follows the Cape Wrath Trail.

Extra Information

There’s an ancient set of iron bunk beds, although we’d wager your sleeping pads might be comfier.

Taigh Thormoid Dhuibh

Credit: Calum McRoberts

Try spelling the name of this bothy after a few drams of whisky. As inaccessible as it is a mouthful to say, the Taigh Thormoid Dhuibh Bothy is on the 14-mile-long Isle of Raasay over to the east of Skye. Touristy neighbour Skye feels a million miles away in this quiet and remote bothy, which was originally built as a crofter’s cottage.

Any intrepid explorer who makes the journey here is rewarded with a vista of craggy peninsulas and uninhabited little islands. The only water source nearby is Lochan gun Grunnd and that’s infested with leeches, so maybe take your own if you’d prefer to avoid a run in with some bloodsuckers.

It’s a 14-mile round trip. En route, just south of Taigh Thormoid Dhuibh, is an old ruined hut with the roof caved in. Don’t be fooled, this is not your bothy. Although the bothy you’re looking for isn’t that much more luxurious, it’s the setting here that makes it special. 

How To Get There

Park at Arnish on the Isle of Raasay. From there, it’s a seven mile walk to the bothy. 

Extra Information

Did we mention the leech-infested loch? We did? OK, never mind.

The Lookout, Skye (Rubha Hunish)

The Lookout Bothy on Skye. Credit: Getty Images / iStock

No guide to the best bothies would be complete without The Lookout. With panoramic views over the North Sea on three sides, it’s possibly Scotland’s most famous bothy. The Lookout is at the northernmost tip of the Isle of Skye, and was the old coastguard’s lookout station. As bothies go, it’s all pretty civilised (there’s hooks for your coats and everything). On a clear day here, the sunset views are stunning.

The bothy sleeps around seven people, but it’s pretty popular and well known so take a tent just in case you arrive to find it full. 

How To Get There

Park at Kilmaluag on the Isle of Skye. From here, the walk only takes about 45 minutes from the main road. 

Extra Information

There are binoculars and whale charts at the bothy, if you fancy going a bit Moby Dick. 

Shenavall

Descending to Shenavall Bothy. Credit: Getty Images / iStock

Shenavall is the perfect bothy base for summiting what’s often described as the remotest Munro in Scotland, Ruadh Stac Mor (919m). The views here make the light scrambling required to reach the top completely worth it. 

The bothy itself is blessed with flat, spacious, surroundings that are perfect for camping if the bothy is full. Originally a stonemason’s cottage, Shenavall has two levels: the ‘bedroom’ is upstairs. The location makes this one a winner. It’s a peak-bagger’s dream in the middle of the big outdoors. It sleeps eight. 

How To Get There

Park at the long layby by Corrie Hallie on the A832. From here it’s a five mile walk.

Extra Information

There’s a dartboard.

Ben Alder

An iconic bothy but not for the faint of heart, Ben Alder is said to be Scotland’s most haunted bothy. Over the years, it’s been plagued with numerous reports of poltergeist activity. If the ghouls do appear in the night, you’re on your own I’m afraid as it’s also one of Scotland’s most remote bothies. It’s eight miles from the nearest public road.

History buffs will be interested to know about the legend of nearby Cluny’s Cave, a hideout which Bonnie Prince Charlie supposedly used after the Battle of Culloden. 

If you survive the things that go bump in the night at Ben Alder, the view over Loch Ericht the next morning will make up for the fear you felt. Oh, and if spending a whole night in a haunted bothy wasn’t proof enough of your bravery a dip in the loch’s icy waters should cement your courageous reputation.

This place sleeps six (living) souls. 

How To Get There

Park at the sawmill at Bridge of Gaur, or by Rannoch Power Station to begin the trail that’s approximately eight and a half miles long. 

Extra Information

There’s bunk beds, and a porch for muddy boots. 

Corrour

Credit: Nigel Corby

Are we allowed to include a bothy on the basis of its bathroom facilities? Well, we’re going to because Corrour has a seriously impressive compostable toilet set up; one that automatically elevates it to five star bothy status.

It’s one of the most famous bothies in Scotland, and deservedly so, because toilet stuff aside it’s also a fantastic base for munro bagging. Corrour was originally built in 1877 to house a deer watcher during the summer. With the scenic quality of the views up Cairn Toul, we’d have struggled to keep an eye on the deer quite frankly. 

This bothy sleeps three.

How To Get There

Park at Linn of Dee car park or the Lower Cairngorm Ski Centre Car Park. It’s approximately a seven mile walk from either.

Extra Information

Compostable toilet (oh wait, we already waxed lyrical about that).

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