/ How do I find a bothy?

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margauxsmale on 02 Jul 2015
Hi,

Can anyone help me? I know the MBA looks after about 100 bothies around the UK, but I've heard there are others about. How can you find them - is there another body that looks after them or is it purely word of mouth?

Any help would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Margaux
girlymonkey - on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to margauxsmale:

I usually look on the map for my chosen route when planning to see if there is a building that looks like it could be a bothy. Then I will stick some identifying feature (river name, GR, hill name etc) into a google search with the word 'bothy' and see what comes up. Most bothys seem to get a mention at some point on people's blogs and trip reports.
Jim C - on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to margauxsmale:

I misread your post, and of course there is the MBA site locations map online , but yes some of the estates have bothies, so as suggested, if you know what the estate is, you can Google the estate name and Bothy and you should get a hit- if there is one.

StuDoig - on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to margauxsmale:

theres no list or body, a lot of estates keep buildings water / wind tight for their own use and don't mind people kipping there. They aren't always on Google though - certainly a few I've used / been to don't seem to get any hits. The not well known ones are normally found either through exploring likely sites yourself, or word of mouth. No guarantee that they will be open though - esp once they become popular enough to appear easily on google, quite a few that have been locked up as a result of becoming well known and overused (in the estate's eyes).

Cheers,

Stu
margauxsmale on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to girlymonkey:

Hey,

Thanks for your help. Will defo try that out next time we go walking. Thought I'd let you know I put a post about bothying up on my blog and I gave all you guys who offered me advice a shout out on it >> http://bit.ly/1T8c3pq

Thanks again for all your help and hope you enjoy the read

Margaux
margauxsmale on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to Jim C:

Hey,

Thanks for your help. Will defo try that out next time we go walking. Thought I'd let you know I put a post about bothying up on my blog and I gave all you guys who offered me advice a shout out on it >> http://bit.ly/1T8c3pq

Thanks again for all your help and hope you enjoy the read

Margaux
margauxsmale on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to StuDoig:

Hey,

Thanks for your help. Will defo try that out next time we go walking. Thought I'd let you know I put a post about bothying up on my blog and I gave all you guys who offered me advice a shout out on it >> http://bit.ly/1T8c3pq

Thanks again for all your help and hope you enjoy the read

Margaux
Mike-W-99 on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to margauxsmale:

'People leave all kinds of useful things'
Sometimes or more often can't be bothered taking their stuff back out.
margauxsmale on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to prog99:

True true, but one person's junk is another person's treasure, right? Long as it's useful
mp3ferret on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to margauxsmale:

You could check out the forum http://ukbothies.freeforums.org/ There's lots on there - if you can get on. I've registered but can;t login and there seems to be no way to contact anyone to sort it out.

marc
margauxsmale on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to mp3ferret:

Fab, thanks Marc - I'll have a look
JohnnyW - on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to margauxsmale:

> True true, but one person's junk is another person's treasure, right? Long as it's useful

Well, I would beg to differ I am afraid Margaux, as a regular bothy user and MBA member. The slow build up of 'useful' stuff leads to someone having to carry it out eventually. I was in Dibidil and Guardil earlier this year, and in both cases carried out a full carrier bag of bottles, (no, we don't need any more bloody candle holders!), dried food (who actually does eat old food), tealights, plastic bottles etc.
Take it ALL out, and sweep up please.
rant over.....
margauxsmale on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to JohnnyW:

Hi Johnny, Fair enough, I understand where you're coming from. But it is useful when you only brought a flashlight to have another light or three around the room. Point taken though and will certainly bear in mind on our next bothy trip. Thanks for all your hard work on the bothies too
Stopsy - on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to JohnnyW:

I ate a load of the stuff I found in Guirdl and Dibidil last year so I'd imagine there's a fairly regular turnover of food? But totally agree that there were more than enough "candle holders" especially the lambrini bottles. Whoever left the botanist had a bit more panache. Didn't feel my little bottle of Grouse was worthy to clutter the mantelpiece in those lovely little bothies. Long may they stay that way.
Jim C - on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to margauxsmale:

I could tell you where the 'secret Houff ' is on the way to Ben Avon , but sworn to secrecy;)
Steve Perry - on 02 Jul 2015
In reply to StuDoig:

> theres no list or body, a lot of estates keep buildings water / wind tight for their own use and don't mind people kipping there. They aren't always on Google though - certainly a few I've used / been to don't seem to get any hits.

There is a list online somewhere, I have a printed copy of it but its from years ago. It has all the known bothys in Scotland be it MBA, Estate or howff and their respective grid references. If I remember when I'm back onshore I'll look what site is printed on it and post in here.

John Gresty - on 03 Jul 2015
In reply to Steve Perry:

Yes. Many years ago i bought a book which listed all the remote buildings in the highlands.

Just checked, still got it.

'A survey of Shelters in remote mountain areas of the Scottish Highlands.' A ring bound paperback with no obvious date or authorship, probably at least 30 years old. A very comprehensive survey but by now I suspect it will be well out of date.

John
StuDoig - on 03 Jul 2015
In reply to Steve Perry:

I'd stake my life that there is no definitive list that covers every bothy, howff and estate out building! I've seen quite a few lists of buildings, shelters etc that various bodies groups and website have tried to setup, but even comparing those they all have different ones included and not. Closest I can recall was a list of every building shown on an OS map, but this didn't differentiate between bothy or useless, now collapsed, building. Could be the one that John is referring to above. But I don't recall it having too many details (whether kept open of not, private building or derelict etc). I suspect that by their nature the estate bothies are too random in whether or not they are unlocked, knocked down, turned to sheds / livestock shelters for a list to be all that much use anyway.

Friends and I have between us spent a lot of time googling and searching online for info on various building shown on maps (sad as that is), particularly in the NW - if a definitive list with every howff, bothy and building existed we would have found it, in fact I'm certain that if it did exist it would be well known online given how often folk are looking for just that kind of info. If there is a definitive list though, I'm happy to be corrected (and take advantage!)

the freebothies site linked to above is a good resource, as is http://www.geograph.org.uk/ for a bit of investigating.

Cheers,

Stuart
1
streapadair - on 03 Jul 2015
In reply to John Gresty:

It was a labour of love by the late Irvine Butterfield, and the information is 40-50 years old.

Investigating little anonymous squares on the OS map can be amusing, and I've found a few gems that way. Secret howff? I can raise you.
OMR - on 03 Jul 2015
In reply to margauxsmale:

> Hi Johnny, Fair enough, I understand where you're coming from. But it is useful when you only brought a flashlight to have another light or three around the room. Point taken though and will certainly bear in mind on our next bothy trip. Thanks for all your hard work on the bothies too

Just to underline Johnny's point, I wrote this specifically about Cairngorm bothies, but it would apply to them all - https://cairngormwanderer.wordpress.com/the-bothies/
That contains a link to this document, prepared for youth groups, but which could be read with benefit by all - https://cairngormwanderer.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/bothies-resource-booklet.pdf
Keeping bothies in a decent condition is an uphill struggle sometimes, so any help by people taking out rubbish and NOT leaving 'useful stuff' (okay, apart from coal and candles) will be appreciated by anyone who looks after a bothy.
margauxsmale on 03 Jul 2015
In reply to Jim C:

Ooooh, do tell, do tell
margauxsmale on 03 Jul 2015
In reply to StuDoig:

Thanks for that!
StuDoig - on 03 Jul 2015
In reply to margauxsmale:

Aye, bothy hunting aside it's a pretty amazing website / project!

Cheers,

Stuart
margauxsmale on 03 Jul 2015
In reply to StuDoig:

Oh thanks for that Stu Glad you like!
yorkshirebloke on 08 Jul 2015
In reply to margauxsmale:

Perhaps start with Mosedale in the Lakes near Haweswater 2.5hr walk in if you take in summit of Branstree

My top three are
Hutchinson Hut (Cairngorms) go mid week in spring its awsome
Peanmeanach (Near Arisaig) 1hr 45m walk in
Dibidil (Shearwater express to Rum, follow coast around 2.5hrs)

please take your own wood n fuel in an carry out all waste!!! except a bit of wood for the next folk....
R
ScraggyGoat on 08 Jul 2015
In reply to StuDoig:
Checked another one out at w/e, looked very secure in the sense the owner was in residence, and from the fixtures it would be battened down at other times. Unfortunately didn't have time to make acquaintances as had paddled 23Km and had another 12Km to go to catch the one and only bus that made the whole trip work....................so another one off my list and probably yours too!

Though I do know of one bothy, but while permanantly locked the owner leaves tea making facilities in the porch so passers by can help themselves to a cuppa and a biscuit by means of consolation!
Post edited at 22:07
fmck - on 09 Jul 2015
In reply to margauxsmale:

This bothy is one I have not visited but is top of the list. The bothy builders (Family) have such a tragic tale relating to the ongoing conflict.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91Sdp83Ulqs
cdpej on 09 Jul 2015
In reply to margauxsmale:

A plug for the new bothy at Camasunary. Major support for renovating this is being given by the family and friends of Neil Mackenzie who died earlier this year.
StuDoig - on 09 Jul 2015
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

haha grand of them to leave the tea making facilities. If I ever become a land baron I'll be sure to do the same!

Need to catch up for a trip NW sometime soon, or at least a pint! Tested the muts at strathchailleach a couple of weeks ago and they seem to take to bothy living.

Not tempted to try and paddle over to Inverie for the meet this weekend? By the looks of the forecast you'll be able to paddle right up the glen to the bothy.....

Cheers!

Stu
StuDoig - on 09 Jul 2015
In reply to fmck:

It's a cracking place. View out the window is awesome, esp in stormy weather. Small though - not much room for more than 3, and 2 of those on the floor! Fire / lum doesn't really work if windy either, so chilly in bad weather. Well worth it for the location though!

Cheers,

Stu

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