I have always been curious about bothies in Scotland. Quaint little buildings that are open to anyone that needs a shelter for the night, at no cost. Often situated in remote places and rescued from dereliction, they frequently come with an interesting history and a story or two.
Although I love the outdoors, I have never actually stayed in a bothy myself. This is partly because I have always thought they were the domain of seasoned mountain dwellers, partly because I didn't quite know the bothy etiquette until now and partly because it sometimes seems that you need to be a member of some secret bothy society just to find out where many of them are located!
One man has decided to lift the shroud of mystery that surrounds these bothies after spending 5 years visiting them all. Geoff Allan has just published The Scottish Bothy Bible, the first ever detailed guide to Scotland's bothies.
I first became aware of this book when the adventurer Alastair Humphreys tweeted about it and if he recommends it I can pretty much guarantee that it would be a book I would also enjoy, so I was over the moon when I got a chance o check it out for myself.
For a chance to win your own copy, see below!
I expected plenty of photos of the stunning Scottish landscape and of course lots of information on the bothies themselves, thankfully the book didn't disappoint.
What I didn't expect was the amount of extra information and inspiring ideas. There are detailed sections on equipment to take, outdoor safety advice and the bothy code, making this an ideal book for not only bothy beginners but anyone not experienced in exploring the outdoors. Each bothy description includes size and sleeping space, where to obtain fuel supplies, key attractions and directions on how to reach the bothy.
By the time you finish reading you will not only have a good understanding of how to reach each bothy but what to expect when you arrive. For me though, I was most inspired by the top 5 bothy suggestions depending on your interests. Coast and beaches, families and beginners, history and legends, spectacular scenery and even romantic hideaways are just some of the categories covered, it seems there is a bothy for just about everyone, who knew?!
The other thing I love about this book is that it doesn't over-romanticise bothy life. Accommodation is about as basic as you can get, they can be cold, damp and inhabited by mice. You also never know who your fellow guests may be and sharing a small space with strangers is not everyone's cup of tea. Then again you may find you have an idyllic getaway all to yourself or leave having found a bunch of new friends.
Geoff's book is a really interesting guide to the bothies that are scattered across Scotland and it has certainly inspired me to try the bothy experience for myself, Geoff has even offered to take me on a bothy walk!
This book is a fantastic edition to my Scottish travel collection and is a resource that I'm sure I will go back to time and time again. Whether you are a bothy beginner or looking for a new bothy adventure, The Scottish Bothy Bible is sure to inspire you.
You can buy Geoff's book here
enter my competition to be in with a chance of winning a copy!
WIN YOUR VERY OWN COPY OF THE BOTHY BIBLE!
The competition is now closed - thanks to everyone who entered and
CONGRATULATIONS TO OLIVER WHO HAS WON A COPY OF THE BOOK
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