Camping without a tent: Scotland’s mountain bothies in pictures
A bothy is a Scottish word for a basic shelter, usually found in rural areas and left unlocked for use by hikers. There are hundreds of bothies in the wilds of Scotland.
Titus, a German forestry student on an extended gap year, wanted to hike to as many as possible. He spent 50 nights in 42 different bothies. He had an amazing time and he took some interesting photos.
The word bothy most likely comes from bothan or bothag, the Scottish Gaelic words for hut.
Most of the bothies are run by the Mountain Bothies Association. They are a charity who were formed in 1965 in order to maintain remote buildings for which the owner has little or no use. These old buildings remain important to walkers and others who make use of the shelter that they provide.
Bothy, was once a term for the basic accommodation used by unmarried male labourers on farms and estates. At night, for entertainment they would sing together. These songs of work and play became known as “bothy ballads”.
Nowadays, bothies are still basic and remote. Visitors should not expect any home comforts. Still, a bothy can be a welcoming sight in the wilds of Scotland.
You can see all of the bothy snaps taken by Titus here. I added a slideshow of a few more below.