So, you’d like to visit a wild Highland bothy but don’t know which one to start with. Over the next few months I’m going to write about the bothies I love and give you some tips on which bothies might suit you and some hints on how to get there and what you should take.
I’m starting out with a remote but easy to get to bothy, Glendubh (Pronounced Glendoo ‘the Black Glen). This bothy is in a fantastic setting right on the west coast of Scotland near the village of Kylesku. The scenery is magnificent as it sits nestling on the side of a spectacular sea loch. It’s not unusual to see otters fishing in the loch and there are many sea birds to watch and there’s even a sporting chance you’ll see a Golden Eagle.
Kylesku is about three hours drive from the Highland capital of Inverness. Shops are scarce in this remote area so it’s a good idea to buy your provisions in Inverness or in the fishing village of Ullapool on the way. Ullapool makes a good lunch stop or there is a good hotel at Kylesku who serve great food.
The walk in to Glendubh is pretty easy but remember to allow plenty of time as you’ll be carrying a heavy pack and will probably want to stop along the way to take photos and look at the sights. It’s about a three mile walk to the bothy, the track is very good and follows the northern shore of the sea loch. Only basic navigational skills are required and, if you are reasonably fit, this shouldn’t be a challenging walk. Do remember that the weather here often changes very quickly so you need to be properly equipped with water proofs and warm outdoor clothing.
In common with all bothies Glendubh is a basic open shelter. There is no electricity, or running water and you’ll be sleeping on the floor.
Bothies are special places and it is a great privilege to visit them, please respect them and the people you meet.
For more information about visiting your first bothy read Ten Tips for your first bothy
Always follow the Bothy Code
Respect Other Users
Please leave the bothy clean and tidy with dry kindling for the next visitors. Make other visitors welcome and be considerate to other users.
Respect the Bothy
Tell us about any accidental damage. Don’t leave graffiti or vandalise the bothy. Please take out all rubbish which you can’t burn. Avoid burying rubbish; this pollutes the environment. Please don’t leave perishable food as this attracts vermin. Guard against fire risk and ensure the fire is out before you leave. Make sure the doors and windows are properly closed when you leave.
Respect the Surroundings
If there is no toilet at the bothy please bury human waste out of sight. Use the spade provided, keep well away from the water supply and never use the vicinity of the bothy as a toilet.
Never cut live wood or damage estate property. Use fuel sparingly.
Respect Agreement with the Estate
Please observe any restrictions on use of the bothy, for example during stag stalking or at lambing time. Please remember bothies are available for short stays only. The owner’s permission must be obtained if you intend an extended stay.
Respect the Restriction On Numbers
Because of over crowding and lack of facilities, large groups (6 or more) should not use a bothy. Bothies are not available for commercial groups.
This bothy is maintained by the Mountain Bothies Association, who are volunteers. If you enjoy a night at a bothy why not show your appreciation for their work and help them maintain more of these fantastic places by making a small donation.