Home | A Guide to the Best Bothies in the Cairngorms

A Guide to the Best Bothies in the Cairngorms

9 Aug 2023

Scotland’s bothies, shelters hidden away in remote parts of the countryside or mountainous areas, are a tradition harking back many years. Once a shelter for gardeners or estate workers and popular with ramblers, bothies have experienced a bit of a renaissance in recent years. The Mountain Bothies Association says think “camping without a tent” rather than holiday home.

Located in some of the most stunning landscapes, bothies provide an incomparable opportunity to get back to nature. One of the most captivating regions to experience bothy culture is the Cairngorms. Here are some of the best bothies in the Cairngorms area:

  1. Corrour Bothy

One of the most famous bothies in the Cairngorms, Corrour is located in the Lairig Ghru, one of Scotland’s most dramatic mountain passes. It’s an ideal stopping point for those on multi-day hikes, surrounded by Munros and with a view of the Devil’s Point. The bothy has two rooms and a fireplace, but remember to carry fuel if you’re planning on a fire, as there’s no wood nearby.

  1. Hutchison Memorial Hut

Also known as the Etchachan Bothy, this is located at the heart of the Cairngorm plateau. It’s one of the highest bothies in Britain, and its location offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. It’s a smaller bothy with only one room, so be prepared for company if you’re visiting during the peak season.

  1. Bob Scott’s Bothy

Easily accessible from the Linn of Dee, this bothy is a popular stop for those exploring the southern Cairngorms. It has a large communal area and a fireplace, and unlike many bothies, it’s not unusual to find it stocked with firewood.

  1. The Fords of Avon Refuge

This is a small emergency shelter located between Cairngorm and Ben Macdui, the two highest peaks in the Cairngorms. Though not a bothy in the traditional sense, its remote location and lifesaving purpose make it a significant point of interest for hikers in the region.

  1. Ruigh Aiteachain Bothy

Located in Glen Feshie, one of the most beautiful glens in Scotland, this bothy has been recently renovated. The bothy has two rooms and is located near the river, offering a fantastic view of the Cairngorm mountains.

A Word of Bothy Etiquette

Remember, bothies are a privilege provided by the generosity of the landowners and maintained by the volunteer work of the Mountain Bothies Association. Always respect the bothy and its surroundings, take all your litter with you, and never stay more than a couple of nights. If you regularly use bothies, consider joining the MBA to support the maintenance of these unique shelters.

The Cairngorms offer some of the most picturesque landscapes in Scotland. Exploring the area via its bothies lets you experience this stunning region in a very authentic and memorable way.

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