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Experience the Bothies of England, Scotland and Wales with a Cicerone Guidebook

Cover of The Book of the Bothy
11 Feb 2016
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.4cm
1st Published
14 Aug 2015
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The Book of the Bothy

by Phoebe Smith
Book published by Cicerone Press

A celebration of 26 of the author's favourite bothies, as she shares her memories of her favourite 'stone tents' all over the UK in remote and wild locations. Packed with expert advice on how to make use of these 'free, old, empty houses', from packing lists to bothy etiquette and the best walks into these remote locations.

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Cover: Paperback - Laminated
Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.4cm
Weight: 270g

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Journey into some of the wildest and remotest spots of the UK and you will be amazed at what you will find – old, empty houses left open for you to use… and at no charge? It sounds too good to be true – but it’s not. Thanks to the fantastic work of the Mountain Bothies Association (MBA), the UK is home to a network of hundreds of bothies, lovingly maintained by volunteers for walkers and climbers to access some of the UK’s greatest wilderness. 

This book celebrates the very best bothies in the country. Follow in Phoebe’s footsteps as she shares hard-won, expert advice on how best to make use of these ‘stone tents’, including packing lists, bothy etiquette, best walking routes in, local legends and more. And be inspired to pay a visit to one yourself as she recounts stories from her own stays in these stone sanctuaries – sharing whisky from Sigg bottles, telling ghost stories around a roaring fire and dishing out dry socks to late arrivals.

  • Activities
    Walking, backpacking
  • Seasons
    Bothies are accessible year-round.
  • Centres
    Wales: Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons, Devil's Bridge. England: Buttermere and Mosedale (Lake District), Dufton (Pennines), Kielder Forest Park (Northumberland). Scotland: Highlands and Isle of Skye, Glenduror Forest, Fort Augustus, Spean Bridge, Rannoch Moor, Cairngorms, Galloway Forest, Fisherfield, Sandwood Bay, Oykel Bridge.
  • Difficulty
    Good level of fitness and ability required. Some of the bothies featured can be reached in a half day's walk, on easy to follow bridleways and paths; others require technical and/or navigation skills, especially in winter, with some river crossings or scrambling.
  • Must See
    Bothies in this book cover some of the UK's wildest spots. Highlights included Sandwood Bay, Fisherfield forest, the Isle of Skye, Mosedale in the Lake District, the Torridon coastline, Rannoch Moor, Ben Alder, the Cairngorms National Park, Galloway Forest and Snowdonia's Carneddau.

September 2015

The bothy near Lochnagar – which we have as Glendar Shiel Stable throughout – is actually called Gelder Shiel Stable.

On page 105, we have listed among nearby hills to the Hutchison Memorial Hut ‘Derry Hill’ but this should be ‘Derry Cairngorm’.


Map key
Overview map


Welcome to the wonderful world of bothying
What are bothies?
History of bothies
Facilities to expect
Why bothy?
Finding a bothy
MBA or not?
The bothy book
Safety issues
How you can help
What to take when bothying
A note on fuel
The best bothies – or why these 26?


Dumfries and Galloway


Lowther Hills

Kettleton Byre

Glen Coe

Taigh Seumas a’ Ghlinne

Scottish Highlands

Lairig Leacach


Ben Alder Cottage

Great Glen

Blackburn of Corrieyairack

East Highlands

Ruigh Aiteachain


Glendar Shiel Stable


Bob Scott’s
Hutchinson Memorial Hut

Wester Ross

Easan Dorcha (The Teahouse)

Isle of Skye

The Lookout




The Schoolhouse

Sandwood Estate



Brecon Beacons

Grwyne Fawr


Nant Syddian


Arenig Fawr




Lake District

Warnscale Head
Mosedale Cottage


Cross Fell



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