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The ultimate in back to basics accommodation, bothies are the choice of accommodation for backpackers and travellers who are simply looking for dry and warm accommodation for a one night’s stay. Most people won’t have heard of a bothy, although if you regularly enjoy back to basic holidays exploring remote countryside you might have come across them on your travels. Bothies are basic shelters that were previously ruined buildings and have been restored to a basic standard.

They are left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge. Bothies are typically associated with remote regions of Scotland, especially the Highlands, but they can also be found in mountainous areas of northern England and Wales.


Bothies are restored to be waterproof and windproof, and typically have designated sleeping areas that are either in an upstairs room or elevated off the floor to avoid draughts at floor height. It’s important to remember that no bedding, mattresses or blankets are provided in bothies, so when you set out on your travels remember to bring this with you. Although the majority of bothies are at most two rooms, you’ll also find some larger bothies like two storey cottages with a lot more space.

The majority of bothies have a fireplace and are close to a natural source of water, providing all the basic living amenities. Although there are no specific laws with the use of bothies, there are some etiquettes of staying like replacing wood for the fire, candles, removing rubbish and excrement. When staying in a bothy it’s important to remember to leave it how you found it for the next traveller to enjoy this free accommodation. 


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