‘The merry fellowship of bothies’: hiking in the Scottish Highlands

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A hike between bothies – one old, one new – in the Cairngorms fosters a sense of community among strangers sheltering in the Highland wilderness

Park in the Linn of Dee carpark near Braemar and you can hike to two bothies. One path takes you through winding valleys into the heart of the Cairngorms to Corrour, built originally in 1877 and reconstructed in 1949. Or you can follow the River Dee’s glittering expanse on its path down the mountains to the Red House, the Mountain Bothies Association’s most recent addition, which opened last year. The two places represent the bothy world past and present.

I discovered bothies only a few years ago but since my first stay at Cadderlie, on the shore of Loch Etive, my bothy travels have taken me across Britain: to the woods of Eryri (Snowdonia), the peaks of Wester Ross in the north-west Highlands and even Orkney’s bothy museum.

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