First Time at a Bothy? You may find this helpful!
- Bothy? What is a bothy?
- Bookings! How can I book space in a bothy?
- Charges? What charges?
- Facilities! What facilities are provided at a bothy?
- Map me! Where is the map of the bothies?
- MBA? What does it do?
- Membership? Do I have to be a member?
- Restrictions! Are there any restrictions on using a bothy?
- So, what do I get for my subscription?
- And how else is my subscription spent?
- How do I get involved?
- Can I join a work party?
- How do I enter the Member login?
- Can I take my dog to a bothy?
Bothy? What is a bothy?
A bothy was originally farm accommodation for itinerant workers; now a bothy is an open shelter usually in a remote location where travellers might have need of four walls and a roof. Most bothies are old cottages and at least several hours walk from the public road.
Bookings! How can I book space in a bothy?
You can't. We don't have a booking system. Bothies are open for anyone to use. Just turn up. People using a bothy must expect others to arrive looking for shelter and make room for them if that happens. We advise that you should consider taking a tent if you intend using a bothy in a popular area.
Charges? What charges?
No charges are made for using any bothy in our care. MBA maintained bothies are free at the point of use. We have, however, been known to accept donations from grateful patrons.
Facilities! What facilities are provided at a bothy?
You should only expect to find a wind and waterproof building with somewhere dry to sleep. Some bothies have a sleeping platform but at many you have to sleep on a wooden or concrete floor. Most have a fireplace or stove that can be used to provide warmth but you will usually need to carry fuel in. You will also need to take a stove for cooking and candles for light. Water comes from a stream or spring nearby. Do not expect the bothy to have toilet facilities; you will need to use the spade provided. Leave the bothy clean and tidy and don't forget to shut all doors and windows.
Map me! Where is the map of the bothies?
Almost all bothies are marked on the Ordnance Survey Landranger series of 1:50,000 maps, but there is no special map of bothy locations. The grid reference for each bothy is provided in the notes for each bothy on this website. Additional information is provided in "Bothy Notes" in the members section of the site.
MBA? What does it do?
We maintain about 100 bothies to keep them wind and watertight. We only own one of the bothies that we maintain, the others are maintained by agreement with the landowner.
Membership? Do I have to be a member?
No, MBA maintained bothies are open to anyone who needs the shelter.
Restrictions! Are there any restrictions on using a bothy?
Now and again the owner of a particular bothy may impose restrictions on the use of their property, such as during the deer stalking season in Scotland or during lambing. Details are published in our Member's Handbook and are noted in the Bothies section of this website, or you can contact the estate concerned directly. MBA asks people using bothies always to respect any requests made by the owner.
So, what do I get for my subscription?
There are no direct benefits to members of the MBA. People join the association to support our maintenance work - either financially through their subscription or by joining work parties. At present every member gets a copy of the Member's Handbook when joining and four newsletters a year.
And how else is my subscription spent?
MBA relies heavily on member's subscriptions to continue its work. This is our main source of income. So the first thing we spend your subscription on is materials and other things like transport costs and safety gear that support the actual work on bothies. Part of your subscription goes to provide the newsletters, the website and other services we provide to our members. We also have to manage the association and this includes insurance, bookkeeping services, producing the annual report and other governance costs, such as fair elections and hiring venues for open meetings.
How do I get involved?
We welcome assistance in both the maintenance work and to help run the Association. Meetings at all levels are as far as possible advertised beforehand in the newsletter and on this website. Unless there is a special reason for privacy we welcome people who want to come and listen. Work parties are also regularly advertised (see below). You can also help by reporting the condition of Bothies you visit, especially if you notice any problems. Contact details should be in all Bothies, and you can make a report on this website.
Can I join a work party?
We need volunteers to help out with all manner of tasks, both skilled and unskilled. Work parties are advertised beforehand in the newsletter and on this website. Please contact the organiser at the number given before going along as there may be things you need to be aware of beforehand and it helps the organiser do their job if they know you are coming along.
How do I enter the Member login?
Members will find the User Name and Password published in the MBA Newsletter.
Can I take my dog to a bothy?
Your dog will need to be well behaved as other inhabitants will not appreciate it scrounging for food or generally making a nuisance of itself. You should also check for any stalking restrictions which might apply and your dog must be controlled near sheep.With regard to its business, like humans it must 'go' well away from the bothy, away from any water supply and the waste should be well buried afterwards.
Gelder Shiel Workparty
Tarf Hotel Workparty
Burleywhag (Southern Scotland)