Mountain Bothies

Scottish mountain bothies are small stone shelters dotted around Scotland that are free and open to use for anyone at anytime. They were originally used by agricultural workers during the summer months, but now lie abandoned across the Scottish countryside. Whilst there is a big community for wild camping in Scotland, in the colder months, a more stable and wind sheltered environment may be more welcome for your St Andrews mini breaks.

Some facts about Bothies:

  • There are no facilities (including no tap, no sink, no beds, and no lights). They really are just stone tents.
  • As there is no form of booking process for bothies, there is a possibility that when you turn up the bothie is already occupied, however, feel free to share and make new aquaintances!
  • You can find out where they are located on this map!
  • Other similar schemes, if you are going overseas, include Wilderness Huts that can be found in Finland, Sweden, Norway, and northern Russia.

Bothies are by no means a luxury, but if you're looking for a spontaneous, adventurous hiking trip around Scotland, they may just provide a bit more shelter!


It is highly encouraged that you become a member of either the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, or the Mountain Bothies Association (the charity which helps maintain the shelters) before you use them.

Images sourced from Rob Jeffries and Mountain Bothies Association.