What is a Bothy? I didn’t know either. It is a small dwelling found in the middle of nowhere. The main purpose is for mountain trekkers and hunters to shelter for the night.
We visited one in a area that most people would struggle to find without someone familiar with the landscape. My grandparents live in the middle of this wilderness.
Jessica, my aunt, uncle and I visited in the weekend. After saying our goodbyes we drove, walked and eventually pushed open the unlocked bothy door. Inside we found a guest book, a map of Scotland, an old wooden first aid box and a joke sign on a door saying “General Wade’s office”.
The General Wade reference was another thing I didn’t know. Turns out he was a general of the English army. From 1720 to 1740 the General led troops through the rough terrain of Scotland during the Highland clearances. They were in “North Britain” to crush a rebellion. He built a series of roads and small arcing “wade bridges” over rivers.
The bridges have become something other than a symbol of conquest. They have helped Highlanders connect with the rest of Scotland for nearly 300 years. The guy got it so right that some of the current highways were built exactly over the top of the roads he built. Acknowledging the natural contours of the landscape. I love hearing these stories. Here are some more photos!