Brewing up in a bothy

Published 13 August 2023

A wood burning stove in Brattleburn bothy.  Wet laundry is drying on a string-made washing line over the stove.  The kettle is on.
What you need is a nice cup of tea.

Normally in August and September, Rambling Man takes some time off. Time to relax, unwind, and, [checks notes] spend time on beaches and water slides with the children. This year I thought I’d do something different. I thought I’d share some photos that I’ve wanted to use in my Sunday Picture feature for a long time but never seemed to find the right time. Well their time is now…

This post was originally supposed to be published on August 6th, but due to technical issues, it didn’t happen. Apologies.

I’m preparing this post in advance in July. It’s been raining for most of July. It’s pouring down as I type.

Rain is an occupational hazard in Britain. Especially when you’re out walking. And sometimes it really pours.

It’s June 2011. I was on my tenth day walking the Southern Upland Way. I’d intended to walk from the village of Wanlockhead to the town of Moffat where I had heard there was an Indian restaurant. I quite fancied a curry after many nights of pub grub or freeze dried meals.

When it started, I’d thought the rain was just a passing shower so didn’t get my waterproofs on. Very quickly I was proved wrong, and ended up soaked to the bone. I was seven or eight miles from Moffat. A long way to walk when wet. But a sign pointed off to a bothy, off the route. Brattleburn bothy. It needed a very slight detour but at least I could get indoors and do a quick change of clothing before carrying on.

Almost as soon as I’d got in the door, the heavens opened in spectacular fashion.

The bothy had a stove. Some kindly soul had left some firewood. I had a choice. Walk on and get very wet and have curry. Or stay the night at the bothy, put the stove on, dry out, and eat yet another freeze dried meal.

I got the fire going, brewed up, and tried to dry my very wet socks.

I finally had a curry eight days later when I reached Berwick-upon-Tweed.

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