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A Bothy Adventure in Autumn

There’s no reason why the colder, darker months mean fewer adventures. Our social media and marketing coordinator, Helen and her husband decided to throw their sleeping bags in their car after work and head to their nearest bothy to take advantage of every moment of the weekend! It might have been dark when they got there, but it didn’t stop a great mini-adventure.


Over Phawhope Bothy


As morning turned into afternoon one dreary Saturday, I shot Mike a message,

“Shall we go to Over Phawhope tonight?”

“I’ll pack the car!”

By the time I got home at 6, Mike had packed our camping and cooking gear and had made a trip to Lidl to buy some food and wood for the fire and we were off on a last minute Saturday night adventure!

It wasn’t a long drive, but we were buffeted about by a storm passing over. Getting to the bothy required a bit of a walk in the dark so we were thankful that the skies cleared and the air calmed the further south we travelled out of Edinburgh. By the time we were walking along the farm track from the car, Orion and his starry friends were out in all their glory.

We opened the door to our first bothy experience at 8pm. Still plenty of time to enjoy the quiet before snuggling down for the night.



We unpacked quickly and Mike chopped some wood to get the fire going to get the bothy warm. There was a lot of wood left over by previous visitors, but some needed thinning for kindling.



It wasn’t long before the fire was roaring and we moved onto cooking some pasta for dinner. The wonderful thing about these mini-adventures is that when I woke up that morning, I didn’t expect to be having pasta for dinner, let alone eating it in a bothy heated by a roaring fire!

At least with this evening adventure we didn’t have to worry too much about water consumption. We had plenty to go around. We also had a little bit of wine! Fire cracking, snuggled under a sleeping bag and on the surprisingly plush sofa, we had some time to relax. Some may choose to visit a bothy to shut off from the digital world, but we took a moment to catch some documentaries we otherwise wouldn’t have felt like we had the time to watch.

It wasn’t long before it was time to head to bed. This bothy has raised platforms for sleeping and while Mike had been doing dinner, I had been inflating our trusty sleeping mats and getting the sleeping area ready.

Once you know how to keep warm in a sleeping bag, you’ll never get it wrong:

  • Good sleeping mat
  • Good sleeping bag
  • Silk liner
  • Blanket if really cold
  • Warm hat
  • Merino to sleep in
  • bivvy bag if really cold/wet

And you’re set!



By morning, the weather was calm and clear. We still had water for coffee but had forgotten to take washing up liquid, so no campfire eggs for us. Instead, we headed back to civilisation (Innerleithen) for brunch – you’ve got to do what makes you happy!

A bothy visit was such an easy micro adventure, it just takes effort and a decision to just… go.