New Bothies Open in Kielder, Arrochar and North Wales

by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com 05/Jun/2017
This news story has been read 3,481 times

The Mountain Bothies Association have added three brand new bothies to their portfolio, one each for Wales, England and Scotland. This brings the total number under their care to over 100.

"Our volunteers have spent many, many hours, in all weathers, restoring these buildings and making them wind and water tight" the MBA's Neil Stewart told us.

"The work that they have done is, frankly, amazing, and we are very grateful to them. We are also grateful to the owners of the buildings, without whose generosity and assistance these projects would not have been possible. As a result of everyone's endeavours, we now have bothy provision in areas where previously there were none. The three bothies are now available for all to enjoy, and we would ask that visitors treat them with respect and follow the Bothy Code."

Cae Amos looks like quite some pad, by bothy standards, 141 kbCae Amos looks like quite some pad, by bothy standards
© MBA

In North Wales, renovation has been completed on a former hill farm at Cae Amos. Situated above Cwm Pennant (SH517454) on the southern side of the Nantlle Ridge, and within reach of Moel Hebog, this traditional two-storey Snowdonia farmhouse is believed to be 200 years old, and had been used for the last 50 years as a climbing club hut.

The MBA's recommended approach is from the village of Carn Dolbenmaen, the nearest car park. The bothy is surrounded by sheep pasture, and dog owners are requested to keep their pet under strict control.

Meanwhile in Northumberland, volunteers form the charity have been hard at work restoring life to a roofless ruin. The new bothy at Flittingford in the Kielder Forest (GR754885) is a one-roomed building with an open fire, and comfortable space for a maximum of four people.

photo
Flittingford - space for four on the site of a former drover's bothy
© MBA

Once a shepherd's bothy, Flittingford is located on the former drover's trail to Bellingham, and local knowledge suggests it was historically used as a waypoint by sheep drovers on their way to market.

The MBA say it is an important addition to the hut network in the area, being a day's walk from existing bothies at Roughside and Wainhope. Access is on foot or by bike only.

Not to be ignored, Scotland has gained an extra bothy too, with the conversion to public use of the building known (weirdly) as Abyssinia in Glen Kinglas (NN256117). Standing in a remote wooded location at the northern foot of the Arrochar Alps, the bothy gives good access to Beinn Ime and Ben Vane among other hills.

Great looking bothy in Glen Kinglas, but what's the Haile unlikely Ethiopian connection?, 153 kbGreat looking bothy in Glen Kinglas, but what's the Haile unlikely Ethiopian connection?
© MBA

With the backing of the Strone estate, in which the bothy stands, a team of 50 volunteers spent three weeks putting the place into shape - and it looks like they've done an amazing job of it (though the chimney is still blocked - so don't use the fire til that's been sorted).

With comparatively easy access along a 4km estate track (no vehicles), Abyssinia promises to be a popular addition to the charity's bothies in the southern Highlands.

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