Talmine, Scotland

*Disclaimer: If you’re reading this, and a potential bothy vandalism culprit, there is a local woman Sharon who’s tired of cleaning up your shit and seeing your vandalism. Please read her comments below and be respectful of this and every bothy you go searching for.

TALMINE, NORTHERN SCOTLAND

“Where’re ya off to today?” Our Airbnb host Alma asked as we headed out the door to do some exploring.

“There’s a bothy we thought we’d walk out to.” I proceeded to tell her which one it was, which I won’t go into detail here.

“Oh, that’s an alright one for sure, but I think you’d enjoy another more.” She and her husband Chris proceeded to stretch out a map of the area and she pointed out a tiny word on the shores of a loch nearby.

She gave us some homemade cake, landmarks to follow, and off we went on a wonderfully damp spring afternoon.

Turns out this wee bothy isn’t as well known because it’s not maintained by the Mountain Bothy Association. It’s maintained by the local primary school, so it’s not as widely shown online and in books. I’ve revised this blog as well, to keep it as private as possible. I do still want to share the photos and inspire people who would respect this sort of thing, but unfortunately, others can’t be trusted. Locals will recognize the landmarks, of course, but then again, the locals already know it’s there.

It was empty when we arrived, but the bothy journal had a new entry from just the night before. It’s well equipped and well traveled as bothies go, as the photos show. Those who love it do their best to keep it maintained and clean. If you happen to stumble upon it, please do the same.

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One needs their wellies for this type of shot

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Do as Oor Wullie does

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Kitchen
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Upstairs sleeping area

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Backside of bothy
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Side shed
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When nature calls
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Oh, how the mind makes up stories.
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Our homemade cake. Thanks, Alma!

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4 thoughts on “Talmine, Scotland

  1. Arnaboll is the most beautiful bothy that I have been visiting for many years. A very well kept secret and a place seldom visited. Recently however there has been an increase in visitors due to blogs such as this. This has led to rubbish being left and other hygiene issues. The bothy is not regularly maintained and there is only so much rubbish I can carry out. Internet exposure such as this will only lead to more and more folk visiting and in my experience vandalism will follow. Please put your ego to one side and remove this.

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    1. Hi Sharon,
      I respect and agree with what you’re saying. However, there are more diplomatic ways of going about it than blindly judging a stranger and accusing their intentions for sharing something they have a deep passion for is out of ego. The small amount of traffic that my blog gets is not likely to be a threat to this bothy, and ironically, most of my readers are Scottish and have a deep respect for it. If the audience was different and more widespread, I would have put less information about it. As it turns out, you’ll see that unlike some of those blogs you’re talking about, which I agree disclose too much information for those too lazy to find it themselves (and those being the culprits most likely), this entry gives vague direction on how to get there, exactly in efforts to keep it more difficult to access. We had a well marked map from our local friends, which I did not snap a photo of and include. I didn’t snap photos of the turn-off, the gate, the parking lot, or the trail as we went along. As a stranger, you don’t know that I’d actually put some thought into why I didn’t include those things for the very concerns you’re bringing up. Someone would have to do a lot more research to find the place simply off my blog, and those who research enough to get there are typically the ones that respect it the most. I commend your efforts to keep the place clean, as our friends in Talmine told us that it’s hard for the primary school to maintain. It is a beautiful place, and a place I think about often when I’m 5,000 miles away and unable to get back to Scotland. Thanks for your comment and raising awareness, as it sounds like we both share the same sour attitude about most tourists.

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      1. Hi Lady Emily,
        Thank you for your response to my comment. Do you honestly believe that by not putting in exact directions and a map you make the bothy hard to find. You certainly do not need a map or any kind of directions whatsoever to find Arnaboll. I found the bothy (I did not know what the building was at the time) by seeing it and walking around the loch to it. Fortunately, for Arnoboll, most tourists will simply not walk 4 miles to see what something is! Thanks to your blog anyone driving along the opposite side of the loch seeing the bothy can now simply google ‘bothy Loch Hope’ and your site comes up. Congratulations on being number one on google search by the way. The opening picture of your blog shows exactly where Arnoboll is and says what it is. Ben Hope (featured in your image) is a very well known mountain and visible for miles so all the information needed to find the bothy is contained in your opening page.

        Traditional bothy culture in Scotland is in serious decline since the commercialisation of MBA bothies in the hideous ‘Bothy Bible’ that brought in the masses. The now controversial NC500 tourist route has brought 29000 people passing through the area of Arnaboll. Mobile internet signal in the area has recently been increased . No doubt I will be spending more of my time burying human excrement left outside the bothy on my next trip (like I did on my last) as numbers increase and the wrong folk turn up.

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  2. Sharon you’ve nailed it! Due to the “hideous Bothy Bible” (MBA-endorsed BTW) as you so accurately put it, an MBA-maintained bothy – An Cladach on Islay – will now be closed for 6 months of the year. This is a direct result of bothy commercialisation, although of course the MBA will do their utmost to suppress this story and you will not read about it on their website. There are other bothies under similar threat too while Geoff Allan the author of the Bothy Bible wanders off with his loot. The MBA trustees and Allan should hang their heads in shame.

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