Places to stay: Laggan Bothies
If you’ve ever kipped in a rough and ready traditional Scottish bothy, such as Ryvoan, you may find the delights of Laggan Bothies rather overwhelmingly plush. These two matching wood cabins sit nestled side by side on edge of the imaginatively named Loch Lochy in the Scottish Highlands and are owned and run by Scottish Canals. One is called Bonny, and she’s the romantic, with a big double bed for two, and one is called Braw, and he’s more practical, with cosy bunkbeds sleeping four. Both also have stoves, sinks and outdoor seating (and that’s about it, they are seriously tiny). We chose Braw, as there were three of us, and it was absolutely perfect for a cosy warm night before we faced big bad Ben Nevis the next day, especially as you can book for just one night.
As soon as we arrived the heavens opened, and it promptly poured and poured with rain. This was Scotland after all, even if we were there in midsummer. It was actually deliciously cosy inside Braw, and we stayed holed up there besides nipping to the shops for supplies (essentials such as marshmallows). The bothies are right on the canal, and a little down the way is one of the quirkiest pubs I’ve ever seen – the Eagle Barge inn, a floating canal boat/gastro pub full of weird and wonderful vintage memorabilia. And Samurai swords. They do lasagna and red wine, which is all I desire when it’s stormy outside. Back in the bothy we lit the stove (firewood is provided, as is bedlinen), toasted our ‘mallows and congratulated ourselves on finding the finest bothy in all the land.
It may have been my recent jet lag but I slept wonderfully well in our bothy, too, and when we woke up the rain had cleared, so we could eat a leisurely breakfast on our little patio before we kitted up and headed off to climb Ben Nevis. Perfect.