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Celebrating 50 years of mountain bothies

In more than 100 wild corners of the UK are free shelters – bothies – for use by walkers. As the charity that runs them turns 50, Phoebe Smith, author of Book of Bothy, picks eight favourites

It all started here in Galloway Forest Park, not far from the Merrick, southern Scotland’s highest mountain. Tunskeen was one of many isolated old farmhouses around Britain. From the early 1900s, and particularly after the first world war, changes in agricultural practices meant these stone buildings were abandoned. But because they were unlocked, intrepid climbers and walkers would stay in them, not always with the landowners’ permission. In 1965, a bunch of outdoor enthusiasts, led by a Yorkshireman called Bernard Heath, came together to restore the one-room house, which was rapidly being lost to the elements, and the modern bothy was born.
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