The Teahouse Bothy – Achnashellach, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

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The Teahouse Bothy

Achnashellach, Scotland

This tiny getaway tucked away in an uninhabited Scottish valley isn't your ordinary teahouse.  


This one-room hideaway sits in a wide valley, free for any passerby to use. Whether visitors are having a quick bite to eat or staying the night under its green roof this tiny, yet cozy retreat is sure to offer any traveler a memorable experience. 

The Teahouse is one of about a hundred bothies kept and maintained by the Mountain Bothy Association (MBA), a charity dedicated to the preservation of wild shelters around Scotland. This bothy was once a resting spot for hunting parties, but since the MBA acquired it in 1990, it’s been used recreationally by hikers and bikers across the world. 

On its sole piece of furniture, a wooden table set, lie around 10 worn journals full of traveler’s adventures and stays at this remote bothy. One whimsical journal is even loosely devoted to sketching, painting, and poetry. Many people use the nearby waterfall and Easan Geal river as their artistic subjects. Others like to capture the solace and wonder of the Teahouse by sketching out the views its twin windows offer. 

Know Before You Go

Before staying at any bothy, one should be familiar with the bothy code of conduct, available to view on the MBA’s website. Essentially, if you keep the bothy as tidy as when you entered it, you won't be fined. Do note, if planning to stay overnight, you should bring your own food, fuel, and sleeping bag/mat. Additionally, bringing some tea makes for the best experience.

The Teahouse bothy can be found right off the Easan Geal river, and a gravel road at the head of the Achnashellach train station will take you there. Once the Easan Geal is crossed via an old stone bridge, turn left at the fork and you’ll soon reach your destination. In total, expect a four to five-hour hike and back.

There exists an alternate route for the more adventurous folk: a single-track footpath that winds around the western side of Carn Odhar, the bothy’s mountainous neighbor. Both routes can be combined to make one big hiking loop, and both routes can be found on the map on the MBA’s site.

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September 28, 2021

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