These Tiny Huts Will Make You Want to Move to the Scottish Highlands

Wednesday June 06, 2018 Written by Sam Wilson

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What artist doesn’t dream of escaping everyday reality and holing up somewhere far from the demands of responsible adult life? Somewhere remote, deep in nature, where they can immerse themselves in the creative process without being tempted by digital diversions? Somewhere like the little beauty above, Inshriach Bothy, nestled deep in the fairytale forest of the Cairnsgorm National Park. Tailor-made for concentrated creative cocooning, it also happens to be within trekking distance of a boutique gin distillery (you know, in case of cabin fever).

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Photographs, above: Bobby Niven

This little hut, above, perched high on the slopes of Scotland’s Isle of Eigg, was purpose-built for exactly that: to provide an off-the-grid studio where creative types can focus on their work, while drawing inspiration from the panoramic wilderness surrounding them.

Masterminded by a movement called the Bothy Project, this far-flung micro-shack is just one in a network of hand-crafted shelters for hire, dotted around Scotland in spectacular, natural locations. While their sleek design and sustainable materials place them firmly in the present, they’re modelled on a long-standing Scottish tradition of abandoned, unmapped cottages (bothies) used for overnight shelter by hikers and other outdoorsy types on their cross-country adventures. 

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Photography: Ellis O’ Connor

Like bothies of yore, these teeny artistic retreats fall squarely into the ‘no-frills’ category. But what they’re lacking in wi-fi, TV or indoor loos, they more than make up for in cosy seclusion. Fitted with basics such as a kitchenette, desk, wood-burning stove (which also heats an outdoor suspended-bag shower) and mezzanine beds, the Bothy Project’s huts are all about disconnecting from 21st-century superfluities and reconnecting with your creative mojo and the natural world.

Sweeney’s Bothy (below) was inspired by – what else? – a cursed 7th-century Gaelic king who spent a decade wandering alone through the wilds of Scotland. Proving once and for all that the best things come in small packages, this pint-sized hut could not be more scenically situated. In fact, the views are so sublime, they could well distract you from your artistic pursuits. A risk worth taking, don’t you think?

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 Photography: Johnny Barrington

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 Photography: Ellis O’ Connor

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Credit: Johnny Barrington