Picture the scene. It’s December and your best friend’s face is vibrating on your phone as an incoming call is received. It’s been a long hard term in school so maybe he’s arranging a catch up in a pub, with a possible steak and chips thrown into the deal.
Me: “Alright buddy”
Stoney “You fancy going to the Lake District, walking to a bothy with no internal fire and staying overnight”
Me: “Can we take whisky?”
Dubs Hut (LR89: NY 20900 13400)
Dubs Hut Bothy is in a slate built shelter in the Honister Slate Mine Company estate in the Lake District and is easily accessible through a number of routes including a short stroll from the Honister Pass. Stoney and I were getting away later in the day and decided to take a stroll in from Seatoller which is relatively near by. Dubs Hut is a former mining hut used by workers of the mines and is enroute to Innominate Tarn and the summit of Haystacks. It is one of two bothies in the immediate area with Warnscale Head Bothy near by too.
At the time of our visit Dubs Hut was vacant (perhaps to be expected in December) although we did meet a small group who were on their way to Warnscale Head Bothy that evening. Dubs Hut is hard to miss if you follow the bridlepath towards Warnscale Bottom.
It had very basic facilities (as many bothies do). Running water was available from nearby streams and as you can imagine in December it was abundant. There are no toilets so it is advised that you follow the bothy code and advice of the Mountain Bothy Association (MBA) on their bothy page. “Few bothies have toilet facilities apart from a spade and the advice is that you should walk at least a couple of hundred metres from the bothy and 60metres from the water supply before excavations and evacuations commence.”
There were some camp beds and a few candles left by previous visitors. Fires were not permitted inside the bothy but since visiting the MBA has installed a stove for heating the bothy (you will need to bring your own suitable fuel). Most bothies in Scotland request that you leave enough kindling for someone else to be able to start a fire incase they are visiting in more dramatic circumstances which we think is a good way to respect this facility.
Dubs Hut was comfortable although I would imagine it may be ‘busy’ in the summer months. The addition of the stove will be welcome to those visiting on colder nights. It was a good bothy experience and is probably a good starting point for those looking to try out their first bothy as it is easy to access on foot from a number of locations including the Honsiter Slate Mine (which incidentally serves up one of the best bacon butties I’ve ever eaten) and it is a comfortable evening providing you take everthing you would expect to need (sleeping bag, roll mat, candles, fuel for fire, food and drink). If your visiting in December we recommend a bottle of Dalwhinnie Winter’s Gold as the perfect accompaniment to this particular bothy!
The Mountain Bothy Association have recently completed a restoration of the bothy and said “When we first became involved with this bothy, a former mining hut, it could best be described as soulless and unwelcoming with a roof that leaked heavily and with no fire or cooking facilities. Volunteers have put in many days of hard work restoring the stonework and making the bothy more accommodating, including fitting a new stove. The final part of the project, to re-slate the roof, has now been completed.”
A highly recommended bothy experience!