Halloween in a haunted bothy

For Halloween this year, Robbie and I planned a club paddle to Ben Alder bothy which sits on the shores of Loch Ericht, Scotland’s tenth largest loch.

Ben Alder bothy is also known as McCook’s Cottage, named after a deer stalker who was said to have hung himself there. If rumours are to be believed the place is haunted.

This was our second stay in the bothy after a trip there 5 years ago and we have so far managed to keep the ghosties at bay!

Here’s the route on Strava.

Seven of us from the Tayside Sea Kayak Club set off from the dam at Dalwhinnie to paddle the 13 miles to the bothy.


We had been nervously checking the weather in the days leading up to the trip as it had been blowing a hoolie all week but the wind had finally dropped a bit and gave us a nice push down the loch on the Saturday.


After a quick lunch stop at the helipad (as you do) we carried on paddling for another few hours before the bothy was in sight.


We had the place to ourselves. As soon as we opened the door Robbie got the fire going and everyone started cooking. The culinary delights ranged from supernoodles (ours) to lamb steaks with Moroccan butter on the BBQ (wished this was ours!).

Scott put on his halloween playlist and we drank wine, prosecco and whisky until the early hours.


After a much need extra hour in bed with the clock change we woke up to a beautiful morning.


Once breakfast was gobbled up it was time to pack up the kayaks and get ready to set off. Here’s everyone full of coffee and raring to go.

The wind had disappeared on the Sunday and the conditions were perfect. It is just the ultimate stress reliever when the water is so calm like this!

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There is another small bothy by the loch where we stopped to nosey around and after a bit of lunch on the shore we were on the home straight.



Just as the sun disappeared behind the hills we arrived back at Dalwhinnie.

After a game of find the car key we got the kayaks on the roof and had some dinner in the Snack Shack before hitting the road.



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