Tom, Co-Founder at SALKAN, spent a few days staying at a remote bothy in Scotland. He reflects on his time spent focusing on life’s simple pleasures.
When you’re stood in your cabin and admiring a teaspoon, you soon realise that the level of detail that has gone into your new abode is out of this world.
The Inverlonan, based just out of Oban in Scotland, offers an off-grid stay within a designer ‘Bothy’. Surrounded by ancient forest and abundant bracken, your tin hut on stilts sits proudly in the surrounding countryside of your own private Loch Nell. To get to the bothy you have a drive in a 4×4 buggy or cross the loch in a tiny boat; this is probably about as off-grid as you can get in the UK with this level of architectural design.
When we first turned the key and stepped in, your eyes were drawn to every detail. The cast iron wood burner sat prominent in the middle and your bed up high in a mezzanine style with a removable ladder. Everything in the cabin had been locally sourced and you would soon find yourself picking stuff up and working out where it had come from so you could add it to your own collection. The level of thought that had gone into every piece was apparent and great care had been taken in all aspects of sustainability from helping out local business to leaving no impact to the environment if the bothy were to be removed.
Life at the Inverlonan is all about slowing down and taking your time over your very basic needs. Sleep. Eat. Repeat. Remembering to light a fire so that you can have your morning coffee whilst looking out and letting your mind wander and then forgetting to put some water on the stove to have your nature shower out on the deck! I’m not sure I have ever felt so at peace. Simply, your day consists of eating, sleeping, having fun on the loch and once again forgetting there is a world outside your little bubble. What more do you need?
A kayak and SUP are provided and there are countless walks that we could take the dog on – we had never see his tail wag so much and there were times when we didn’t see him as he explored on his own merits coming back to curl up in front of the fire. Breakfast was provided with produce from the bothy’s farm. If you are feeling brave you can order the choice of a pizza box or BBQ that you can make and prepare over your open fire outside. Our pizza was not quite how we imagined they would be – but we had great fun making them!
Once you have slowed down and realised you haven’t checked your phone for days, the hardest part is having to leave hoping that your reconnection with the simple life continues.