Aviemore, the Green Loch and Ryvoan bothy

We visited the green loch in Aviemore today. The last time we came here was September 2020 and we swam in it. Despite the sunny warm day the loch was freezing back then. Today was even colder and so we decided not to venture in.

You really have to be prepared for every weather in Scotland. It was warm and sunny when we first set out but this quickly changed to moody with dark clouds, snow and hail. The dark and foreboding clouds make the scenery all the more dramatic.

The loch was fuller this time. Perhaps because the spring snow melt has topped it up.

The walk to the loch is lovely. Even Daniel commented on the beautiful surroundings which is not something you’d expect from a 14-year-old. It’s about 20 minutes from Glenmore Lodge where there’s parking or you can park further away at the reindeer centre and walk from there.

We continued on past the loch to the Ryvoan bothy which is probably another 20 minutes or so. The path forks with one side going to Nethybridge and the other to Braemar. The bothy is on the Nethybridge fork.

A bothy is s simple mountain shelter, open all year round, to walkers and climbers who need shelter from the weather. They are very simple buildings, usually just one room and a wood fire. They don’t typically have toilets or running water but they have saved many lives over the years and are dotted all over Scotland.

I peered inside Ryvoan to see what it was like but quickly ducked out again as it was full of people which is not very covid secure. Usually people sleep in them. I got some photos of the outside instead.

We had lunch on the grass beside the bothy.

There’s a hill behind the bothy with a path so we followed it part-way up to see the view and it was very nice.

This next photo is Loch Morlich. We stopped briefly here just to capture the snow-capped hills behind the loch.

Aviemore as a village doesn’t have the quaint charm that places like Braemar and Ballater have. Most of the architecture is modern and ugly but I wonder whether once upon a time it had glorious old buildings that were torn down and replaced with ugly modern ones? There are still some nice old buildings but not many. The Cairngorm Hotel is one of them.

Aviemore also has a Waterstones bookstore that we visited with lots of Christmas gift vouchers we’ve been unable to use until now because of the lockdown.

Victoria is also enjoying a change of scene.

8 Replies to “Aviemore, the Green Loch and Ryvoan bothy”

  1. It’s so cold all the time at the moment. I think you were wise not to venture in. Both the children look like they are enjoying themselves, it’s so lovely that you do all these family things. I never enjoyed doing anything with my parents because they are so awkward to be with and my kids never seemed to enjoy doing all that much stuff with me, but someone expressed surprise today that they still like coming on holiday with me even though they are over 20! So it all came right in the end. Your family will have some fantastic memories to look back on.

    1. That’s great that you can holiday together now even though they’re adults. I hope our kids still want to come away with us when they’re grown up. They’re fun to have around and it makes holidays more interesting.

  2. When you described a bothy, I thought it might be similar to a DoC hut here – but then I saw the picture, and realised that they are nothing like our DoC huts, especially thise of my youthful tramping days. They were often a fairly ramshackle affair šŸ˜„ Many of them have been smartened up now, but I think there might be a fee for staying in those ones.

    1. I’ve never seen a DoC hut so can’t compare but these are free and available for anyone to use. They’re unlocked all year round and maintained by the mountain bothies association.

    1. The one I peeked into yesterday had a fire roaring away so it was toasty warm but they get cold when the fire is not on. They don’t have central heating or anything like that.

  3. That brought back memories. We used to do a lot of DoE Award expedition work in this area. I recall one occasion when I was waiting at the Bothy for my group to appear and heard them coming half a mile away ā€“ they were singing Flower of Scotland at the top of their voices. We had some fantastic times there.

    1. Sounds like a wonderful memory! I bet there were some nice acoustics in that landscape with the valley and hills on all sides.

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