Glas Allt Shiel NO 276 824
Possibly one of the strangest bothies going, if only for being a part of the Queen’s hoose.
Glas Allt Shiel is an open bothy which is one of the out-houses of the Queen’s holiday home, or picnic lodge towards the west end of Loch Muick. A picturesque situation with a lovely lawn for picnics on a sunny summer’s afternoon!
However it came to be the done thing to doss in the Queen’s coal cellar, the big hoose itself is seldom used, so people staying in the bothy have little need to worry about noisy neighbours!
When you approach the house up the easily cycleable track from the Loch Muick car park along the north shore of the loch, head towards the back of the house and go into the passageway which leads into a tiny courtyard. The door to the bothy is the furthest in of a row of doors, all the others being locked. The correct door bears a plaque.
Inside, Glas Allt Shiel is a bit on the dark side, although it was improved in 2016 following a work party from the Bob Scott’s crew. Previously there was only one window to the outside, away in one corner. But now polycarbonate panels have been put in the ceiling, allowing light to come through from the well lit sleeping accommodation in the attic. It’s still a little on the dim side, but much improved. Some may be a little unnerved at the prospect of stepping on the panels, but they’re easily strong enough to take anyone’s weight and can be walked over with impunity.
The bothy is quite spacious by Cairngorm standards, with a large table and a good few chairs. The floor is wooden, but the walls are unlined stone, so it can be hard to heat. It also has a well-lit sleeping area in the roof space, up a steep flight of steps.
The bothy used to be a legendarily cold doss, but since the donation and installation of a stove by the Friends of Bob Scott’s it has become easier to heat. It’s best to take in some coal for fuel, as the estate ask that neither live nor dead wood be collected from the area.
There’s a stream just outside the bothy which is safe to use.
There is another building, behind and separate from the main house. On the uphill side of this there is a small toilet (the door is labelled) which is kept open. This is the usual hole in the ground and flushed by a bucket of water from the burn affair, although a seat has been put in place above the hole, presumably for those with weak legs or poor balance.
There is no mobile phone signal at the bothy or in the immediate area.