• Home
  • Bothy Project
  • History & Geology


The New  


01.  background.

02. concept.

03. stay on islands.

new space

In May 2021, we launched a crowdfunding project to update the existing 150-year-old bothy and build two new "sleeping" bothies next to it. The project aims to keep the island open to wildlife enthusiasts for the next fifty years. Sadly, we were unsuccessful, reaching just over £14,000 in donations, while aiming for a target of £65,000. Unfortunately, our second attempt to raise the necessary funds also fell short. Therefore, we will now be taking donations over as many springs and summers as it takes to reach our goal.There are a number of reasons, however, to be positive.


The campaign raised £11,000 in the first morning, and £50,000 was pledged via our newsletter link (see below). Moreover, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.We feel that with a combination of getting more interested parties signed up from across a variety of new networks, a new campaign would be successful. So please do sign up, and once we get to 200 signatures, we will relaunch this campaign once more. Please read the campaign story below!The only remaining structure is a 150-year-old bothy that keeps the island open to visitors wanting to stay on the Shiants.

Over the years, the majority of groups that stay camp in tents, keeping the bothy as a separate communal space for meeting, cooking, and playing games.It wasn’t until the project flew in two portacabins to be used as sleeping and storage hubs by its volunteers that the idea of building more bothies was ever taken seriously. They were very popular with visitors when they were available, regularly preferred over tents, providing beds, mattresses, privacy, and an overall sense of well-being on the island. They provided true shelter that tents, which can at times feel exposed on rainy or windy nights, could not. Overall, they opened up the Shiants, allowing the islands to become more accessible.


Despite all their obvious advantages, the green metallic portacabins were not in keeping with the island and so were removed. The idea, however, of having a new set of “Shiant Bothies” remained.The challenge of finding something that would work was not easy. Two years after the portacabins left, architect Iain MacLeod, who co-founded “The Bothy Project” with his school friend Bobby Niven, had a potential answer to a challenging list of criteria that work for the Shiants.


The pair had produced a concept for bothies that were quaint, practical, fit with the general feel of the island, and importantly, could be built on a remote island. Their business, already a national media story, was to build bothies on the mainland and then assemble them on-site in less than a week. Both artist bothies will have a double bed, with room for two extra beds under the gable. It is ideal for a family or group of friends. They are spacious and yet do not dominate.


Soft and yet robust. With new sleeping bothies for visitors in place, we could also modify the existing bothy to turn it into one large room by knocking through the central wall. In keeping with its old traditions, it will retain all of its existing charm but be more practical for day and evening use, where large groups can organise and plan by day and enjoy glasses of wine and dinner parties by evening. Another new addition will be a porch, to throw wet hats and boots into without letting a draft into the bothy. New windows on the north and south sides will make the place lighter.An artist bothy is perfect for a family (two adults, two children) or for a group of four friends. Please, no more! If you want to book both bothies (i.e., for larger groups), please book two bothies and make note of this.


It is important to visit to get a list of suggested food and drink items. Boat trips to and from the island are not included in the price, but email, and he can introduce you to the boat operators directly. Please be aware that there are no plumbing or toilet facilities on the islands.The Shiants are an important nesting ground. When observing the birds, please keep your distance so that they're not disturbed. You must not touch their nests or eggs.If you would like to stay updated on the launch of the campaign and stay in the new bothies, please register your interest below.