Dryfehead Bothy

Route: Eskdalemuir – Dun Moss – Dryfehead bothy – Black Esk reservoir – Sandiford – Eskdalemuir.

Date: August 2019

Distance: 39km

You can download the gpx track here.

We completed our Bivvy-a-Month ride in August with a trip to Dryfehead bothy.  We briefly visited this bothy in 2017 during the daytime, which felt a bit unfinished – it was good to get the chance to go back and spend the night there.  As I am still recovering from an injury we cut the journey short by loading the bikes in the van and driving to a jump-off point, this time the village of Eskdalemuir.

From the village we rode north past Samye Ling Buddhist centre and then turned west on the Romans and Reivers route.

We had left our departure a bit late in the evening as we were waiting for the rain to stop. Joe asked if this sunset was a forest fire, it was so intense.

Darkness fell as we climbed gently up to Dun Moss where we were briefly in the cloud, then had a wonderful long descent where we hardly turned a pedal. Bombing 4km downhill in the darkness with our world reduced to the circle of light in front of us was brilliant fun. I didn’t even fall off once. :roll:

We arrived at the bothy at 9.30 and went to bed not long after. There was one other person there who had already turned in for the night, leaving the stove warm for us to sit around.  It’s a great wee bothy with generous array of three rooms that mean you are pretty much guaranteed a room to yourself. It also has a composting toilet now.

It’s a beautiful place to wake up….

It’s a lovely spot by the confluence of the streams.

We took a southerly route home, past Black Esk reservoir to Sandyford and then the road back to Eskdalemuir. The rain was light at first, then we got a complete drenching.

Black Esk reservoir.

By the time I got back to the van I was cold, wet and shivering pretty badly. A reminder not to be complacent, even in August! I really need new waterproofs. It was a good wee ride though, we both enjoyed it.  It was about 40km round trip, so not arduous by any means.  The climbs were pretty gentle and the surface was good.  If you combined this ride with a trip to Samye Ling Monastery (see our Greensykes bothy trip for more details) it would be an excellent trip for young minds (and legs).  It could also easily be done as a day ride, with a lunch-stop at the bothy.

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