Did you know just how awesome some of our wilderness is here in the UK? So if you do decide to explore our more remote areas of the country it won't be long before you stumble across a bothy. A bothy is a remote cottage or lonely hut, some of them clinging to a barren hillside, others tucked away in a hidden valley. They are hardly luxury but, maintained by the Mountain Bothies Association, they are good for getting some gonk to break up multi-day yomps. Some of the best are up in Scotland, such as the Shielin of Mark bothy, up in the Cairngorms. Stone-walled, slate-roofed and a decent space to get a fire roaring is about the only home comfort - and even then you still have to bring your own logs to burn! But no one will be writing to TripAdvisor over this joint- last year, not long before Halloween myself and three other Royal Marines spent a week dug in the Cairngorms. For, well, fun and our unit supported it! We are supposed to be outdoors in nature, walking up hills, breathing the fresh air, looking at the views. There is a primal reward system hardwired into us that can be unlocked by just getting up a mountain and looking at the view. Not sitting under artificial lights and eating crappy takeaways. Nature is like a medicine. I didn’t learn this until I joined the Corps and earned that green lid. The sole cost for our board was that you respect the bothy for the next group. The feeling of isolation is unparalleled, and with nothing more than a fire, half decent scran and good mates it can really lead to some hilarious chats better then any therapy. Furthermore, at over 650m above sea level,it gives you early-morning jump on access to some of the UKs highest climbs before the day-trippers arrive. Last year we also smashed the forest-lined dirt paths that includes lung-busting climbs and hairy descents by cycling the Gwdir Mawr Trail. Also last spring we headed over to a Northern Ireland and covered over 150k’s of Strangford Lough via kayaks. It is the largest inlet of water in the British Isles and has the dramatic scenery to match, it’s also f*çking icers if you decide to dip in! This year we have ear marked a slightly warmer long weekend- the Camino de Santiago hills in Spain for some yomping. Had I not joined the Corps and pushed through hell, I’ve no doubt that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do these things with literally my best mates!