Portrait - Guirdil Bothy Photo Credit: Johnathan Andrew
Geoff Allan is a well-respected mountaineer, photographer and walking guide, who has spent over 35 years exploring Scotland's far-flung nooks and crannies. During this time he has developed an intimate personal relationship with the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
In the autumn of 2011, Geoff hit upon the idea of producing a countrywide bothy guide. At the time, the whereabouts of many bothies were still closely guarded secrets, information held only by a knowledgeable few. Without the use of a car, it took five years to complete a survey of over 100 bothies, and research all the background material. The vast majority of fieldwork was undertaken using Geoff's trusty bike, and public transport. With the luxury of time, Geoff rediscovered the country at a slower pace, and got a deeper feel for the history that has played out across the landscape over millennia.
The Scottish Bothy Bible was finally published in March 2017, and to his great surprise and deep satisfaction, has become a popular and respected reference text. Geoff has gone on to write a hugely successful second book, Scottish Bothy Walks, and used his knowledge and expertise to organise bespoke and group tours across the Highlands of Scotland. He has also written numerous article in print and online, including a regular feature in Alba, the Scottish supplement of the Times.
Talking bothies at Gelder Shiel Stables, Balmoral with Matt Baker
Now based on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way in Co. Galway, Geoff is busily immersing himself in the country's rich cultural traditions and history. Recently qualified as an Regional tour guide for Galway and Clare, Geoff has begun sketching out material for a local walking guide, furnished with photographs of the ancient, beguiling landscapes of The Burren and Connemara. He is also exploring a role within a local charities to promote walking in nature to support physical and mental well-being, and will be guiding in Scotland and Ireland over the summer of 2024.
Blackrock Lighthouse, Galway Bay