Initially imagined by Bobby Niven, a young artist and Iain MacLeod, a young architect in 2011, Bothy Project was set up to give artists the chance to live and work within the Scottish landscape. The first bothy at Inshriach, sat on the banks of the River Spey in the Cairngorms National Park. Sweeney’s Bothy, located on the Isle of Eigg, was created as part of Creative Scotland’s Year of Natural Scotland 2013 and Pig Rock Bothy was commissioned in 2014 by the National Galleries of Scotland, inspired by the landscape of Assynt.

Since 2011 we have worked with more than 400 practitioners, giving them access to unique landscapes and the experience of living off-grid, as well as space and time to connect with their practice. This has been via our Creative Practitioner, Self-Directed and Partnership Residency strands.

Since 2020 we have been knitting-in those that live locally to our bothies by inviting them to be participants in our Neighbourhood Residency strand. And since 2023 we have been developing Fieldwork Residencies which unite local needs and ambitions with the work of thinkers, researchers, academics and other experts.

Our Public Programme, launched in 2022, is the key way to share, optimise and expand the public benefit of our work. We use the format of talks, podcasts and posters.

In 2017 Bothy Project was awarded charity status and formed its trading arm Bothy Stores.