Of all the places I thought I’d be having a conversation about what motivates me as a Naturist and the finer points of our legal rights, the bar at the Corrour Station House probably wasn’t at the top of my list…
The idea for the Highland Wilderness and Walking Weekend, which took place on the Corrour Estate in the central Highlands of Scotland in July, seemed perhaps too ‘specialist’ when I came up with it in 2018. Would people really be interested in a weekend staying in a very remote youth hostel, focused on hill walking and wild swimming? Would it really be possible to do all this naked?
The answer to both questions turned out to be a resounding ‘yes’, which is how I came to be having a conversation with one of the professional deer stalkers on the estate at the Station House bar. Liam was clear that, whilst skinny-dipping made sense, climbing mountains naked wouldn’t be for him – but he was really interested in what we were doing, and why we would choose to come to such a remote location. As he put it ‘you’re the main topic of conversation on the estate this weekend’
A group of eighteen BN members and guests made the trip to the hostel at Loch Ossian. Scotland was well represented, but people had travelled from all parts of the country to join the event – helped by the fact that although Corrour is the only station in the UK not accessible by public road, you can get a direct train there from the centres of London and Glasgow
Our group also had varied experiences of hill walking – naked or otherwise. For some, it would be their first experience of the Scottish Highlands. For others, it would be their first experience of naked walking. For one of the group, the weekend was a chance to fulfil a long-held ambition of climbing a Munro (one of the highest peaks in Scotland) naked
Helped by much better weather than the forecast had suggested, we were all able to achieve our objectives. We split into smaller groups to walk throughout the weekend, completing walks that ranged from a pleasant stroll around Loch Ossian and visits to remote mountain bothies to 20-mile-plus epics taking in multiple mountain peaks
As a group, we’d agreed that we would cover up when we met members of the public only when we felt as individuals that this was the right thing to do – in practice this worked out well. Although the Corrour Estate is very remote, the train station makes it accessible for day visitors, so we probably interacted with more than a hundred non-Naturists over the course of the weekend. We received the usual range of reactions from being ignored, to being asked questions and receiving supportive comments – but we received no complaints or hostile reactions. Knowing that we also had the support of Hostelling Scotland and the Corrour Estate for our weekend also allowed us to be confidently naked around the hostel and on Estate tracks
Our base for the weekend was the hostel on the shore of Loch Ossian – facilities were basic in the hostel, but we all managed to get along and find enough space to eat, drink and sleep as well as for wide ranging discussions about Naturism, mountains and beyond
One of the great advantages of the hostel location was the ability it gave us to swim naked in Loch Ossian which most members of the group managed throughout the weekend. Although not an official GBSD location, we certainly did our bit!
Throughout the weekend we received great support from the hostel warden, Katrina, who was very relaxed with us as a Naturist group and who mentioned on a number of occasions how happy she was that we had come to stay and to enjoy the loch, the hills and the hostel naked
The weekend came to a close on the Sunday evening with a meal at the Station House restaurant. Most of the group chose to be naked for this, which we had agreed in advance with the venue. The local venison stew proved to be a popular choice with most of the group, but everyone agreed it was almost impossible to eat the three courses we had ordered – with portions designed for people who had been out in the hills all day!
And to round off a weekend of ‘firsts’ for me, we ventured out onto the station platform for a group picture after our meal. Possibly not the first picture of a naked group taken on a mainline station platform, but almost certainly the first one in that location
So, all in all, the weekend provided to be a great success. The weather was reasonably kind, the midges didn’t cause us too many problems and we were able to enjoy a spectacular location naked. We also earned the support and respect of our hosts for the weekend, and proved that we could meet other members of the public whilst we were naked without covering up and without causing problems or complaints
Hostelling Scotland were very keen for us to repeat the event, so we have already booked the weekend of 04 to 07 September in 2020 for this – you’ll fund further details on BN Events if you’d like to join us.