the salmon bothy is...


  • An inviting museum displaying the history of the area and placing particular emphasis on the salmon fishing industry.
  • An intimate setting for family history research with a trained genealogist.
  • An interesting collection of bespoke merchandise at affordable prices including the opportunity to buy online.
  • A group of enthusiastic volunteers from a variety of backgrounds intent on developing into a team of knowledgeable, sociable and experienced ‘Bothy folk’
  • Quality exhibitions and events that focus on the geography, history, traditions and culture of Portsoy and the surrounding area.
  • Quality exhibitions and events that bring new and alternative skills and knowledge to the area.
  • Varied ‘ user’ groups who come together to share and develop their interests and hobbies.
  • An atmospheric venue for concerts, parties, dances, classes, workshops, seminars and conferences.


A Short History of the Salmon Bothy

The Salmon House was purpose built in 1834 by the Seafield Estate, which then owned the salmon fishing rights along the coast. The three story building provided an office, a bothy, an ice house, a fish preparation area, workshop and storage accommodation.


The stake-net salmon fishing began at a Station near to the mouth of the Burn of the Boyne as early as 1828. Bag-net fishing was also carried out. Abundant supplies of ice were obtained originally from Loch Soy and the Millpond and brought in by horse and cart.


The Salmon House continued in use until 1990, when salmon netting was stopped at the Portsoy Station. Salmon fishing therefore played a major part in the history of fishing in our area. (Extracts from Findlay Pirie's "History of Salmon Fishing")


Today the Salmon Bothy is owned and run by the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival. It comprises a museum housed in what were the ice chambers which displays artifacts and information about Portsoy's harbours, the industry and trade and the Salmon Fishing operations.


The 'Bothy' or sleeping quarters remains as it was complete with bunk beds, with the addition of two computers which are used for family history research...more. There is also a growing resource bank with books and resources available to browse or borrow on request.


The upstairs netting loft is now a fully functional community space and venue used by many clubs and societies on a regular basis and providing the perfect backdrop for cosy folk music evenings, musical recitals and small theatre groups. It is available for hire at very reasonable rates. Click here for more information on hiring the venue.


Find out about the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival (STBF)



The restoration

New roof Mid restoration Feb 2008

see view

New roof March 2008

Bothy Lime Harl

Lime harl completed July 2008

line up

official opening by First Minister Alex Salmond July 2008

HRH Princess  Anne visit

HRH Princess Anne Visits July 2009