Escape to Knoydart, Scotland
Sometimes, you just need to get out of London
It was fate that brought us together. Standing in a crowded, steaming tube carriage at rush hour, reading an article about the remotest places in Britain, I’m distracted by an odd clip, clip, clip sound. I turn to see the woman next to me working over each of her purple painted toenails with a pair of heavy-duty nail clippers. On. The. Tube.
I couldn’t watch (or listen) so I turned away only to face a young woman dutifully examining every strand of hair for…something, pulling out the occasional offending hair and tossing it onto the floor of the carriage.
At that exact moment, I started planning our trip to the remotest pub in Britain – The Old Forge, Inverie on the remote Scottish Knoydart peninsula.
What I read sounded perfect –
1. It had a pub 2. It’s located in the Scottish Highlands 3. There are no roads in. A two day hike each way over decent elevation change OR, if you’re 40 miles worth of too lazy like I am, you can use the tiny ferry from Mallaig and float your way to Inverie.
I talked The Mister into coming with me and he agreed since it involved boats and a pub (and a weekend with me, of course).
We timed our ferry crossing perfectly and boarded the boat with an assortment of Knoydart/Inverie locals and the few odd tourists trying to escape the world for a few days. We were running with the angels that afternoon as we crossed the Loch and Bay in soft seas, a light mist and the sun setting behind the hills.
Things to do (or not do) in Knoydart
There isn’t much to do in/on Knoydart and then again, there is everything.
You can stand on the beach at night, listen to the silence and watch the sky blacken and the Milky Way fill the sky overhead.
Cruise out to the islands of Muck, Rum and Eigg to see castle ruins, hike and watch the wildlife.
Arrange shooting/stalking with men who wear wellies, tweedy hats and Barbour coats.
Spend a day with area naturalists (the watching nature kind) and watch basking sharks, seals and whales or enjoy land-based trips through remote areas of Knoydart.
Go on a photography safari. Yes, I took that picture above. Yes, the deer/stag/antlered thing is real.
Mountain bike through mile after mile of trail through the surrounding hills.
Hike through the spectacular fields, forests and trails that wind their way through the peninsula and return in time to have tea and cakes in the one and only Knoydart Pottery and Tearoom. The view is spectacular.
Most importantly, you can end your adventurous day with an outstanding meal at The Old Forge and enjoy seafood so fresh, it tastes like the ocean. The Old Forge is the social hub of Knoydart, the kind of place where conversations flow from table to table and the girl working the bar steps out to dance when an impromptu music session breaks out. If you’re feeling musical, you can join a session by grabbing one of the instruments hanging on the wall and join in. If you’re verrry lucky, you can see what happens when a bagpiper joins a session and miscalculates the height of his pipes and a nearby ceiling fan. Hilarity ensues.
Things to Know About A Visit To Knoydart
Places to stay on Knoydart are limited, so it’s wise to book ahead. There aren’t any 5 star hotels on Knoydart, but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?
Bring a torch so you can find your way home and go easy on the Irish coffees.
You can find additional information about your escape to Knoydart here
Doesn’t Knoydart look like the perfect escape from city life? Do you have a favorite “I gotta get out of here” place? Tell me about it!
subscribe for email notifications