Day 146 Ferry to Inverie and the UK Mainland’s Remotest Pub

Saturday 29 August 2015

Mallaig to Inverie, Knoydart

Ferry, 3 miles walked

Inverie campsite

Not a bad night’s sleep on the floor of the ferry office. I was treated to tea and an apple turnover for breakfast while waiting for the ferry and chatting to the ferry drivers.  

Leaving Mallaig
 Heavy rain was forecast and it was coming in waves but fortunately the crossing was eventful. There were 2 Air Force officers from Lossiemouth on my ferry, heading to Inverie for the weekend. Oh those were the days! As the ferry approaches Inverie Bay, having crossed Loch Nevis (the Loch of Heaven), it passes a strange, and large, statue of a Madonna on the Rubha Raonuill headland.  

The Madonna of the Highlands?
 Inverie is a small town, population about 100, and the capital of Knoydart. I was impressed by the effort that has gone into the community, starting with the home-built ferry terminal building (a wooden hut) that is a welcoming sight on a rainy day. There were a line of land rovers parked outside it – I think everyone has one to get about the 7 miles of road around Inverie that is not connected to anywhere outside Knoydart. Truly remote. 

Inverie ferry terminal
 The Knoydart Foundation was set up and bought the land for the community in 1999. There is lots of information on the struggles with landowners in the Ranger’s office. The most notorious landowner was Lord Brocket, a Nazi sympathiser, and apparently Hitler was a visitor at Inverie House in 1937.  

Memorial to the Knoydart Land Raiders – a group of men who tried to wrest Knoydart from the landowner in 1948
 The rain was on and off all day but I managed to walk to the campsite and put my tent up without getting soaked. I did have to duck into the tea room to avoid one heavy shower on the way but that wasn’t a hardship.  

A beautiful spot to camp behind Inverie Beach
 I went on a short walk around the town and up the hill to the viewpoint.  

A beautiful shelter with seats built at a viewpoint over Inverie Bay, North Morar across the water
 Knoydart has 3 Munros but there was no point in tackling one for the views today as they were invisible in the cloud. I settled in Britain’s remotest pub for the afternoon and evening and was joined by a bunch of musicians who were having a traditional music jam session with their accordions, flutes and whistles. There is a lovely feel about this small community; there clearly is a vibrant community here. Hydro electricity powers the town and they are keen on all things ‘green’ (the campsite has a compost toilet). There are some wondeful-looking tourist houses, with great views and hot tubs. I am content with my tent by the beach, although I won’t be taking advantage of the fire pits and ready-chopped wood as it’s unfortunately not dry enough to sit outside for the evening.  

Looking down on Inverie Beach
 Fortunately I phoned ahead to book dinner in The Old Forge pub as it gets very busy. For £4 I can get a shower here too. With 4 days in the wild coming up I think I’m going to take advantage. 

I wonder who lives here?

4 thoughts on “Day 146 Ferry to Inverie and the UK Mainland’s Remotest Pub

  1. Zephyrine August 29, 2015 / 8:32 pm

    Did you read ‘Ring of Bright Water’ yet? I re-read it recently – as enchanting as I remembered from adolescence, but quite a backstory to it, too!

    Like

    • Lucy September 17, 2015 / 2:25 pm

      Yes I read it as preparation for walking Knoydart. Probably could have done other things but that was the most enjoyable!

      Like

  2. chris frazer August 30, 2015 / 6:34 am

    I can see a theme developing here…..folk music, dark beers and whisky in remote pubs….gone are the mentions of chocolate puddings and lattes….we are now getting serious in the wilderness! Have a huge dram for me and enjoy the ambience.

    Like

  3. Rohan August 30, 2015 / 6:18 pm

    Great that you made it to Knoydart. I helped build the view point shelter a few years back and this year was part of the work party that built the fire pits at the campsite. I also painted the log cabin some years back. However I mainly have good weather!

    Like

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