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Inverie & the Knoydart peninsula

Inverie (Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Aoidh) is a village in the Scottish Highlands. It is located on the remote Knoydart Peninsula, an area of wilderness and great natural beauty which is on the west coast of Scotland, just north of Mallaig. Knoydart is renowned for its remoteness, and visitors come here to enjoy the tranquility of a remote location.

Get in[edit]

There are no roads to Inverie, so the options to get there are limited:

By ferry[edit]

Two ferry companies operate from Mallaig to Inverie: Knoydart Seabridge and Western Isles Cruises. As well as a few tourists, each boat service also carries locals, their grocery shopping and the post for the peninsula. The loch is quite sheltered so crossings are usually relatively smooth in these small boats.

Knoydart Seabridge[edit]

Knoydart Seabridge operates daily year-round, and transports not only passengers but also equipment and occasionally vehicles. The ferry operates up to eight times per day, with one journey on weekdays extending to the hamlets of Tarbet and Ard-n-Tigh. The journey time is around 30 minutes - fares are £11 for a single or £20 for a return.

If you plan to visit from Edinburgh or Glasgow, note that the ferry service runs to coincide with the arrival time of the West Highland Railway trains. (You will have about 25 minutes to disembark from the train and walk from the railway station down to the port some 200m away before boarding the ferry). If you arrive in Mallaig in the evening, you will have to stay overnight in order to make the ferry the next morning. Given the strict ferry times, it is important that you plan your visit in advance.

Western Isles Cruises[edit]

Western Isles Cruises operates Monday to Saturday from April to October. The ferry operates twice-daily, with the afternoon service extending to the hamlet of Tarbet. The journey time is around 45 minutes - fares are £10 for a single or £15 for a day return.

By foot[edit]

Other than the ferries, the only other option for getting to Inverie is a 2-day hike from the nearest mainland road across country, which will require wild camping; you will be in a wilderness so a tent and some survival skills are required. There is no mobile phone reception on the peninsula.

Get around[edit]

A road runs through the village and off to other parts of the peninsula, but this road does not connect with the main road network. The only cars on these roads are owned by locals - legislation prevents non-locals from bringing cars to the peninsula.

See[edit][add listing]

Walking around and enjoying the unparalleled isolation of the place is a wonderful experience. If you plan to walk the local countryside you should bring a map - Ordnance Survey Map #413 is ideal. The local ranger service has a friendly walk-in office on the main village street - drop in for advice and local maps. If you visit during hunting season, it's only polite to check with the rangers about planned shoots to make sure you don't interrupt deer stalking. You won't get shot, but it helps land management if you avoid the shooting areas of that day.

There are several smaller hills (Marylins/Corbetts) immediately near the village which can be climbed in 3 or 4 hours - there are no paths so you have to negotiate rocks, heather and burns which slow you down. The Munros such as Ladhar Bheinn are a more involved expedition and may 3 hours to reach, plus the climb and return.

A pleasant, more accessible walk is the path up to Loch an-Dubh Lochain, which can easily be visited in 2 hours. The path takes you through deserted countryside alongside the river, up to the Loch where you have breathtaking views over the Knoydart mountains.

Do[edit][add listing]

The main attractions of Knoydart are peace and quiet. Activities are walking the local countryside and visiting the local pub in the evening.

Visitors staying a bit longer can arrange to do an RYA boat handling course with W A Marine & Environment; hire a boat to go fishing or visit the islands; take a ranger-guided tour of the area; or take part in a deer stalking party (during the season). Further information on all activities can be found through the Knoydart Foundation.

Buy[edit][add listing]

If you plan to self-cater, you must buy supplies in the shops in Mallaig. The village has a post office selling some basic items.

The Pier House restaurant also sells postcards, prints, maps, and books.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Knoydart Pottery and Tearoom is a pleasant little café on the main village street overlooking the loch, serving teas, coffees and light meals. Opening hours may be limited to ferry days.
  • Check out The Old Forge - Mainland Britain's most remote pub as according to the Guiness Book of Records. There is an excellent (if slightly pricey) menu of well-presented food. Don't miss the local seafood. The manu is dependent on local supplies brought by the ferry - when they run out, they run out. Where else can you hear "we haven't got any Coca-Cola, we're waiting for the boat to come in"?
  • Doune Dining Room - this restaurant is possibly unique in that is is only accessible by boat or by a long hike across country. It is located on the western tip of the peninsula and advance booking, as you may guess, is essential.

Drink[edit][add listing]

See The Old Forge pub above.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

The Knoydart Bunkhouse, [1]. Offers basic accommodation.

A comprehensive list of places to stay can be found on the Knoydart Foundation website.

Get out[edit]

The only transport out of Knoydart is the next ferry back to Mallaig, which operates multiple times daily as of 2014. Alternatively, if you are equipped with a tent and survival skills, you could always walk back, which will take two days.Create category

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