They call it one of the last wildernesses in Britain. The Knoydart peninsula can only be reached by boat from Mallaig or walked into over a couple of days through the hills from Kinloch Hourn. To the south there is Loch Nevis (the 'Loch of Heaven') and to the north rugged-edged Loch Hourn (the 'Loch of Hell'). In its midst are three Monros which rear out of the sea. In the 18th century it was home to around a thousand people, but then the Clearances and subsequent depopulation as the estate was run for shooting and fishing reduced the population to around 70 today. And there is no point in taking the car, as there is really nowhere to drive it! It is, in short, as far removed from the M25 as the earth is from the moon, and the perfect place to forget for a while all one's 21st century cares.
The main settlement is at Inverie (pub, PO), and it is here that you will find Knoydart Cottage, a traditional stone-built cottage which once housed the estate gardener (hence its local name of Gardener's Cottage). It stands in its own quarter-acre of wild garden. Inside, it has been completely refurbished by its new owners and is cosy and comfortable all year round with full oil central heating. While the cottage has no direct view of the sea, the rocky shore is within 200 metres.
The sitting room is particularly light and bright and its wood burning stove completes the inviting effect. All the rooms have received a thorough makeover, and are very well and stylishly furnished. Not only that, for 2012 a further double bedroom has been brought into service, so two more lucky people now have the chance to join the party.
For all Knoydart's remoteness, there is no shortage of activity and things to do. There are organised boat trips, where you have an excellent chance of spotting Minke whales, orcas, otters and eagles. Knoydart also has its own ranger, who leads walks of all degrees of difficulty.
You cross to Knoydart on a private ferry - we can give you details of reservations and fares (Saturday sailings are now available). The Post Office is handy for essentials but it is best to stock up with major provisions before you go (possibly at the supermarket in Mallaig before you cross.
Bed linen and towels and electricity are included. Heating by oil-fired CH ( included) and wood burning stove (starter pack of logs included). There is satellite TV (basic channels), and a collection of DVDs at the house. Up to two well-behaved pets are welcome by arrangement. Sorry, no smoking.
Accommodation (sleeps 6):
- Sitting room with TV/DVD, i Pod docking station and wood burning stove.
- Kitchen/dining room with electric oven and hob, microwave, washing-machine, tumble-drier, fridge-freezer, etc.
- Double bedroom with TV.
- Twin bedroom with TV.
- Double bedroom.
- Bathroom with bath, shower over, WC and wash basin.