Dividing the deep sea lochs of “Heaven and Hell” (Loch Nevis and Loch Hourn) is the spectacular rugged landscape of Knoydart, one of the most remote areas of Scotland; and arguably the remotest part of mainland Great Britain.
Of all the peninsulas that thrust out from the western seaboard of Scotland, Knoydart is without doubt the grandest. Knoydart's 3 great Munros (Ladhar Bheinn (the most westerly), Luinne Bheinn and Meall Buidhe) dominate the horizon, whilst other smaller mountains make up the landward barrier. Knoydart has been described as The Last Wilderness Of The British Isles and still remains undiscovered to me now, over 20 years later.
Being virtually an island, although actually a peninsula, Knoydart is unspoilt in its natural, wild beauty.
Permanent inhabitants include:
The landscape is steeped in cultural history right from the Vikings, to the Highland Clearances and crucially now to the recent community ownership and operation of the surrounding estate.
In Victorian times Knoydart was a major sporting estate, centred around Inverie House and providing stable employment for the community. It subsequently passed through several changes of ownership, not all of them popular.
The community of Knoydart is now peaceful; having itself recently obtained ownership of the main body of the Knoydart Peninsula, including many of the buildings in Inverie. The community holds the banner or the Knoydart Foundation and safe guards the peninsular's long term interests and sustainable survival. The purchase was a landmark in reversion of land ownership to community interests. It followed a similar recent purchase made by the inhabitants of the Island of Eigg and was widely reported in the press and much celebrated on Knoydart.
Community life is focused on the village of Inverie, lying on the northern shores of Loch Nevis. Inverie has a thriving pub, the Old Forge, guest house, a primary school and a post office with some groceries.
The fishing town of Mallaig, from where one catches the boat to Knoydart, provides a range of shops, hotels, banks, schools and a railway link to Fort William. Further shopping, including a large supermarket, leisure facilities and further schooling are available in FortWilliam, about 38 spectacular miles away by road or rail from Mallaig.
Some parts of the Knoydart peninsula are in private ownership, including a large estate to the west of Inverie. However, walking access to all of Knoydart is generally available to everyone under "RIght to Roam", subject to safety restraints that may be in force seasonally, particularly when stalking is in progress.