Knoydart Wilderness Trip

This article shows what happened the first time we took a trip up to Knoydart. Just a three-day walking holiday with three friends and a map.

of Wild HOG Adventures | Friday, 6th January 2017

Getting to Knoydart

Our first reconnaisance trip to Knoydart was as a small group of three in 2013. The trip turned into a magical, awe-inspiring, tour of the country's finest scenery. The peninsula is only reached by either hiking around and through the mountains to the east, or by taking a boat from Mallaig. The former was a three day hike, so we chose the latter. We packed light and enjoyed our last mobile phone coverage that we would see for the trip before setting out in the small ferry.

In a short time the small village of Inverie appeared in front of us. This village, although it has a road, is not connected to the mainland road network in any way. There is a post office, a pub (the Moorings), and a few houses. There is also a bunkhouse and campsite at opposite ends of the village. We would be staying at the campsite for the duration, and so we set off to the south to set up camp.

As you can see, the campsite is equipped with a small hut which we were able to use for a little shelter while cooking. There is also a new compost toilet facility which really makes the difference. Both of these buildings are turf-roofed and blend in with the scenery really well. This was absolute luxury to us, so we were well pleased as we pitched the tents. Andy found the communal barbecue area and set about building up a fire for our tea.

The campsite is set up on an old football pitch just south of Inverie, and is right on the edge of Long Beach. It is run by the Rangers of the Knoydart Foundation, which also looks after the majority of the peninsula, including the Foundation Bunkhouse at the north of Inverie. They are very flexible and welcoming, and offered us the use of the showers in the bunkhouse since it wasn't too busy there. Fantastic!

The following morning we set out on our first hike. This one was to the east of Inverie, following the Inverie River up to Loch an Dubh-Lochain. The water here is so beautiful and tranquil that we were tempted to take a swim, but the need to continue onward and upward was greater, unfortunately. The going got tougher for a time as we climbed up Mam Barisdale, all the while staring up at Luinne Bheinn to our right. Lovingly known as 'Loony Bin', this 938 metre Munro is a very remote mountain for Scotland, and is quite a climb. Stopping for a break on the top of Bachd Mhic an Tosaich, we stared across, at the summit, and caught our breath.

The climb to the summit of Loony Bin was simple enough, but we were out of breath when we arrived. The views across the mountains to the east, and Loch Nevis to the west were fantastic.

We continued our journey over the ridges to our second Munro of the day - Meall Buidhe - at 946 metres we were slightly higher than Loony Bin, and with just as brilliant a view. The sun was high in the sky by now and we looked down over Loch an Dubh-Lochain that we walked around earlier. This was absolutely magical.

As the sun began to descend, so did we, taking the Gleann Meadail down to the Inverie River and back to the campsite. A few beers later and we were already planning our next trip up to Knoydart.