If you’re like me, maybe you’ve had a little too much of the Holidays, a little too much quality time with the in-laws, and now you’re ready for some solitude. It would need to be a quiet, out of the way place where nobody would think to look, but not so remote as to be inaccessible. Oh, and it would need to have a really good pub with some great beer of course. Am I asking too much?
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Such a place exists! Inverie is the only town on the Knoydart (Cnoideart) Peninsula, in the Scottish Highlands. This is a town of about 100 people. It’s large enough to have its own post office, restaurants and overnight lodging, but not much else. Sure, there are other places even more remote but none capable of supporting a self-sustained town. Examine the map and it’s easy to understand its remoteness. Rugged terrain constricts Inverie on three sides. Loch Nevis rests at its footsteps. Inverie has the distinction of being the largest town on mainland Britain not connected to the rest of the mainland by road. This wouldn’t have been remarkable in earlier times when waterways formed the most efficient transportation corridors, but today it’s an interesting anachronism that exists in few places . There’s no easy way to get here.
Steve from CT Museum Quest would no doubt be tempted to undertake the two day treck from Kinloch Hourn, but I don’t have much luck with hiking. No, I think I’d take the thirty-minute ferry ride from Mallaig. It doesn’t run every day but that’s fine. This wouldn’t be a short trip anyway.
Once there I’d have to stop at The Old Forge. Since it’s located in the most remote town in mainland Britain, by definition it must be the most remote pub in mainland Britain. But don’t take my word for it. Apparently this is an official designation awarded by the Guinness Book of World Records. I didn’t know that such a category existed, perhaps it’s lodged between the world’s largest pickle and the fastest sloth, but there it is and now you know. What I found more impressive was the CAMRA logo displayed proudly on their website. That means good beverages, folks — "Real Ales" brewed locally and brought over by ferry for visitors’ enjoyment. They also have a couple of amusing slogans: "Up a Mountain… down a beer" and "Give me the remote!"
Other than that there wouldn’t be much to do, and that’s the point. Hike a little, grab a few pints, and get away from it all for awhile. Cheers!
One of my favorite spots in the world, Juneau, Alaska has a similar situation, albeit with a much larger population and an international airport.