The Most Remote Town in Mainland Britain

On December 26, 2008 · 4 Comments

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 [1]. 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!

[1]One of my favorite spots in the world, Juneau, Alaska has a similar situation, albeit with a much larger population and an international airport.

On December 26, 2008 · 4 Comments

4 Responses to “The Most Remote Town in Mainland Britain”

  1. Steve says:

    Two day hike in the Scottish Highlands? My ancestors would be proud (and my wife would be on the ferry). But as to your reference and historical link to hiking on Kauai?


  2. Those are some excellent photos. It looks like you made it a lot further along the trail than we did. The day after our infamous hike we wimped out and drove around Kauai in the opposite direction, and up to Kokee State Park at the top of the mountain.

    In Kokee State Park

  3. jackie says:

    Hi there, we have now moved into this century at The Old Forge with satelitte broadband to Knoydart!!! Move over ebay and amazon, bet the post office do a treat in business now. Just a quickie to say read your blog, and glad you enjoyed the beer and food and The Old Forge Knoydart. Life is a bit surreal here but the best parts the good folks we meet each year. Next time your heading for the remote, give us a shout, Have a great 2009 Jackie at The Old Forge Knoydart

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