How do you measure wilderness?
Are there wolves in Knoydart? No – but then there aren’t any wolves in Britain so we can’t really use this as a measure of wilderness in this instance.
Are there bears in Knoydart? No – but again we don’t have bears in Britain.
So – no bears, no wolves, is it wilderness?
Knoydart is wilderness as soon as you leave the village of Inverie. There are no roads for 19 miles; you can’t take a car there; there’s no train station, no buses but courtesy of hydro-electricity there is electricity and there is a running water supply for the residents of Inverie.
Check out the video below made by the Guardian and Wilderness Scotland – then you can make your own decision.
We’re returning to Knoydart on Saturday 9th May 2015 with a group of hikers. We haven’t been back for 2 years so it will be interesting to see what if anything has changed. When we first stated to visit Knoydart in 2008 there was no Wi-Fi access freely available. Now you can pick up a network at the pub (The Old Forge) and at the pottery/cafe across the road. Most self-catering properties also offer internet access. Seems like no one can be without their electronic entertainment these days and the thought of being unconnected with the wider world gives us the heebie-jeebies.
However, it is still not possible to drive on to the Knoydart peninsula. (Some of the locals in Inverie have motorised vehicles, but once you leave the hamlet, you won’t really see another vehicle until you return to Mallaig.
Knoydart definitely retains it’s sense of being a special place apart from the rest of mainland Scotland, because it has to be reached by ferry or on foot.
Remote = survival?
Knoydart might be remote and take a lot of time to reach (though not as remote as trying to reach Everst base camp), but this doesn’t mean that you need to feel in any way deprived or on survival rations.
The advantage of being in a smaller community, less easily accessed by the rest of the world, is that it is a safe environment for children to grow up in and one where security of your own assets does not need to dominate your daily life. Locking up is not essential as it is downtown.
The natural larder
Access to the internet and social media, does not provide any of the basics of life such as food. However living by the sea means that you need not go hungry. Seafood is amazing at Knoydart as you will have seen on the video and the platter at the Old Bridge Inn has to be seen to be believed, as below.
We hope you will consider joining us on one of our visits to Knoydart. We usually go in May and spend the majority of the time exploring the stunning surroundings and sampling some of nature’s larder. If we’re lucky we also get to have up close and personal encounters with some of the local wildlife – we have seen a pine marten fom the kitchen window of our accommodation.