For some reason I had a real desire to visit Knoydart, in particular the village of Inverie. The remote nature of the area and them more recent history of the community buyout held a significant attraction. Nige was also keen to visit the area and had a wish to backpack from Kinloch Hourn. Combining the two made for an interesting few days this week.
Driving up from the North West of England to the start point via Fort William for supplies meant that we didn’t start walking until 5.30pm. Late planning for the trip led to efforts to secure accommodation in Inverie whilst on the road north and as we lost the phone signal we determined that we would carry lightweight tents “just in case”.
So, with slightly heavier than hoped sacks and enveloped in a cloud of the notorious West Highland midges, we set off.
A pleasant walk along the shoreline of Loch Hourn with a few moderate inclines brought its to the bothy and campsite at Barisdale. A well tended camping area (with its own clouds of midges) and a well maintained private bothy with electric light and running water was a comfortable place to spend the night. Pitching the tents, we made use of the bothy for a more comfortable evening meal. The customary dram or two helped secure a decent night’s sleep.
The following morning was cloudy but quite still, so we set off moving to avoid giving the wee beasties an extra breakfast. Walking up to Man Barisdale was brought a pleasant breeze before descending towards the loch for a brief snack stop.
We were soon descending into Inverie where calling into the Knoydart Foundation Bunkhouse revealed that we did indeed have accommodation there. A shower and a wander into the village revealed a great little community. A brilliant tea room provided a slice of home made cake and a coffee. A couple of beers and fish and chips at the Old Forge and a wee dram back at the bunkhouse brought easy sleep and set us up for the next day.
With stronger winds and low cloud to start, we determined that with big sacks we would aim for Mam Barisdale and stash the bags before heading up onto the ridge to bag the summit of Luinne Bheinn. A pleasant summit ridge, but with no views, we descended, collecting the sacks and returning to Barisdale. Heading beyond the bothy, we found a nice little spot past the estate signage and settled for the night above the high tide line. Another midge fest was dealt with by sitting next to a small driftwood fire. Watching the tide take away the dying embers indicated time to sleep.
A good night’s rest and a steady walk out in the morning took us back to Kinloch Hours and the car.
This had been a great opportunity to tick off a “bucket list” trip and briefly explore one of the more remote parts of the UK. As a taster, it has certainly left me wanting to explore more here.
Now, how do I fit a sea kayak into this??