Tucked away in what could be Britain's last real wilderness, the small settlement of Inverie is probably most famous for its pub, which in summer attracts scores of ale-drinking Munro-bagging hikers and single malt-loving sailors to this remote bit of western Scotland.
At this time of year though, the Knoydart peninsula is a quieter place for travellers who are willing to brave the cold on an 18-mile hike from the nearest road or take a choppy seven-mile boat trip from the harbour at Mallaig for a dose of wintry isolation.
They come for the peace and quiet, stunning views over Loch Nevis, a unique sense of community (only 130 people live on Knoydart) and some of the freshest seafood in the country at the Old Forge pub, the most remote pub on mainland Britain.
Now, just above the village, tucked into the pine forest, is a statement of Scandi design, complete with floor-to-ceiling glass, under-floor heating, a wood burner and wood cladding.
Knoydart Hide is run by local couple Ian and Jackie Robertson, who have been on the peninsula since 1992 and previously owned the Old Forge before selling up and branching out into luxury accommodation.
The larger Knoydart House, which sleeps 10, opened three years ago, but now the Hide has sprung up amid raised flower banks for honeymoons and romantic breaks for two. Or three: children can be catered for on camp beds, and dogs are welcome.
Open-plan is the order of the day, with a series of stylish curtains separating the high-spec kitchen and living area from the four-poster bed, vast roll-top bath and sauna. The L-shaped house is modern but full of neat touches and Robertson family heirlooms, including a delightful, if wobbly, antique table. The entire frontage is glass, offering sublime views out through the woods to Loch Nevis below, with the private deck in the foreground. This is a spot where the hardest decisions are which to fire up first, the outdoor hot tub or the wood-burning stove, and in which order to attack the complimentary port and champagne.
The isolation is almost complete, but if you insist on staying connected there is a land line (no mobile signal here), fast Wi-Fi and all the usual technology including satellite TV and an iPod dock. Unusually, there's also a running machine, if hikes to the hills, fresh air and trips to the hot tub haven't fully exhausted you.
The food and drink
The kitchen is incredibly well-equipped, but make sure to bring all your supplies (including mix for the bread maker) with you from Mallaig as few items are to be had on the peninsula. It's at the Old Forge where you go to find most sustenance; no visit to Knoydart is complete without a meal here, followed by a wee dram of whisky and, if you are lucky, an impromptu ceilidh and live Scottish folk music. The friendly owner, a 6ft 7in Belgian called Jean Pierre, will no doubt take the time to explain that the mussels are rope-grown in local water, while the scallops are dived from the waters directly in front of the pub. As for the venison, well you can hear the hunters' guns echo across the peninsula at dawn and dusk.
If a stumble back up the track after dinner seems like too much, you can also order in a meal from the Knoydart Kitchen, run by local foodie Britta. Drop her an email before your stay (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she'll deliver a fresh three-course meal to your door from around £25pp. Her venison stew with marsala wine is perfect after a day on the hill.
Out and about
There are boat trips to the nearby Inner Hebrides of Eigg, Rum, Canna, Muck and Skye. Or you can just stare at them on the horizon.
You are most likely to be drawn to the vast expanse of the surrounding 17,000 acres of woodland, moorland, mountains and streams managed by the Knoydart Foundation. Be sure to pop into the Foundation office (two doors down from the pub) and ask Ranger Tommy for advice on the best walks and details of when Ranger-led walks take place (£5 per person; knoydartfoundation.com)
Knoydart Hide, Inverie, Knoydart, by Mallaig PH41 4PL (01687 460012; knoydarthide.co.uk). From £180 a night or from £1,100 a week.
To get to Inverie, you can drive along the "Road to the Isles" from Fort William or take the train from Glasgow or Fort William to Mallaig (scotrail.co.uk). Then either take the ferry (knoydart-ferry.co.uk) or water taxi (01687 462916). For more information see visitscotland.com.Reuse content