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Why the loneliest part of Scotland makes for a perfect post-lockdown escape

Fiona Elliott and family head for Knoydart in the Highlands to blow the cobwebs away

Thursday 10 December 2020 14:22 GMT
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Born to be wild: Knoydart at dusk
Born to be wild: Knoydart at dusk (Fiona Elliott)

We dock at a tiny pier, haul our bags up its steep steps and contemplate the emerald peaks surrounding the glassy waters; it’s more Norwegian fjords than British Isles. Seventeen thousand acres of forests and open hills, brooding mountains and boggy glens are all waiting to be explored on foot and by bike.  

This is Knoydart, a far-flung, craggy peninsula that juts out from Scotland’s north-western Atlantic seaboard, tucked between the sea lochs of Nevis and Hourn. Untamed and isolated, it’s home to around 120 humans and a healthy population of wildlife: red deer and wild goats, otters and sea eagles. It’s one of the remotest places we can find in the Highlands and Islands – just what we want after months of lockdown.

There are no road links to Knoydart so, for many, it’s a two-day walk through the mountainous Rough Bounds. “This is lonely country,” warns an online walking guide. “In bad weather this will be a challenge with no escape routes.”  

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