United Kingdom

Travel: Cyclist Lee Craigie on her love for the rugged wilds of Knoydart

Inverie, Knoydart.

Why do you go there?

Knoydart is known as the UK’s last wilderness. To reach Inverie you’ve had a proper adventure because the only way to get there is to walk – or push your bike – for two days. You can catch the wee passenger ferry from Mallaig, but that’s not in the spirit of things; you need to graft to get there.

Inverie is a tiny community: there is a shop, a cafe, a bunkhouse and a campsite. The pub is the heart. You pop out of the hills and there’s this amazing pub – the world’s most remote pub – right on the shore of Loch Nevis. Sitting there looking out at the views and drinking a beer, miles from the nearest road, is special.

How often do you go?

At least twice a year. Probably the nicest time to go is the shoulder seasons – spring and autumn – when the colours are changing. Sometimes I’m not there for very long, maybe only a weekend, but it is always worth it.

How did you discover it?

It is one of those mythical places that everyone in the outdoors world talks about, “Oh, you went to Knoydart, did you have a pint at the pub at Inverie?”

Lee Craigie (centre) with fellow members of The Adventure Syndicate. Picture: Wattie Cheung

What’s your favourite memory?

I have been to Knoydart with friends and with my dog, but probably the most memorable was when I went solo. There was a storm and I packrafted over from Skye to the mainland. It was a full-on packrafting mission with my bike on the front. I seriously thought, “Am I going to make it?”

I slept in a tent and that got blown down. By the time you’ve reached the pub the next day and the sun has come out, you are euphoric.

Who do you take?

Friends, my dog or I go by myself. Inverie is the sort of place where you can turn up and, if you want company, the chat in the pub and the campsite is always good. Everyone has had an adventure to get there. The locals are brilliant – they are welcoming and accommodating.

What do you take?

Waterproofs, a tent and camping gear.

What do you leave behind?

The niggly stresses of work and life.

Sum it up in five words.

Wild. Remote. Magical. Elemental. Fun.

What other travel spots are on your wish list?

Everywhere I go these days it must be by public transport or bike – I am not flying anywhere. I would love to return to the Balkans. That is a bit of an undertaking on public transport, but I’ll get there.

I recently visited the Faroe Islands and have a hankering to go back there. I rode to the Western Isles and then went by cargo ship which took 24 hours. What a great way to arrive.

Lee Craigie and The Adventure Syndicate will premiere their latest film, Not The North Coast 500, at Thrive Bike Festival in Ballater on September 24. Visit visitballater.com/event/thrive-bike-film-and-talk/

File source

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button