The Knoydart Peninsula – Remote Scottish Munro Hiking Accessed by Boat

Knoydart peninsula illustration
For keen hikers looking for remote walking experiences, the Knoydart Peninsula might be just what you want. With Corbetts and Munros for the baggers, here are some of the hikes to check out in Knoydart.

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Scotland has, in my humble opinion, the best hiking in the UK. Part of the appeal is the remoteness. And amongst the most remote parts of this beautiful country is the Knoydart Peninsula.

Some of my all time favourite hiking days have been in the mountains of Scotland (I’m looking at you Aonach Eagach).

I always try to time my trips for quieter days or months because part of the appeal of Scotland is the remoteness of many places within it. And now as I plan my 2024 adventures, I’m looking at some of the MOST remote routes where boat access it the best way to reach them. I’ve been making plans for a visit to the Knoydart Peninsula.

Knoydart is a very remote peninsula in the Highlands of Scotland, tucked between Lochs Nevis and Hourn. It’s famed for its wild and rugged beauty, with mountains, glens and coastline.

To access it you either need to take a boat or a two day hike. Now, I’m not averse to a two day hike but if I’ve only got a few days to explore a place, I quite like to get there quickly. So you’ve got the option of looking up boats for rent, taking a ferry or bagging a spot on a smaller RIB that runs. For locals who have cars on the peninsula, these cars must arrive by ferry. But guests are not permitted to bring cars. You need a resident permit for that.

There are no roads into Knoydart at all. But that’s part of the appeal. I’m planning a Munro bagging trip here. So let’s have a look at route for the 4 munros in Knoydart, one of which is on the edge of the area in a place referred to as the “Rough Bounds of Knoydart” because of the difficult nature of the terrain.

Ladhar Beinn (Larven) – 1020m

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m bagging munros and while something being a munro isn’t the most important factor in me hiking there, it makes sense to tick those off while visiting.

Even when you’ve already made it to Knoydart, this one is still a big old hike. Here’s the route:

You can expect to clock up over 22km and 1,364m of elevation gain. So it’s likely to be the full day for those of us who are not ultra fit hill runners!!

This one starts from Inverie where there are guest houses and similar, so you can travel the day before, get a decent night’s sleep, enjoy a day of mountains and views (if the weather plays ball) and then get back to Scotland’s most remote pub, the Old Forge, for a well earned pint.

 

Meall Buidhe and Luinn Bheinn – 946m and 939m Respectively

For the other 2 munros, you can bag them in a buy-one-get-one-free 27km hike. It’s an impressive 1,586m elevation gain across some boggy terrain. So not an easy one.

Again it’s a route that starts from Inverie.

Sgurr na Cìche – 1040m

This is one that lies in the Rough Bounds and is the highest munro in the area. This is, by all accounts, an utterly stunning peak with a beautiful shape and prominence. The most commonly recommended route to this one isn’t from Knoydart itself, but is as part of a route from Loch Arkaig which takes in other munros (non Knoydart ones) too. So this is a route I’ll maybe look at the day after leaving Knoydart itself.

But the route is a 29km trek taking in 1,350m of elevation gain.

Corbetts

Knoydart is also home to 6 Corbetts. Five of them can be taken in on a mammoth route suggested by Steve Fallon which I’ll talk about in a moment. Those 5 are:

Sgurr nan Eugallt (898m)
Sgurr a’Choire-Bheithe*(913m)
Sgurr Choire Choinnichean (796m)
Beinn na Caillich (785m)
Beinn Buidhe (855m)

Steve Fallon’s Mammoth Munro and Corbett Route

I absolutely love Steve Fallon’s Scottish mountain content. And he’s outlined a route that takes in the munros of Luinne Bheinn, Meall Buidhe and Ladhar Bheinn along with the 5 Corbetts outlined above.

This is no mean feat. 43km of distance and 3,650m of elevation gain is a big day out (think 17 hours or so by Naismith’s Rule.

It could be done in a day. A long summer day can mean a 3:40am sunrise and sunset not until after 10pm. So taking into account the light remaining after sunset and usable light before sunrise, you could easily get 20 hours of usable light.

However, a more enjoyable version of this might be a summer wild camp and splitting it into 2 days.

And for a More Chilled Walk

For those who just want to experience one of the last great wilderness areas that Scotland has to offer, you can take in a lovely route, just short of 5km, with some beautiful views of Inverie Bay.


This, for me, is a route I’ll take in on the last day of my stay in Knoydart because even though I tend to go for hills and mountains, if I’m going to visit this place, I want to see the main areas themselves.

Other Parts of Scotland Best Accessed by Boat

The appeal of Knoydart is the remoteness for me. But it’s not the only place in Scotland best accessed by boat.

Further South, the marina of Largs offers a lot of private boat hire options with plenty of hidden sailing gems including:

  • Holy Isle on the Isle of Arran
  • Carradale Bay on the Mull of Kintyre
  • Kingscross Point on the Isle of Arran
  • Glencallum Bay on the Isle of Bute
  • Dunagoil Bay on the Isle of Bute

So my summer 2024 plans are already underway. To be honest, making plans for summer is how I get through winter. And I plan to hit some of the hikes that are best accessed by boat and get a different perspective of beautiful places.

 

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