My Journey to Scotland's Most Remote Pub
January 18, 2020 6:06 AM   Subscribe

For decades, the Old Forge was the holy grail of the British outdoors community. The UK's remotest pub, it could only be reached via boat or a three-day walk through one of Britain's last true wildernesses, the Knoydart peninsula in Scotland. A dispute between some locals and a new owner threatened the legend—until they decided to open up a pub of their own. [slOutsideOnline]
posted by ellieBOA (15 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Really enjoyed this and shared it with a friend. Thanks!
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 6:57 AM on January 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

This is absolutely lovely!
posted by larthegreat at 7:24 AM on January 18, 2020

Something lovely on my todo list now!
posted by mumimor at 7:54 AM on January 18, 2020

Wow, I've been pretty close to this pub. Or rather to the easy part, Mallaig, which is the western terminus of the Jacobite Train (aka the Harry Potter train). Absolutely beautiful country out there, as is so much of rural Scotland. Mallaig is not so exciting but has plenty of places for lunch and a pint or two for the tourists before they get back on the train and go back to Fort Williams. A pleasant day. I wondered where those tiny ferries were going, and Knoydart is a memorable name.

I remember having a bit of trouble in Mallaig because we didn't bring enough cash and none of the ATM machines were working. Turns out they'd just been hit with a skimmer attack. No matter how remote you might be, the ills of modern society are right there.

The weirdest thing in this article is that The Old Forge was "shut for the season". I get that there's not much tourist trade, but if it used to be the only pub for locals why would you shut? Apparently they are closed from November to March.
posted by Nelson at 8:25 AM on January 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

The new owner goes home to Belgium every winter to care for his ageing father.
posted by ellieBOA at 9:43 AM on January 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

I’ve never done really serious hiking, but this makes me want to start. The brewery opening makes it almost irresistible.
posted by rodlymight at 11:16 AM on January 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also: 18 rolls of toilet paper for 100 people??
posted by rodlymight at 11:18 AM on January 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

Also: 18 rolls of toilet paper for 100 people??
I presume the boat makes regular trips! Not everybody needs a new roll of T.P. every day.
posted by crazy_yeti at 11:47 AM on January 18, 2020

regular trips!

18 rolls is 1 medium size pack. They really need to cut down on the cheese flavoured potato chips and get some fibre in their diets.
posted by rodlymight at 1:48 PM on January 18, 2020

I was horribly, horribly ill in the pictured bothy once. So much so that several hikers opted to camp outside rather than risk getting what I had.
posted by scruss at 3:09 PM on January 18, 2020 [6 favorites]

I would like to volunteer to be the winter bartender.
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 4:48 PM on January 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

18 rolls is 1 medium size pack.

Based on what the supermarkets here in Britain tend to stick, I'd say it's very much a large pack, not a medium. Small would be 4 rolls. Medium would be 8 or 12.
posted by Dysk at 4:54 AM on January 19, 2020

Oh no, I had no idea this had happened. I've drunk at the Forge, proudly wear their tshirt and recommend Knoydart to anyone travelling to Scotland (skip Skye in high season, find yourself here). I'm really sad to see stuff like this happening to the community; I am sure that some of it *is* a dislike of outsiders, but closing the pub over the winter is a hugely clumsy move for an 'outsider'.
posted by AFII at 8:05 AM on January 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

I am sure that some of it *is* a dislike of outsiders

I can imagine that some of the locals aren't too impressed by the arrival of yet more young outdoors types who are making a huge deal out of What An Experience it is to drink a beer there, yes
posted by thelonius at 9:54 AM on January 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

Outside has some excellent writing, loved this, it's so evocative. We're going to Scotland this summer (Glasgow, Mull, Skye, Edinburgh), now I'm wondering if we might be able to squeeze in a ferry ride to/from Knoydart on our way to Skye. Though I realize we'd be those annoying non-hiking tourists coming in for a beer, maybe not ideal...
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 9:41 AM on January 30, 2020

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