Knoydart’s Munros in a weekend - two special days in Britain’s last wilderness
Distance 19km inc biking on Day 1; 27km inc biking on Day 2
Munros Ladhar Bheinn (1010m), Luinne Bheinn (939m), Meall Buidhe (946m)
Sleep The Gathering B&B or Inverie camp site
Transport Mallaig is on the main West Highland line and also connected to Fort William by the Jacobite steam train
With only a weekend, could you really become intimate with Knoydart? A train, a boat and a bike make it feasible. Leave work early on Friday and take the Harry Potter train from Fort William to Mallaig. You strain for a view of the viaduct’s famous curve, and glance up glorious Glen Finnan.
From Mallaig you and your bike take the short boat trip to wee Inverie and seclusion. You inhale not sea air, but ocean air. You can camp – or, like me, you can stay at The Gathering!
My recommendation for the next morning is to saddle up and bike north and east to Folach, then to climb straight up Ladhar Bheinn’s western flank. You could walk the full 9-10 hour circuit including the Corbett of Sgurr Choire Choinnichean. But the bike allows you more time on top of Ladhar Bheinn.
Here you can savour at least the second-best view in the world, over Loch Hourn and away to its Kinloch.
You bike back to your tiled or silnylon roof, and over dinner consider the insider tip that I was offered by the boat’s captain, Drew: “Don’t take your bike all the way up to Mam Barrisdale. Drop it at the top of Loch an Dubh-lochain.”
Next morning you follow Drew’s plan, then hike up to the Mam, over Luinne Bheinn’s Munro summit and on to Meall Buidhe’s. Conventional routes now return south; Drew’s tip involves descending north through the Corrie of the Wild Boar.
Somehow you make it down to reach your bike, the boat, and train back home. It will have been a great first encounter with the Rough Bounds.
Words: Max Landsberg
Photo: John Parminter