Knoydart Peninsula, scotland
"THE UK'S LAST REMAINING WILDERNESS"
OUR 2024 WILD PILGRIM dates are herE...
women's WILD PILGRIM: 2ND - 7TH JUNE 2024
AUTUMN WILD PILGRIM (open): 8TH - 13TH SEPTEMBER 2024
Set in the wild 'rough bounds' of the Scottish Highlands - this is a 6 day, 5 night very wild adventure.
This is a journey on foot which requires a degree of physical fitness and commitment to the journey. We carry everything we need for 4 nights wild camping, as together we move through some of the UK's most stunning, untouched landscapes. Taking time as we go to swim in rivers and waterfalls, cook and eat together, share stories, cast dreams and step outside of the every day.
From our experience of this landscape and the wild pilgrim journey - it's an incredibly powerful and transformative experience - an opportunity to go an a wild adventure to inspire life. Whether you're a solo traveller, friends, family or a couple - everyone is welcome on this adventure. Our two experienced, qualified and heart led leaders will meet you wherever you are on your journey - with love, guidance and support. We'd love to share the wild pilgrim journey with you.
"A brilliant mix of feeling free & wild and supported & guided."
(Jane - 2023 Wild Pilgrim guest)
DAY 1: PREPARE FOR THE WILD
We meet around 8.30 in Fort William before heading off on our wild adventure. Once we’ve collected our lunch we’ll journey together, via the Glenfinnan Viaduct (of Harry Potter fame), by rail or road to the port town of Mallaig.
Once we get to Mallaig we'll have time to sort though all the kit we need for our adventure together, making sure that as individuals and a group we have everything we need to keep us safe, warm, dry, rested, fed and watered. Once you sign up for this adventure we'll send you a full kit list, and rest assured we take care of a lot of the basic kit we'll need, like first aid, shelter, and cooking equipment etc.
From Mallaig we take the 30 minute boat journey to the small village of Inverie - the only village on the Knoydart Peninsula. This is the only way to reach Knoydart as it's so remote - so once we arrive our journey into the wild really begins.
On arrival to Inverie we head to the beautiful Long Beach campsite (literally a beach)!, managed by the Knoydart Foundation. This is where we will set up our camp for the night. After setting up camp and getting settled we head out for a very special welcome dinner at The Lookout seafood restaurant. This is an opportunity to get to know each other over delicious local seafood (other options are available), and to take in the really special community of Inverie itself.
Before it gets dark, we'll head back to our campsite for a fire on the beach - an opportunity to consider our hopes and fears for the pilgrimage ahead as we prepare to step into the wild.
We create calm before bed with a choice of Yogi Teas and gratitude before rest.
DAY 2: STEP INTO THE WILD
We rise early with the sun and greet the day with some gentle stretching and breath work before we have the opportunity for a fresh dip in the healing salt water of Loch Nevis. Fresh Coffee, brewed by our favourite roasters, Girls Who Grind Coffee, will be served along with breakfast.
Once we’ve packed away our camp we commence our pilgrim journey and head slowly through ancient woodland and out along open grassland on an old drovers path towards Barrisdale Bay (13K Moderate). As we pass by the Brocket Memorial we consider the role of land, who owns it and why this matters. On reaching the cool blue waters of Loch An Dubh Lochain (The Black Lake) we will stop and take a mindful moment to cool our feet and journal. We keep our ears and eyes open and hope to spot some grazing highland cattle, golden eagles and more.
From here we start to gain some height. As we hit the mountain pass (450m) we will feel the sea breeze once more and take note of our achievement. This might be a good time for our first Firepot lunch. We now commit to the descent towards the stunning Barrisdale Estate. The sound of the river and the feel of some flat ground is welcome. A perfect spot to refresh and relax. As we ford the river we will make camp beside a small bothy and basic toilet facilities. If we are quiet, deer will come close to investigate and take advantage of the sweet grass. This is where we will set up our camp for the night.
After setting up camp and getting settled we will prepare our first evening meal together. Dinners while out in the wild are a selection of ingredients making up a dinner pack for 2, think Ready Steady Cook! An example meal is courgette, onion, halloumi and risotto rice - this enables us to eat really well and keep up the fresh veg while in the wild. After dinner, we reflect on the day with an opportunity for time together around the fire, or stargazing.
We create calm before bed with a choice of Yogi Teas and gratitude before rest.
DAYS 3 And 4: LIVE WILD
By now we have settled into our morning routine of rising early with the sun and greeting the day with some gentle stretching and breath work before we have the opportunity for cold water immersion in the freshwater of the nearby waterfall or river. Fresh Coffee / yogi tea will be brewed along with our first delicious kiln dried Firepot breakfast.
After packing down our camp we'll continue to explore and immerse ourselves in the ever more wild parts of the peninsula. From here we'll plan our route daily, depending on the weather and needs of the group. We have a number of planned options. We can explore the fabulous north-eastern slopes and high peaks of Ladhar Bheinn where John Muir Trust in Knoydart is expanding the native woodland and encouraging the return of native species to this special place. The shore of Loch Hourn and the hills, Lochan and Glens to the east of Barrisdale are also a wild playground to explore. Both will involve no more than 7-10K of walking. If we are feeling energetic and want to commit we can take on a three day route along the River Carnach back to Inverie (25K).
Lunch and dinner will be a choice of Firepot meals and our 'dinner packs'. Whatever option we take we will continue to prioritise our wellbeing practices of journaling, mindful connection with self, others and the wild, cold water immersion, wild yoga, fire time and nurturing conversation that supports our personal and group experience.
We find a wild place to camp each night under the stars. We create calm before bed with a choice of yogi tea / water and gratitude before rest.
DAY 5: RETURN FROM THE WILD WITH GRATITUDE + CELEBRATION
This is our final day living wild so we rise one more morning with the sun and greet the day with some gentle stretching and breath work before we have the opportunity for cold water immersion in the freshwater nearby.
Fresh Coffee / yogi tea will be brewed and we'll make our final breakfast together. After packing down our camp we'll journey back towards Inverie. After our last Firepot lunch meal we will slowly emerge from the wild back to the village of Inverie.
From here we'l take the boat back to Mallaig, where we'll check into our local accommodation for the night. There will be time to take a shower and prepare for our last evening together - a celebration meal in Mallaig!
This is a time to look back on our journey in the wild together, to celebrate and to think about how we can weave this powerful experience into our lives once we get home.
We'll then get a good night's sleep in a comfy bed in our local accommodation.
DAY 6: MOVING ON
After breakfast at our local accommodation - we will pack up and head back to Fort William by rail or road.
We aim to return to Fort William around 11.30am. Here we say our goodbyes. You'll leave feeling refreshed, reconnected with yourself, others and a truly wild experience.
The wild pilgrim journey can be powerful and transformative, it's an adventure which will more than likely continue to bubble into your life long after we get back home...
The wild pilgrim really is a wild adventure to inspire life!
2 qualified and experienced Living Project leaders - Emily Graves + Josh Bulpin
Required group safety kit
The Living Project comprehensive insurance
All accommodation - twin room share/ bunkhouse/ shared 2 person tent (provided by The Living Project)
Your own personal Wilder journal + pencil
Endless coffee & Yogi tea
Water Purification stuff so we can collect water on the go
Day I: lunch, dinner and transport from Fort William to Inverie (train/boat)
Day 2: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 3: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 4: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 5: breakfast, lunch, & local accommodation - ferry
Day 6: breakfast, onward travel to Fort William (either by rail or road)
Transport to and from the start/end point in Fort William
Personal kit (list provided on booking)
Drinks with meal on day 1 and 5
Personal spending money
Celebration dinner on the final evening
Any other snacks you may want to bring
some answers to some questions so far...
If you have any others please give us a shout or check our general FAQs
Where is the Knoydart Peninsula?
The Knoydart Peninsula is regarded as the last true wilderness in the UK. Located on the West Coast of Scotland we reach it by small boat.
How do I get there?
We reckon all adventures begin when we step outside our front door (thanks Bilbo). We meet in Fort William to travel on to The Knoydart together. The overnight train from London to Glasgow, and onto Fort William is an adventure in and of itself and one of our Leaders will be doing this journey to accompany anyone travelling this route. Train travellers starting anywhere will love the journey from Glasgow or Inverness to Fort William as it passes through the stunning Western Highlands of Scotland. You can also fly to Inverness or Glasgow and arrange train/car from there.
How fit / crazy / wild do I need to be to do it?
We don’t tend to go for epic feats of endurance, that’s not really us. We’re all about moving slow, noticing and exploring a landscape through all our senses. However this adventure on the Knoydart peninsula does require some physical effort. You will need to carry your gear in a ruck-sack and we do wild camp for 4 nights, so we recommend a healthy level of fitness for your own enjoyment and safety. It will no doubt be a challenge being out in the Wild, but whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned wild camper, it's a magical experience to share with others. We've designed the adventure to suit all-comers and our main priority is supporting guests on their journey. We adapt our plans to meet the needs of the team, and in-line with the weather doing it's thing too.
What kit will I need?
We provide all group kit, including food, cooking gear, safety kit and tents. To highlight a few basics - you will need a good pair of worn-in walking boots, a decent sleeping bag and mat, a 55-65l ruck-sack, and some waterproofs. Once you're signed up we'll send you a little kit-list.