Knoydart and our home.

Our Family

Katherine and Coll Toby and I are in our mid-thirties. We have three boys: Finn (6), Lachie(4) and Coll(3), who have red hair and brown eyes like me. We also have two cats, several chickens and a cockerel. Toby has lived on Knoydart for over 20 years, being involved with building and boats. I met Toby about 9 years ago as a volunteer helping him rebuild an old wooden sailing boat that had been partly destroyed by fire. The rebuild was successful and we spent two years crewing "Eda Frandsen" in her new role as charter boat before Finn came along. Toby now runs a building business on Knoydart which means that he never has any time to finish the jobs that need doing at home.
Before I moved to Knoydart I was a primary school teacher with responsibility for special needs. Since living here I have worked with all the children on the ‘Small Isles’ and Knoydart as teacher in their small remote schools, which has been great fun. Finn and Lachie

I have always loved living here, walking in the mountains, on the beaches, boat trips, spectacular sunsets and playing music. Knoydart has a very lively ‘traditional’ (sometimes in a loose sense of the word!) music and ceilidh scene. Sessions will sometimes end at dawn and often include some of the foremost Scottish/Irish players of the moment. Toby sings and plays guitar, I play fiddle and we are usually involved in some way, although in our present circumstances this is becoming more difficult!

We feel that this is a fantastic environment in which to bring up our children. Finn and Lachie love walking, climbing on rocks, beachcombing, birdwatching, splashing about in freezing cold water and playing with their friends. There is a very healthy number of young children on Knoydart who all have a great time together.
The community is small and friendly - everyone knows each other which means there is a very broad social base for learning meaningful communication skills. Certainly, people here are very interested in Coll and will be encouraging and supportive of him in his efforts.

Lachie and Finn are great friends and spend hours together playing games and building dens in the more overgrown parts of the garden. They have both been somewhat perplexed by their little brother's total lack of interest in them and their attempts to engage him, although they remain well disposed towards him and Finn in particular is keen to help out in the programme.

Knoydart.

Toby and I live on the West Coast of Scotland on a peninsula called Knoydart. Knoydart is bounded to the south by Loch Nevis (the loch of heaven), to the north by Loch Hourn (the loch of hell) and to the west by the Sound of Sleat, that separates us from the Isle of Skye. To get here you have to take the ferry from the fishing village of Mallaig or walk 30 miles from the nearest road through wild mountain scenery. The main settlement, where we now live, is called Inverie, on the shores of Loch Nevis. It boasts a pub, restaurant, post office, ferry pier, primary school, visitor accommodation and about half the population. The other half live scattered about the peninsula, accessible by foot or boat. The west is dominated by the sea, with bays, beaches, sea cliffs and rivers. It is grassy with some heather and patches of woodland. To the east, high mountains and dark glens with wild rocky terrain.

Knoydart is often referred to as "the last wilderness", but has been continuously inhabited since the Stone Age. Owned by the McDonnells of Glengarry for 500 years, they eventually "cleared" the last remaining indigenous inhabitants to Canada in 1853 to make way for more profitable sheep farming. The sheep were gradually replaced by red deer as sporting estates became popular. In the 1980's the 53,000 acre estate covering all the land between Loch Nevis and Loch Hourn was split up and sold in smaller lots. In 2000 a Community-led charity called the The Knoydart Foundation bought the biggest remaining bit, after a hectic year of fund-raising. The Community has increased to about 100 people, swelling to over 200 in summer. Activities are diverse including tourism, forestry, farming, building, IT and crafts.

If you like what you see, then please get in touch.
For more information contact
Katherine Robinson, Joiner's Croft. Knoydart, Mallaig, Inverness-shire, PH41 4PL.
Telephone +44 (0)1687 460250,
or email joinerscroft@clara.co.uk

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