Rewilding Explorer: Knoydart and the Small Isles - Rewilding Retreat - Explore the hidden gems of Knoydart and the Small Isles, home to some of the most stunning scenery in Scotland.


17-24 Jul 2021

Knoydart and the Small Isles, Scotland
7 nights
Fitness: Easy
Group Size: 10

Explore the hidden gems of Knoydart and the Small Isles, home to some of the most stunning scenery in Scotland.

  • Stay in one of the remotest corners of Scotland on the Knoydart peninsula.
  • Be immersed in some of the finest landscapes in the country.
  • Enjoy private charters to explore hard to reach island locations.
  • Witness the spectacle of seabird cities and keep a lookout for white-tailed eagles.
  • Enjoy fresh local cuisine in one of the wildest restaurant locations in Scotland.
  • Receive a complimentary digital copy of our landmark book: SCOTLAND: A Rewilding Journey


“The Knoydart peninsula is one of the most remote locations in Scotland and only accessible by boat or a 2 day hike. Once you cross the waters of Loch Nevis, you enter a different world. Mountains, lochs, wildlife, tranquillity, exceptional views and stunning sunsets combine to make this an unforgettable adventure.

The nearby Small Isles offer a variety of opportunities to explore island life, hosting a bounty of marine wildlife and stunning landscapes. Our trip is timed to witness some of the seabird cities that call the west coast home. Adult birds busily travel back and forth to feed ever-growing chicks and the seas welcome large numbers of ocean wanderers – the Manx Shearwaters, 100,000 of which nest on the islands.

We have exclusive use of a private charter throughout the week to island hop amongst these stunning locations, whilst keeping an eye out for seabirds, seals and perhaps even white-tailed eagles, dolphins and whales.”

Andy Tibbetts, Owner of Doune Bay Lodge and Skipper of The Mary Doune

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT KNOYDART FROM Andy Tibbetts, Owner of Doune Bay Lodge >


Day 1: We meet in Mallaig where we are picked up by our private charter, The Mary Doune, to ferry us across Loch Nevis to the tip of the Knoydart peninsula. After introductions, we settle into our accommodation at Doune Bay Lodge before enjoying our first evening meal in the restaurant.

Days 2-7: Our exclusive use of the Mary Doune allows us to retain flexibility throughout the week and to react to the day to day weather conditions. Our daily charter will take us on a new adventure every day, with stunning views to the surrounding islands and mountains as we travel between destinations.

We’ll explore various locations around the Small Isles including visits to Canna, Rum and Eigg. Nestled amongst towering sea cliffs we’ll watch the thousands of breeding seabirds and keep a look out for the resident white-tailed eagles. We’ll walk amongst impressive geological features and across beautiful secluded bays where colonies of common seals reside.

With an abundance of wild land in the region, the John Muir Trust have several properties and we’ll explore Strathaird on the Isle of Skye with regenerating native forests to the backdrop of the Cuillins. On Knoydart itself, we’ll take the Mary Doune along Loch Hourn to see the location where the John Muir Trust began, having bought Li and Coire Dhorrcail in 1987 to protect the special wild landscape from use as a bombing range by the MoD.

Day 8: After breakfast on the final day, we set sail for one last journey across Loch Nevis to reach Mallaig where we say our goodbyes.


DATES: 17-24 Jul 2021 GUIDES: Malcolm O'Reilly STATUS: Open BOOK NOW



Enjoy all the highlights of this rewilding experience surrounded by your own group of family or friends, on a retreat that is exclusively yours. Simply complete the following form to begin your journey.




Price: £1495
Deposit: £300
Single supplement: £0


  • 7 nights accommodation in Scandinavian style wilderness lodge
  • All meals
  • 6 day private charter
  • All excursions
  • Guiding
  • Pick up/drop off from Mallaig


  • Travel to/from the retreat
  • Travel/cancellation insurance
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Personal expenses


Our boat journey to Doune Bay Lodge will leave Mallaig at 3pm on the day of arrival.

By train: Many people choose to use the excellent London to Fort William sleeper service, and then enjoy the spectacular entrance to Mallaig station via the West Highland Railway Line.

By car: Cars can be safely parked in a long stay car park for the duration of our retreat. The nearest postcode is PH41 4QA.

By air: You can fly into Glasgow (160mi) or Inverness airport (100mi) and then take a train or hire car on to Mallaig.


Breakfast and evening meals will be taken in the Doune Dining Room where local lamb and venison is used alongside sustainably caught seafood, freshly caught by local divers. The Doune sources a range of fabulous cheeses from local artisan dairies and most of the soft fruits and fresh herbs are used from the organic kitchen garden. We can cater for almost all special dietary requirements, so please let us know in the booking form. Packed lunches will be taken in the field.


A reasonable level of mobility is needed to get aboard and onto the smaller dinghy for island landings. We will have a number of walks during our island adventures, so a reasonable level of fitness is required.


Weather is very changeable in the Highlands and you should expect anything from warm, calm conditions to cool and windy, especially at sea. Even on lovely days, extra layers and waterproofs will make your trip more comfortable.


On warm calm days, midges can be present at this time of year. We suggest you bring a suitable repellent.


If you suffer with motion sickness, please take all necessary precautions beforehand.


Malcolm O


Exploring wild places with others has been the theme of Malcolm’s 20-year career in the outdoors. His passion for helping people discover the natural world, combined with his broad experience and sense of humour, will enrich your time together. Originally a graduate in Zoology, he has made the Cairngorms his home since 2001. You will certainly be in safe hands too, as well as working year-round as a wildlife guide, he is also a qualified mountain leader.

Join Malcolm on the following retreats:
17-24 Jul 2021

Doune Bay Lodge

Our lodgings are in informal, yet comfortable accommodation at Doune Bay Lodge. Situated at the southern end of the bay, the lodge is tucked just 20 metres back from it’s own beach, looking west across the Sound of Sleat to the Skye Cuillins.

Lined in pine throughout, the feel is warm and welcoming. All bedrooms have excellent sea or hillside views. Due to the remote location, electricity is provided by generator and is switched off at night. All rooms have power sockets available for computer/camera/battery charging, but as power is limited please do not bring high wattage applications such as hair dryers. There is a choice of single and twin rooms upstairs in the lodge and the shared washroom is downstairs, towels are provided.


  • A mixture of single/twin rooms
  • Open-plan living room with games and books
  • Tea/coffee making facilities
  • Washroom with 3 showers, 2 toilets, hand basins & drying area
  • Full length veranda above the beach
  • Exclusive use of the Mary Doune, the lodge’s fast boat



  • By booking a retreat you’ll be directly supporting local jobs and services in the Scottish Highlands, demonstrating that wild nature has a tangible economic value. 
  • All of our food and services are sourced from local suppliers wherever possible, and we constantly review ways in which we can make our retreats more sustainable. 
  • We invest all profits from Rewilding Escapes directly into our work, so by joining our retreats, you are contributing to rewilding projects in Scotland.