Most remote hostel in UK opens at Cape Wrath lighthouse

The Cape Wrath Lighthouse. Picture: TSPL/Donald Macleod
The Cape Wrath Lighthouse. Picture: TSPL/Donald Macleod
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Perched atop a 300 foot cliff and a bombing range, the remotest hostel on mainland UK has opened its doors.

The bunkhouse with spectacular view at Cape Wrath – the most north westerly point on mainland UK – has been built by the peninsula’s only two residents.

Cape Wrath Lighthouse. Picture: Peter Moore/Creative Commons/ Geograph

Cape Wrath Lighthouse. Picture: Peter Moore/Creative Commons/ Geograph

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John Ure and his daughter Angela have converted the old machine room near Cape Wrath Lighthouse into a bunkhouse capable of taking eight people.

They hope to expand it to take another two people later.

And already scores of backpackers have taken advantage of the £5-a-night facility.

The family has splashed out £12,000 on the development since November.

He runs the remotest cafe in the country right next to the lighthouse and usually serves around 6,000 people-a-year – concentrated in the main season – when the area is not being used as a bombing range by the MoD.

But getting to the Sutherland lighthouse, four miles from the 900-feet highest vertical cliffs on mainland UK, is not easy.

It involves a seasonal ferry journey across the narrow Kyle of Durness and a 11-mile trip up a bumpy road. The only other route an 11-mile walk from near Kinlochbervie over rough, unmarked, but stunning, terrain.

But still a few thousand walkers and tourists head to the cape each year.

Mr Ure, 64, said: “The bunkhouse is open and booming. We have had scores already.

“It is a badly needed facility in the area and we plan to open all year round.

“I am also be offering evening meals and breakfast, a grocery shop in the cafe for the walkers – as well as among the best views on the planet. So far the season has been hectic. We are getting a lot of people off the NC500.”

The Military last year increased their use of Cape Wrath – with the installation of three new major gun battery sites.