Great Britain’s most remote hostel is now open for business, so long as you don’t mind the occasional explosion. Or heights.
High atop a 300-foot cliff sits the lighthouse at Cape Wrath. For decades it has lit the way for ships cross the dangerous northwesterly portion of the United Kingdom mainland before the advent of GPS made it obsolete.
But that doesn’t mean the peninsula doesn’t get visitors. The area’s stark beauty has served as center stage for more than one TV or movie, and besides, tourists drop by often enough for the only two local residents to have a successful cafe just beside the lighthouse.
And now they’ve decided to open a hostel.
John Ure, 64, and his daughter Angela converted the old machine room beside the lighthouse into an 8-room bunkhouse. It cost then 12,000 pounds (or almost $16,000 USD) and almost 6 months, but now they’re finished and already they’ve had “scores” of customers.
A bunk costs 5 pounds per night (or roughly $6.65). They even plan on expanding their facilities to include another two beds.
Getting there isn’t exactly easy. You’ve got two choices to get to Cape Wrath Lighthouse: you can travel to the nearest town of Kinlochbervie and then walk overland 11 miles through rough terrain, or you can take a seasonally operating ferry across the Kyle of Durness inlet and then drive 11 miles down a bumpy road.
Oh, and that ferry only operates when the area isn’t being used by the Ministry of Defense as a weapons range.
Despite its remote area (and the fact there’s bombs going off half the year), the peninsula sees about 6,000 tourists annually. Cape Wrath is roughly 4 miles from the highest sheer cliffs in the UK, so lots of backpackers come to witness the awesome sight of the rough seas striking jagged rocks.
If you drop by, you can expect breakfast to be served along with various foods available to restock your supplies while passing through. And of course you can expect “one of the best views on the planet,” according to John.