At its off-the-grid location, the pub has stunning views that include soaring mountains and peaceful waters.
“It may be one of the only places in Europe where we get views like this of the mountain meeting the sea,” said Jean-Pierre Robinet, the pub's current owner.
Getting there isn’t easy: It requires either hiking for 18 miles or taking a seven-mile ferry ride. But once visitors arrive, they’ll be treated to a charming setting.
Inside, walls are lined with instruments that range from acoustic and electric guitars to fiddles, which customers are free to pick up and play.
Live music is the pub’s motto, according to Robinet, and visitors are invited to bring their own instruments (if they can get them there).
All products are locally sourced within a seven-mile radius, according to Robinet, with an in-house scallop driver bringing in fresh seafood of the day. Popular dishes include seasonal selections of lobsters, scallops, mussels, a venison burger made with homemade bread and topped with two venison patties, and a hearty venison stew in the winter.
The Old Forge has a global selection of beers from microbreweries and in-house ales that helped the bar rank as one of Peter Irvine’s top pubs to visit in Scotland, in addition to ranking on lists of the best bars to visit around the world.
Wi-Fi is regularly switched off at 6 p.m. and there are no televisions, which is part of what drew Robinet to the place.
“I saw it as a great opportunity to step out of the common world and get back to the roots of the world,” Robinet, who had been a customer for 20 years before buying the place five years ago, told Travel + Leisure. “It may be the best decision that I’ve ever made.”
Customers can also arrive at the bar via boat or helicopter.
For those who want to stay nearby, accommodations include “snugs” for up to four people, the Old Byre (set within Knoydart’s majestic setting and equipped to fit up to twelve people), campsites, and a variety of bunkhouses for backpackers.
The Old Forge is open seasonally: It will reopen December 26, until January 10, and then remain open (except for on Wednesdays) from March 1 through October 2017.