This Remote British Isle Wants You to Move There and Run Its 300-year-old Pub

"There's something incredibly special about Piel Island."

A view of Piel castle form Walney Island near Barrow in Furness at low tide
Photo: Steve Stone/Getty Images

Dreaming of quitting your job, moving to a remote island, and living the simple life? Now's your chance.

In January, England's Barrow Borough Council posted about a new job opportunity, which includes looking after and managing The Ship Inn, running a bar, and looking after other parts of Piel Island.

For those not in the know (how dare you not know all your British Isles by heart), Piel Island is a small island that sits about half a mile off the Furness coast in Barrow-in-Furness. (Here's a map.) The job comes with a 10-year lease for The Ship Inn, so you'll have plenty of time to get to know the place.

According to the BBC, The Ship Inn is around 300 years old. And in true UK fashion, the person who takes on this role will be crowned King of Piel — with much pomp and circumstance. "The tradition holds that each new landlord is crowned 'King of Piel' in a ceremony of uncertain origin, in which they sit in an ancient chair, wearing a helmet and holding a sword while alcohol is poured over their head," according to the Barrow Borough Council.

"There's something incredibly special about Piel Island, it's certainly a location that is held close to the hearts of so many people across Barrow and the wider area," Councilor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council, said in a statement. "As well as running The Ship Inn, the successful applicant will need to manage and maintain other parts of the island, including its small campsite, taking into account the sensitivities that go hand in hand with a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest."

How big of an island are we talking? In total, the council says it's about 50 acres, and comes with plenty of wildlife and historic ruins to explore. But really, that's about it.

"We're not talking about St. Lucia or the Hawaiian islands," John Murphy, a 73-year-old resident of nearby Walney Island, and local walking tour guide, told The New York Times. "We're talking about a small and very isolated island in the north of England."

According to the council, visitors can reach the island via a short ferry ride. However, the ferry is only available from April to September.

A number of changes and improvements are due to take place on the island from 2022 onwards, including replacing the existing toilet block and considering alternative energy generation as part of the Low Carbon Barrow project.

"The successful applicant will need to be dedicated to their role on Piel — an absolute jewel in the borough's crown — while taking care of the many people who visit the pub each year," Thompson added. "While there are periods when the pub and the island is bustling with people, there will be periods of quiet too — something the successful applicant will need to embrace."

So, if cozying up with wool knit sweaters in the cold winters, bellying up to a bar with a few tourists once in a while, and plenty of solitude sound great to you, you can go ahead and apply here. We promise to come to visit.

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