It’s a difficult balance, trying to keep independence while not giving up aspects of modern comfort. This is why living off-grid is an appealing prospect to many. For those who live in the nation’s most remote locations, that enviable lifestyle is a reality. Here, LPG suppliers, Flogas, who supply energy options for off-grid locations, explore further…
Scotland: Fair Isle
They say that the best things in life come in small packages! Measuring in at just three miles long, and one and half a mile wide, Fair Isle is a part of Scotland that is renowned for its community spirit, cultural heritage and wildlife — the latter of which ranges from black guillemots, fulmars, puffins and razorbills to both grey and common seals as well as whales and dolphins.
The island is owned by the National Trust for Scotland, with the majority of its small population living on the south end of the island. Despite its small size though, there’s actually quite a bit to see and do around Fair Isle. The Fair Isle Bird Observatory is world famous for its scientific research around bird migration and seabird breeding colonies, while the George Waterston Memorial Centre and Museum is the place to find a huge collection of artefacts which offer a glimpse into the location’s rich past. There’s even a golf course — arguably the most remote one across all of Britain.
Another remote location in Scotland is next. Meaning ‘bird island’, Foula sits 20 miles to the west of Wells in the Shetland Islands and lives up to its name by being host to one of the largest colonies of Great Skuas — or bonxies — across Britain.
Foula also sports the majestic 1,200 foot-high Da Kame. These cliffs rise so high from the sea that on a clear day views can be enjoyed from their tip all the way across to neighbouring locations like Unst and the above-mentioned Fair Isle.
Scotland: The Knoydart Peninsula
Still in Scotland with our next entry, the Knoydart Peninsula is only accessible by sea or by foot. This just goes to show how isolated this 55,000-acre site is! Nestled between Loch Hourn and Loch Nevis in the Lochaber district of the Scottish Highlands, the Knoydart Peninsula has been hailed as one of the last great wilderness areas in Scotland. Fortunately, the saying ‘leaving the best until last’ holds true here, with heart-pumping mountain passes to hike along, sandy inlets to explore and so much breath-taking coastal and mountain scenery waiting to be discovered.
But where do the inhabitants call home? Well, Inverie is the main settlement area of the Knoydart Peninsula and is the place to find the region’s primary school, post office, a selection of community shops, the Knoydart Pottery & Tearoom and The Old Forge Inn — the most remote pub in mainland Britain.
England: The Holy Island of Lindisfarne
This island is a unique feature on our list in that it becomes entirely isolated at the whims of the ocean. The birthplace of England’s Christian Heritage, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne off the Northumberland coast is so isolated that it is entirely cut off from the rest of the world twice a day when its paved causeway becomes submerged during times of high tide.
There’s no shortage of things to do on the island. A peaceful and unspoiled land awaits, as does Lindisfarne Priory. Once the home of St Oswald, it was here that the precious Lindisfarne Gospels were created. Lindisfarne Castle will also be difficult to ignore, especially since the 16th century structure — which now serves as a quirky holiday home following a makeover by architect Edward Lutyens — sits high atop one of Lindisfarne’s craggy hills.
Isle of Man: Calf of Man
This small island is just one and a half miles long and one mile wide. Sitting on the southern-most tip of the Isle of Man — hence its name — is the Calf of Man. It’s surprising just how much can be packed into this 600-acre rocky outcrop though, which is currently owned by the Manx National Heritage.
The Calf of Man has a bird observatory and nature reserve for its copious amounts of bird and wildlife. Fans of nature will also be happy to hear that the island is primarily a destination filled with flat heathland and coastal grassland, while ancient burial grounds will appeal to those seeking history.
England: Lundy Island
As England’s first Marine Conservation Zone, Lundy Island has enjoyed something of a spotlight in recent years. Owned by the National Trust, Lundy Island is a peaceful retreat where no cars can be found and there’s only a single shop and a single pub to explore. Fortunately, there’s lots of wildlife to seek out to make the most of the time — a variety of seabirds, grey seals, dolphins and even a basking shark or two can be viewed on, or from, the island on a given day.
North Wales: Bardsey Island
Known as Ynys Enlli in Welsh, this island has an important role as a pilgrimage site, dating back as far as Medieval times for this holy purpose. Historians will also be intrigued to hear that there’s a legendary claim that Bardsey Island is the burial site of King Arthur, while those after nature can enjoy daily views of migratory birds, dolphins, porpoises, rare butterflies and what has been claimed to be the oldest apple tree in the world.
*Population figures recorded as of 31/10/2017.