Meall Buidhe from Inverie

An t-Uiriollach on Meall Buidhe

This is a straightforward and direct ascent route to the summit of Meall Buidhe, one of Knoydart's three Munros. The route starts from the fabulous village of Inverie, then follows easy tracks and paths to the foot of Meall Buidhe near Druim Bothy. The walk then enters the stunning Gleann Meadail before ascending the steep south western slopes of Meall Buidhe. After reaching the ridge, a direct slog up the crest of the western ridge will find you on top of An t-Uiriollach, from which a fairly easy descent and re-ascent of Bealach an Torc-choire brings you to the summit of Meall Buidhe. You will return via the same route, only this time with the sunset bathed seascape views in front of you, across Loch Nevis, to Eigg and Rum on the horizon. The views from this walk on a good day are absolutely out of this world. If you have access to a mountain bike one option is to cycle in to the Druim Bothy and leave your bike there. It is great fun and takes several miles of road walking off the total distance.

Route Directions

  1. This walk starts from the Old Forge at grid reference NG766000. The Old Forge is mainland Britain's most remote pub, situated on the wild and wonderful Knoydart Peninsula. The pub is the social hub of the village of Inverie and home to an incredibly welcoming self sufficient community.
  2. Inverie is only accessible by either boat or an eighteen mile walk in over high mountain terrain. There are regular small ferries from Mallaig harbour, situated forty miles west of Fort William. Visit the Knoydart Foundation website here for ferry information.
  3. The Old Forge can be seen from Inverie harbour. To reach it, turn right from the harbour and walk along the road for a hundred and fifty metres. From the Old Forge head south east along the tarmac road out of the village following the shore line.
  4. After a kilometre the road bends left and ascends a steep hill with a stone wall on the right. Continue ascending this hill until it reaches a white deer gate. Pass through the deer gate and continue along the rough track with a stone wall and woodland on the right hand side.
  5. Follow the rough track for a kilometre as it heads south east passing open fields on the right, often with red deer in them. The track will rise slightly and pass through a small forest before opening out again.
  6. The track turns right, then left, to round Torr a' Bhalbhain with the monument on top. After the monument the track descends slightly and reaches another track to the right.
  7. Turn right and head south down this track. After four hundred metres it crosses a wooden bridge over the Inverie River. Cross the bridge then turn left on the other side and head east along the footpath to Druim Bothy.
  8. You will reach the Druim Bothy after less than a kilometre. This bothy is private and not open to the public. If you have cycled in to this point you can leave your bike(s) behind the bothy out of view.
  9. From Druim Bothy continue along the footpath above the river. The cliffs narrow on either side until you reach the wooden footbridge into the wide open Gleann Meadail, a magnificent glen.
  10. After crossing the wooden bridge you need to look up at the steep ground to your north east and pick a route straight up towards the ridge. There isn't a path and the ground can be boggy.
  11. I would advise using the zigzagging technique to make the steep gradient a little easier and use regular breaks to admire the views into Gleann Meadail and out across Loch Nevis.
  12. After a long hard slog you will eventually reach the crest of the wide grassy ridge. Here the views north will open up and on a clear day you will get your first glimpse of Knoydart's other two Munros, the neighbouring Luinne Bheinn to the north east, and the tallest, Ladhar Bheinn, to the north.
  13. Make your way up the crest of the grassy ridge until you reach the rocky summit of An t-Uiriollach at 826m. To reach the summit of Meall Buidhe from An t-Uiriollach you need to descend and re-ascend the Bealach an Torc-choire.
  14. Descend from An t-Uiriollach in a south easterly direction following the obvious path and crest of the ridge. After two hundred metres you will be on the Bealach an Torc-choire. Take care as a bealach like this can be a very windy place.
  15. After ascending the ridge for four hundred metres it will turn left and continue ascending grassy slopes towards Meall Buidhe's summit plateau. You will pass over a false summit before eventually reaching the proper one at 946m above sea level. Meall Buidhe's summit boasts the traditional stone cairn.
  16. The views from Meall Buidhe on a clear day are awesome. To the west over the sea; the jagged Black Cuillins of Skye on the horizon. To the north mountains are plentiful including the massive Ladhar Bheinn. To the north east there is the unique hat topped profile of the neighbouring Luinne Bheinn. To the east; the pointy cone of Sgurr Na Ciche. There are the huge wild glens below adding to the sheer grandeur of it all.
  17. There is another summit four hundred metres east from the proper summit on the eastern shoulder of Meall Buidhe. This can be reached by dropping down slightly to the south east then heading east.
  18. Descend Meall Buidhe by retracing your footsteps east for a hundred metres to reach the false summit again. From here descend south west for three hundred metres down a grassy slope. Turn right onto the descend path to Bealach an Torc-choire.
  19. Descend to the lowest point on Bealach an Torc-choire then start the re-ascent to An t-Uiriollach. You can round the back of An t-Uiriollach this time to avoid the summit. Now retrace your footsteps down the eastern ridge of An t-Uiriollach, sticking to the crest of the grassy ridge at all times.
  20. Just before the point at which you are parallel with Loch an Dubh-Lochainon the right you need to start your descent down the steep grassy slopes you ascended earlier from Gleann Meadail. This should be around grid reference NM826993.
  21. You can walk off the end of the ridge and switch back to the footbridge, but having tried this I would not recommend it; the terrain is not great.
  22. Retrace your steps back down the steep slopes. Taking care all the way and using the zigzagging technique when required. You will eventually reach the wooden bridge over the Allt Gleann Meadail.
  23. Cross the wooden bridge then head west along the footpath back to Druim Bothy. From Druim Bothy follow the path west until you reach the bridge over the Inverie River. Cross the Inverie River and continue along the track to reach the track from Inverie.
  24. At the junction turn left and head along the Inverie track passing the Torr a' Bhalbhain memorial. A four kilometre walk along the track, then road, will get you back to Inverie.
  25. At Inverie the Knoydart Foundation have set up an information centre where you can learn all about the fascinating history of Knoydart. There is no better way to finish a walk than with a visit to the warm and welcoming Old Forge where you will find a friendly atmosphere, real ales and freshly caught seafood.

Maps for this walk

Paper maps for this walk

Click to buy OS Explorer 413 Map Click to buy OS Landranger 33 Map Click to buy Harvey Super Walker Knoydart Map Click to buy Harvey Knoydart Mountain Map

GPS files for this walk

Route map of this walk

Photos & Trip Reports

Meall Buidhe from Inverie

Planning for a walk

Check the weather

The weather is a very important part of hill walking. Weather conditions and daylight hours will dictate where you walk, what gear you will need to carry, how far you walk, and may even decide if you go at all. The following links will help you gather information on weather conditions for areas of Britain...

Plan your journey

Planning your journey before you set off for your walk can save you vital hours on the day. You need to make sure you know the area surrounding your starting point as many factors can influence or change the place you park. Don't forget change for parking meters and fees.

Maintenance of your vehicle and being ready for breakdown situations when driving to remote areas is also vital. Pack a full spare petrol can in your boot, and take de-icing tools in winter, including a shovel. The Transport Direct website below is a great resource for anyone wanting to get to the start of their walk using public transport...

Pack the right gear

Carrying and wearing the right gear is essential for walkers to remain comfortable and safe while hill walking in Britain. However, the best gear in the world is of no use to anyone who doesn't know how to use and care for it. Knowing how to use your gear will give you a much more enjoyable experience. The following items are, in my opinion, the essential items to wear and carry for a hill walk in Britain. It would be foolish to head into the hills and mountains of Britain without these essential items and the knowledge of how to use them. Check out the gear section of this site for techniques and gear lists...

  • Footwear
  • Clothing
  • Rucksack
  • Warm Clothes
  • Waterproofs
  • Map & Compass
  • Emergency Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Food & Drink
  • Seasonal Gear

Know what to do in emergencies

It is good practise to tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to return. If you don't get in contact when you said you would on your return, and those you told can't get hold of you, at least they will be able to provide the search party with your general location.

Emergency equipment in the check list above means items such as a survival bag, whistle, and emergency food rations. This isn't anything special; any whistle will do, the orange emergency bags only costs a few pounds, and basic food rations can consist of a couple of chocolate bars. Carrying a head lamp is also an important component and a vital piece of kit used for signalling when you require rescuing.

You should always try and get out of a difficult or emergency situation using your own gear, knowledge and energy. If you cannot do this, then you should dial 999 and ask for the police. Use all the gear you have to keep any unwell or injured members of your party or yourself safe and warm, and use your signalling devices to let the rescuers know your whereabouts. To do this blow six good long blasts on your whistle, or flash six flashes of your torch. Stop for one minute. Repeat. Carry on with the whistle blasts until someone reaches you, and don't stop because you've heard a reply.

Never contact mountain rescue unless absolutely necessary, but on the other hand don't ever feel guilty for having to do so, especially if you are a prepared walker. The Mountain Rescue teams are full of fantastic like-minded souls who love nothing more than people who are prepared for being safe in the mountains.