Garvault Hotel, Kinbrace

If you drive up to the far north west of Scotland, you’ll probably pass the Garvault Hotel as it’s near one of the few routes in the empty northern Highlands leading relatively directly between Helmsdale and Tongue.

It’s touted as being the most remote hotels in Britain and I can well imagine that claim to be true; it’s the only building for several miles driving through bleak and empty countryside. Whereas some enterprising online publishers try to sell the hotel as some kind of luxury retreat, I suspect that the reviews at Tripadvisor prove to be a little more honest. Will Self perhaps describes the potential experience a little more accurately in his recent Esquire article, when he writes of an imaginary place where…

a certain kind of Scots establishment that for sheer, dreek, Tupperware-plated gloominess is unsurpassed: the windowsills are covered in dead bluebottles, the nylon sheets hook on to your hangnails and … tinned soup is accorded a great delicacy.

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