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Man Has Lived As A Hermit In Scottish Highlands For 40 Years

Claire Reid

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Man Has Lived As A Hermit In Scottish Highlands For 40 Years

A man has spent almost four decades living as a hermit in the Scottish Highlands, spending his days in a hand-built log cabin without electricity or running water.

Ken Smith, 74, is originally from Derbyshire, but after being brutally attacked by a gang of thugs on a night out when he was just 26 he decided he wanted to 'live on his own terms'.

The attack left Ken with a brain haemorrhage and unconscious for 23 days - with doctors fearing he'd never walk or talk again.

Credit: Aruna Productions
Credit: Aruna Productions

However, he defied the odds and said the attack spurred him on to live the life he wanted.

Speaking in a BBC documentary, The Hermit of Treig, he explained that after the attack he started looking into the wilderness and travelled to Canada where he walked 22,000 miles on his own before deciding to return home.

Once home in Derbyshire, Ken was met with the sad news his parents had died, which 'took a long while to hit him'.

Ken said he was walking the length of Britain and had reached the Scottish Highlands when he suddenly thought of his late parents and started to cry.

He told the documentary: "I cried all the way while walking.

"I thought, 'where is the most isolated place in Britain?'

"I went around and followed every bay and every Ben where there wasn't a house built.

"Hundreds and hundreds of miles of nothingness. I looked across the loch and saw this woodland."

Ken said he knew he had found the right place when he stopped crying, so set about building himself a cabin to live in.

Credit: Aruna Productions
Credit: Aruna Productions

Fast forward 40 years and Ken's cabin has its own log fire, but no running water, gas or electricity. He grows his own veggies and forages in the woodland for berries, as well as fishing in the loch.

But his lifestyle was interrupted in 2019 after he suffered a stroke - fortunately he was able to call for help using a GPS personal locator beacon he had been given days before which alerted the Coastguard who were able to have him airlifted to hospital.

A year later he was injured again after a log pile fell on him and he once again had to go to hospital.

Despite his past health issues, Ken has no intentions of going back to civilization and has no fears for his future.

He told the BBC: "We weren't put on earth forever. I'll stop here until my final days come, definitely."

"I have had lots of incidents but I seem to have survived them all.

"I am bound to go ill again sometime. Something will happen to me that will take me away one day as it does for everybody else.

"But I'm hoping I'll get to 102."

The Hermit of Treig

Featured Image Credit: Aruna Productions

Topics: UK News, TV and Film, Interesting, Scotland

Claire Reid
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