John is co-Director of two Assynt-based businesses - Inchnadamph Lodge and Lochinver Larder.
Sarah is co-Director of Inchnadamph Lodge and Lochinver Larder.
She and John have 4 children, 5 grandchildren and a dog called Inva (named after Lochinver!)
History of Inchnadamph Lodge
The Lodge was built by the Duke of Sutherland as a manse in 1821 and remained in use as such until 1896 when the minister moved to a new manse in Lochinver on the coast nearby. By that time, due to the practice of clearing people from the land to make way for big sheep farms, few people remained in Inchnadamph and the majority of the population moved to the coast.
The Lodge then served as an annex to the Inchnadamph Hotel during the sporting season. It famously hosted a group of international geologists led by Peach and Horne in 1912, before the Great War. They helped to unpack the theory of plate tectonics.
In the 1930s the Lodge was bought by Nottingham clothes manufacturer Martin Shepherd who extended and modernised the old manse. Upon his death, 20 years later, Lord William Rootes bought the Lodge. Lord Rootes owned the mighty Rootes motor empire, and early road trials of his classic Sunbeam Alpine prototype were conducted secretly in Sutherland, decades before the NC500 ever existed as a signposted route.
In the course of the 1950s and 60s regular visitors to the Lodge included Princess Lee Radziwill, sister of Jackie Kennedy, and a former Duchess of Windsor. Following the death of Lady Rootes, a Miss Stella Uthwatt owned the Lodge, followed by the Vestey family. But in the early nineties the Lodge stood empty following an abandoned renovation.
Chris Rix, a geologist with a love of Assynt, and his family bought the Lodge in a state of disrepair in 1995. During the winter of 1995-6 the Lodge was completely renovated and opened as a Field Centre and Hostel in June 1996.
In 2022, with ambitions of retirement, Chris sold the Lodge onto John Snyder (owner of the nearby Lochinver Larder pie shop). With a background in expeditions and hostels, John is continuing the Lodge's tradition of welcoming geology groups, private groups, and those outdoors folk who need a central base from which to explore the magic of Assynt.
Your Ideal Base to Explore
Bunk beds, private rooms, a shepherds hut or cottage - you have a choice of privacy and price. Linen is provided.
Sustenance is vital for a great day out. We are investing in new ways to keep you fed and watered, with delicious pies from nearby Lochinver Larder offering a click and deliver service and the Lodge shop now having an alcohol licence.
Assynt can have four seasons all in one day. So come prepared! The Lodge features a large drying room, ideal to dry clothes out before your next day's adventure.
Internet broadband is vital to stay in touch with friends and family once back at base. Despite being in the north-west highlands, you shouldn't have any issues using the internet.
Maps need large tables, which we have in abundance in our dining room, along with projector and screen for team briefings. Make your plans here.
Our own shop has a great selection of snacks, soft drinks, cooking ingredients, essential toiletries, alcohol and books & maps. It's not huge, but it'll definitely see you through and save you a trip to Ullapool!
Ideal base to explore
5 - Hostel Dorms with shared bathrooms and Main Lodge Kitchen, Lounge and Drying Room (32 guests)
6 - Private Bedrooms each with private bathroom and own kitchen: across 3 Steading Suites, 2 Shepherds Huts and 1 Walled Cottage (17 guests)
7 - Private Bedrooms with shared bathrooms and Main Lodge Kitchen, Lounge and Drying Room (17 guests)