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Piel island, Cumbria
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This remote British island is looking for a new pub landlord (and monarch)

The Ship Inn is located on one of the UK’s most secluded islands – and it’s hiring one particularly brave soul

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Is it all getting a bit too much? Politics, people and basically everything else rubbing you the wrong way? Well, here’s the perfect excuse to get away from it all: a remote island off the north-west coast of England is currently hiring a pub landlord.

But this isn’t just any old pub job. Oh no. If your application is successful, you’ll also become a monarch. That’s right, you’ll actually reign over the entire island, and you’ll be inaugurated by sitting on a proper throne. Plus, as is the island’s age-old tradition, you’ll also have beer chucked over your head. Why wouldn’t you apply for that?

The pub in question is The Ship Inn on Piel Island in Cumbria. For more than 200 years the pub has sat on the island – which is half a mile off the coast of Barrow-in-Furness and close-ish to the Lake District – with only the ruins of the fourteenth-century Piel Castle for company.

Despite only spanning about 50 acres, Piel has quite a lot going for it. Apart from all that splendid isolation, it also plays host to fishing trips, and seal- and bird-spotting tours. It’s a popular camping spot, too, and boasts stunning views out over both Morecambe Bay and the neighbouring Lake District.

Obviously, moving to an incredibly isolated island isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. As John Murphy, a walking guide in the area, told The Guardian: ‘You’ll need to have dedication and a strong passion for isolation and peace and quiet. It takes a special personality.’

And while the general idea might seem appealing, believe it or not, there are some other downsides to life on a very remote island. The power supply is unstable, access is very limited (via a ferry from Barrow) and you’re constantly exposed to the mostly crap British weather.

But if none of that puts you off, go ahead and see if you’ve got the skillset outlined in the job spec. Applicants should be well versed in running a pub, and be prepared to undertake general island maintenance and management. If you tick those boxes and you fancy a lot of Me Time, you may well be the perfect next King or Queen of Piel. Find out more on the island’s website.  

Did you see you (yes, you) can spend the night in this beautiful Irish castle for free?

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