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Impacts Over the Years:

Rubha Phoil has been a home, holiday, mission, and last-stop-before-the-boat to many. Below is just a sampling of the many stories that have taken place on this rock over time.


Personal Testimonies

“Happy Birthday Otter!! I can’t believe it’s been a year since we were all together celebrating with delicious cake and games. Thank you for inspiring me and changing my life.” Curlew

review Bear
review Bear

“The people who I’ve shared my time with here in the last seven months I’ve had more of a connection with than anyone in the 30 years that I’ve been alive. And that says something for how much being free to be yourself, being free to experience and share your emotions, being free to be listened to without being answered to, how much of a difference that makes knowing that.” Bear

Living and learning at Rubha Phoil

“My time at Rubha Phoil was an incredible expansive learning journey for me. As it wasn’t the first time I came across permaculture I was already familiar with a lot of the theory and principles of it when I arrived. What I found here to be especially enriching is to intertwine learning about permaculture, the community building/people care aspect and the goal to live off the land. This makes the learning journey a lot more vibrant and makes possible that all the information and experience passed on through either courses/ workshops/skill shares or just day to day life can sink in and become a natural part of life. I can see where the principles and ethics are applied and how, what the difficulties are and what can come out of designing a whole system in a permaculture way. May it be food growing, team building, self-care, event organisation or nature connection routines, all that comes together and gives shape to a picture in my head of how a more connected and healthy culture can be created if build up in the spirit of permaculture. This also gives me the ability to see how it’s possible to design solutions for the challenges of the climate crisis. In all these months I learned how I can design abundance in and erosion out of my life, what it means to live with and not only alongside nature in getting to know the endlessly diverse world we’re living in. I also experienced what good team work means and how a strong fabric of community can be woven.

So this place opened a new dimension in bringing things into practise and commit to a connection to land and people which wants to be explored and deepened. I’m soon becoming a permanent member of the community which I’m really excited about and I look forward to embark on another journey!
I’m truly grateful for the rich, life-embracing, challenging, fun time I’ve had and am still having at Rubha Phoil.”

The 4 months we spent diving into permaculture and community building at Rubha Phoil, have been incredible enriching and valuable to me. I got the chance to start from the very basics and then slowly get more and more into the different aspects of permaculture. We learned about various approaches to permaculture and different ways of designing. Discovering that permaculture is not just about food growing but is actually much wider and also holds a lot of potential when used with a social approach, I found very inspiring.
For me having the opportunity to put into practice what we learned every day and experience trial and error added a huge value to this learning experience. On top of that being able to take part in organising and experiencing the Permaculture Scotland Gathering at Rubha Phoil gave us the ideal space to learn and grow.
We took part in actually creating permaculture while learning the theory behind it and that made it possible to fully understand and get into it.
I am so grateful for the time I spent with all the beautiful people sharing a beautiful life! This experience has opened up a whole new inspiring world for me and and I hope to continue this learning journey together with the people and nature on Rubha Phoil for more time to come!

“I would’ve never imagined meeting that beautiful place and people who would turn my world upside down. I’ve learned so much from you, that I actually see the world with different eyes. And that doesn’t have a comeback. It was an eye-opener experience and I confirmed how I would like to spent my life…I send you lots of love, I miss you a lot. I think of all the time. You changed my life.Black Mamba

Personal testimonies about the founder Ludwig Appeltans (Otter) can be found here.

Google Reviews

“I stayed at Rubha Phoil mid November till mid January 2022. I was able to spend time on the property and eat meals around the fire. I loved the views of the land. Was the exact kind of break from the city I was looking for. Yes it was cold and got dark early but the wonderful views and kind people made up for that. I was able to spend time with the ducks and learn about the Polly tunnel and making compost. Would definitely return again some time.” Dory 

“I had the opportunity of staying in this community for a couple of months – what an absolutely magnificent area. I was there through autumn/ winter and was mindblown with the beauty of the area, the depth of the woods, and the loving attention that the community have for the nature, the animals and its surroundings. Ludwig and his team care intensely not only about their project, but also those who come to visit and volunteer. I have made some amazing friends for life, and learnt a great many things about permaculture, health and most importantly myself. I was sad to leave at the end of my stay, and I hope to return soon. Thank you for an amazing experience, I wish you all the best with your project.” Hamza

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Facebook Reviews

“One of the most epic campings I have ever visited! If you are going to visit be prepared for well-prepared place, friendly people around who respect the Nature , picturesque viewpoints and a beach, places you can cook under the roof, eco-toilets (I absolutely loved them), bush tunnels and absolutely lovely rules about alcohol. I strongly recommend and I would like to visit again if I have the occasion.” Anna

“Such an amazing place! The tranquillity, the bird song, the stunning scenery and the passion and purpose of those who care for the place, make a visit to Rubha Phoil a truly memorable experience and something everyone should have on their bucket list! Well done Ludwig and team and many thanks.” Cath

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Workaway Reviews

“Thank you all for loads of amazing experiences at the incredibly beautiful peninsula. Thanks for opening your kind hearts and making me feel very welcome all the time. Oh, and thanks for letting me go crazy in the kitchen!
I loved the verity of work from wood chopping over washing sea weeds to harvesting and drying herbs. And nearly every day was
perfectly rounded off with a swim in the sea surrounded by curious seals.
Thank you for sharing your home, your knowledge and your love!”

“Rubha Phoil is a lovely place for learning and living. I only stayed here for two weeks, but I truly loved it.
If you want to learn more about permaculture, community life and nature awareness this is a place to go. Ludwig has a lot of knowledge and is very willing to share it. The group of people that was there was very keen on sharing, taking responsibility and fun to hang out with. I’m very curious about how this place will evolve in the future and I hope I can make it back someday.
Thank you for welcoming me!” Lieve

“I had a really wonderful time here. I felt nourished and respected by everyone I met there. Ludwig generously shares his vast knowledge and patiently explains tasks. He gives you a lot of freedom to come up with your own solutions. He works incredibly hard and inspires all of us to do our best. I hope to return to this magical place. “ Michele

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Wwoof reviews

I’ve started writing a review for Earth Ways several times and every time, the ineffability of my gratefulness and warm feelings for this place and its people kept me from completing it.

Earth Ways/Rubha Phoil is a completely unique place – a place of beauty, freedom, nature stories, language jokes, bonfires, listening, sharing, feeling, a place also of common sense, hard work, high ideals, a sense of urgency, intensity & feeling alive more than ever!

If you really want to commit to the community and its goals, if you want to learn about nature connection & permaculture in one of the most beautiful places on earth from a great teacher (or teachers, I should probably say by now!) , if you can and want to invest a 100%, both emotionally and in terms of work… then Earth Ways may proof as inspiring a place to you as it has been for me during the five months that I had the enormous privilege to live there.

I miss you, dear people and seals and birds and trees and lichens….I miss you every day and I can’t think of any place, project or group of people that ever has “nestled” as deeply in my heart as Rubha Phoil has done. Thank you a thousand times.

View all wwoof reviews

Tripadvisor reviews:

“Two weeks of learning, laughing and life enriching

Great 2 weeks spent volunteering with the team at Rubha Phoil. Very welcoming group of people who made me feel very part of team. Learned so much in my short time there about sustainability and our relationship with the natural environment, things which I am now able to implement into my everyday life. I can’t wait to return. Thank you.” Justine

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Submit your experience here:

Have you ever been on this rock? Did you come for a walk to see the seals? Did you stay overnight? Did you volunteer or live here for a while? Do you have a story or an experience to share?

Even if it was only for a fleeting visit, please share it with us. Here are a few ways you can do this:

      • We would love to sit around the fire with you to capture your story in person.
      • You can write to us using snail mail via: Rubha Phoil, Armadale Pier, Ardvasar, IV45 8RS
      • You can email us or ask for a phone or video call, on the form below.


  • We are aware that for some people there is also history that is more painful. We are happy to support you in sharing your story in any way we can and help you heal any wounds there might be left behind from any possible bad experiences you may have had on this rock.


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