10 Reasons to visit the Small Isles
The stunning landscapes
The unspoilt wilderness
The smell of summer flowers
The bird song
The astounding geology
The peace and tranquillity
The nice local food
The history and heritage
The community and culture
The slower pace of life
20 things you didn't know about the Small Isles
The Small Isles is the name given to the inner hebridean isles of Canna, Eigg, Muck and Rum.
There are no Munros on the Small Isles but Rum has one Corbett.
The Bullough family built Kinloch Castle on the Isle of Rum between 1897 and 1900 and the Castle holds one of only 3 known orchestrions in the world.
Canna is owned by the National Trust of Scotland and is made up of the isle of Canna and the tidal island of Sanday.
Rum ponies are bred on Muck.
The Sgurr is a mile-long pitchstone ridge which dominates Eigg’s skyline and can be seen from the Scottish mainland.
The highest total population for all four islands was 1620 people in 1821. Currently the permanent population is just under 200 people.
Sea-eagles were re-introduced to Scotland on Rum. (link to video footage)
Muck is “the Isle of Pigs” because the word “muck” means pig in Scottish Gaelic.
Compass Hill on Canna has such a high metal content that it distorts compasses on passing ships.
Eigg was bought from a private owner in a community buy-out in 1997 and is now owned by the Isle of Eigg Trust.
The red deer research project on Rum is one of the longest and most complete scientific studies of a wild population of vertebrates in the world.
The islands can be reached by ferry from Mallaig, by boat from Arisaig and by private yacht.
Canna has the ruins of a prison and a monastery on it (time periods).
Muck has a brand new community hall which opened in 2012.
A Celtic blessing stone, more than 1000 years old (early Christian period) found on Canna in 2012 is the only one ever to be found outside Ireland.
Rum is owned by Scottish Natural Heritage.
Canna has a burial site of a Viking King.
Eigg was one of the first places in Scotland to be 100% powered on renewable energy.
You can stay in a bothy, a hotel, a yurt, a caravan, a B & B or go wild camping in the Small Isles
Welcome to The Small Isles of Canna, Eigg, Muck and Rum, Lochaber's hidden treasure.
A real treasure chest of cultural heritage, wildlife, unspoilt landscapes, outstanding geology and beautiful sandy beaches, the Small Isles are a unique group of islands in the Inner Hebrides. Together, they are classed as one of Scotland's National Scenic areas. Individually they are utterly different, yet their history is linked by a common thread. Each offers a fascinating variation on landscape and scenery, wildlife, community and everyday life.
Walking, mountain biking on or off track, and kayaking in the crystalline waters around the Small Isles will all reward you with equally magnificent views, Coll and Tiree to the south, the Outer Hebrides to the West and Skye to the north.
The Small Isles' abundant birdlife and wealth of flowering species make them a special destination for the wildlife enthusiast. Many of their sea-birds can be spotted from the ferries as well as their summer visitors, porpoises, dolphins, Minke whales and Basking sharks.
Their many geological features also make them one of the main attractions in the Lochaber Geopark. An Sgurr, the distinctive towering landmark of Eigg, as well as Compass Hill on Canna and Beinn Airein on Muck are all made out of volcanic lavas, spewing out of ancient volcanoes on Rum and Skye.
Canna, Eigg, Muck and Rum all have a wealth of archeological sites and unique historical attractions which can easily be explored on a day-trip from Mallaig or Arisaig, from Rum's Kinloch Castle to Eigg's Crofting Museum and the Canna House Collections.
Children will love the friendly farm animals on Muck whilst ranger activities on Rum, Eigg and Canna are some of the way the whole family can explore the islands further. If you stay for a longer holiday, there are also art and crafts or sporting activities to engage in. But no matter how long your stay is, home grown produce also means that on each island, there is a variety delicious local food to sample in the Small Isles cafes and restaurants. And whether you are looking for a painting of the island scenery, a hand knitted shawl, or a special souvenir, the islands' craftshops will have something unique and handmade to take back from your visit.
Whether you explore them one at a time or you choose to island hop, each of the Small Isles will reward you with a memorable island experience whatever the season
Our website aims to bring these four unique and extraordinary islands together and we hope that by discovering one, you will want to discover them all. We are adding content to our website all the time, so get in touch, and tell us what you would find useful to enhance your visit.
Isle of Eigg: Community owned, Eigg is the most populated with around 100 residents.
Isle of Muck: Owned by the McEwen family for more than 100 years, Muck is the smallest of the group and has a population of around 40.
Isle of Rum: Rum, the largest island, is part owned by the 45-strong community who live there and by Scottish Natural Heritage.
Isle of Canna: Owned by The National Trust for Scotland, Canna is the furthest outlying island and has a population of 12.