Updated: Apr 2
The Isle of Rum is the largest of all the Small Isles and a National Nature Reserve. A holiday here is a holiday for outdoor and nature lovers starting before you’ve even set foot on the island. The boat trip is stunning with regular wildlife sightings, views to Skye and the Cuillins and of course the other Small Isles. Keep a lookout for seals, dolphins and even whales in addition to a wide variety of seabirds. Rum’s history dates to early stone age settlers and it is renowned for both its wild landscape and wildlife.
Arriving in Rum
The ferry docks at the pier in Loch Scresort on the eastern side of the island. The main settlement, the village of Kinloch, is 1km away along a lovely, clearly signposted coastal path which passes by the visitor centre, public toilets and the campsite. Accommodation is mostly within walking distance of the pier but please check with your accommodation provider for the best way to reach your accommodation from the boat.
A range of accommodation is available - from the campsite, glamping cabins and bothies (Guirdil and Dibidil) to the guesthouse and bunkhouse. More information is available here. Please book as early as possible, especially in the summer months, to avoid disappointment.
Rum is home to 23% of the entire population of Manx Shearwater. The birds nest in burrows on the Rum Cuillin, only flying into them at night when there are less predators about. The noise of this spectacle truly makes this one of nature’s great events.
Our coastline is a favourite breeding ground for otters and seals. A 10min walk from the pier takes you to the enclosed Otter Hide with fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities.
With a bit of patience, both white-tailed eagles and golden eagles can be viewed in the skies over the island.
Visit the famous Rum red deer at Kilmory. October is rutting season - the sound of the roaring stags is particularly evocative around dawn.
There are a range of low level walking routes from the ferry pier (including a short one to the Otter Hide). Follow the 40 min circular nature trail for fantastic views of Hallival.
Traverse the Rum Cuillin - a challenging but spectacular route with incredible views over the Hebrides (5 peaks, 13 miles). If you have less time or want to do a shorter walk then the two closest summits to Kinloch - Hallival and Barkeval give incredible views and shorten the walk to 8.5miles.
Follow the Coire Dubh Trail for a shorter walk with a real flavour of Rum and fantastic views.
Head over to the sandy beaches of Kilmory at the north end of the island (5 miles from the ferry pier but suitable for mountain bikes). Beautiful views across to the Skye Cuillin mountains.
Rum is best suited to mountain bikes with a few recommended trails across the island:
Cycle from Kinloch to Harris Bay (8 miles each way)
Cycle from Kinloch to Kilmory - (5 miles each way).
The Isle of Rum shop is just a 15 min walk from the pier and stocks a range of provisions from everyday supplies to vegan and gluten free options.
Visit the craft shop by the red phone box for a variety of home made crafts.
There are a number of events planned throughout the year including a foraging walk, a kayak and yoga weekend, an art retreat and stargazing weekend. Check with Rum bunkhouse for more details.
Good to know
Refuse - Please dispose of all refuse at the skip located at the pier. There are also recycling facilities for plastics and bottles located here.
The pier is usually a hive of activity when the ferry arrives - supplies and deliveries arriving and residents carrying out essential duties. Please be mindful of this and observe all signage/ guidance.
You can find a list of FAQ’s about the island here.
There are two public toilets at the village campsite - a 10- minute walk from the ferry terminal. The Village Hall also has toilets - a 25 min walk from the ferry terminal.
Rum Visitor Centre is on the lower shore road near the old pier. You can find out more about the island’s special features, walking routes, fishing options and pick up various useful leaflets. The centre is open every day throughout the summer months.
Further resources/ reading
Blog post about a long weekend on Rum by Scottish Travel Blogger Kathi Kamleitner.
Youtube video of the Rum Cuillin route by the Highland Hikers.