Muck - the smallest of the four inhabited Small Isles is blessed with white sandy beaches which pepper the coastline, perfect for picnicking or taking in sunrise or sunset with plenty of opportunities for whale or dolphin spotting. Much of the island is used for livestock and the enterprising and friendly locals use wool for a range of traditional crafts that are available for sale in the local craft shop - The Green Shed. The island is the perfect place for families, wildlife enthusiasts, walkers and anyone with a love of the outdoors.
Arriving in Muck
The ferry docks at Port Mor on the southern side of the island. The tearoom is a 5 minute walk from the pier and is open from 11-4pm Mon - Sat during the busy season. The food is homemade and includes fresh shellfish when available. They also offer a great selection of baked cakes and sweet treats popular with locals and visitors alike. (Contact for dinner reservations). Public toilets are available in the community hall nearby.
Most visitors enjoy the walk to their accommodation from the pier (Muck measures about 2.5 miles from East to West making most things walkable) but if you need help with luggage, get in touch with your accommodation provider for options.
Muck is a fantastic place to watch wildlife - look for the Isle of Muck guidebook from the craft shop for the best guide to wildlife on the island.
Families/ groups can charter wildlife trips around the Small Isles on local boat - MV Lochan. Spot Minke whales, dolphins, seals and more. Contact Colin MacEwen for prices/ availability t: 01687 462362 firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Horse Island at low tide for a chance of seeing a variety of seabirds and puffins.
Listen for the distinctive rasping call of the elusive Corncrakes on the island.
Take a pair of binoculars and look for the colony of seals at Port Chreadhain.
Watch for golden and sea eagles in the skies over the island.
Walking/ Places of interest
Muck is the perfect size for exploring on foot. A map of all the island walks is available at the craft shop adjoining the tea room.
Complete the Isle of Muck coastal circuit (14km’s/ 5-6hrs) and take in all the natural beauty of the island.
Climb to the highest point on the island - Beinn Airein (451ft) for great views over Muck and beyond.
Head to the beach at Gallanach Bay. This is an easy walk with plenty of opportunities to divert including to Port Chreadhain where you can look for seals and terns.
Visit Shell Bay on the north-west of the island - named for the shells that cover the beach.
Take a dip in the mermaid’s pool on the south of the island where many islanders have learned to swim over the years.
The Small Isles have quite a dramatic history. Their landscapes point to a time when this coastal area was dominated by active volcanoes. Muck is almost entirely made of lava - probably from a volcano on Mull.
There are 5 ancient monuments on Muck.
A’chille - the old village located above Port Mor
Toaluinn -a recently discovered building believed to be of Norse origin.
Caisteal an Duin Bhain a mix of prehistoric and more recent buildings at the western entrance to Port Mor.
Two cairns at Ard nan Uan on the west side of Gallanach. Dating from the Neolithic or early Bronze Age, 2,000BC.
Cairn on the summit of Beinn Airein, the highest point on the island.
There isn’t a shop on the island so take food provisions with you. Either purchase a food shop at the Co-op in Mallaig before getting on the ferry or email email@example.com with your food order the day before the ferry and call to pay for supplies between 6-7am on the day of the ferry. The items will then be boxed up, with your name and island and put on the boat to the island.
You can order lamb (including cuts of mince, cutlet chops, loin chops, shanks, diced, rolled shoulders and whole or half legs) from the local farm (01687 462362 firstname.lastname@example.org/ Colin & Ruth MacEwen) and fresh shellfish (lobsters, brown crab & prawns of various sizes) from The Little Red Boat (email@example.com t 01687 462136 m 07444 799 787).
The tearoom is a hub for islanders and visitors alike providing homemade lunches, morning coffees and afternoon teas. During peak summer months, dinner can be booked on specific evenings. (Check opening times outwith summer season - the cafe is usually open on a Saturday throughout winter).
Visitors can also visit Gallanach Lodge for meals. Make a reservation here.
The Green Shed, a rustic tin building near the island's pier, sells lovely handmade gifts as well as eggs and homegrown produce. It’s open 24/7 and works on an honesty box basis. The local primary school children are also included in the venture with a special corner in the shed where they sell items including hand-made cards to raise money for the school.
Visit the Isle of 20 website to purchase goods by islanders.
Good to know
The Community Hall was completed in 2012 for islanders and visitors to use. It is open 24/7 with public toilets, shower, washing machine, sports facilities, pool, foosball, library, heritage area and wi-fi. Donations for use.
Visitors are warmly welcomed to the island and invited to take part in any event that happens to be going on at the time of their visit.
The Green Shed is where local islanders sell handmade gifts and local produce. It works on an honesty box basis. There is also a defibrillator stored here.