Kinloch Castle, Isle of Rum

Rum (or Rùm) is the largest of the four Small Isles off the west coast Scotland. It has a permanent population of about thirty, centred around the harbour at Kinloch on the east coast.

Inhabited since the eighth millennium BC, Rum has provided some of the earliest archaeological evidence of human occupation in Scotland. Under the changing ownership of various clans and lairds, the population grew to over 400 around the start of the nineteenth century but was cleared of its indigenous population in the first half of the nineteenth century. The island was then a sporting estate and the somewhat bizarre Kinloch Castle was constructed in 1900. Rum was purchased by the Nature Conservancy Council in 1957, and then passed into the ownership of Scottish Natural Heritage.

A summit, called in December 2007, initiated a process whereby islanders have subsequently voted in their majority to see part of the island pass into the ownership of the Isle of Rum Community Trust. The area around Kinloch Village is now owned by the trust, with the intention for residents to have greater control and input into the development of the island and its resources, similar to the situation on Eigg. The rest of the island is still owned by Scottish Natural Heritage, and continues to be run as a National Nature Reserve.

Rum is of exceptional ecological importance, but thanks to its volcanic origins and its present day wildlife, notably red deer and white-tailed sea eagle. With the exception of Kinloch, the island is uninhabited, and offers stunning landscapes and walking.

Get in


There are two scheduled boat services that connect Rum with the mainland:

Train connections

If not travelling to Mallaig or Arisaig by car, you can reach the ferries by scheduled ScotRail train service (although note that the pier at Arisaig is not as close to the railway as the pier at Mallaig).

The famous 'Deerstalker' Caledonian Sleeper provides first class (single cabin) and standard class (double cabin) sleeper and reclining seat travel between Fort William and London Euston every night except Saturday. Local trains connect to Mallaig.

If travelling by day train, travelling to Rum from anywhere further south than Fort William is only possible without an overnight stop in Mallaig on summer Saturdays, when the early morning train from Glasgow Queen Street station connects with the second CalMac sailing to Rum.

Travelling from Rum to points beyond Fort William by day train is likewise only possible on summer Saturdays, when the first CalMac sailing from Rum connects with the train to Fort William and Glasgow Queen Street.

Bus connections






Guirdil Bothy and Bloodstone Hill

Details of all accommodation on the island can be found on the island's website.


Go next

Visit the neighbouring Small Isles of Canna, Eigg and Muck. Depending on ferry timetables, these may be possible as a day trip from Rum.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, December 08, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.