The Isle of Rum

The Isle of Rum

This is my second installment to my Scottish holiday break, island hoping the Small Isles of Scotland this brings us to the Isle of Rum.   The largest of the Small Isles we visited this after our trip to Eigg the 2 days before.

We caught the Calmac Ferry from Eigg to Rum around lunch time, as it took a good hour to get from one island to the other we decided to take advantage of the on board cafe and ordered chips.  The Robot hasn’t had chip butty’s before so this was a new revelation, along with un-limited tomato ketchup… When on holiday and all that!

The Island of Rum has an array of cheaper places to stay from a campsite, camping pods and a bunk house.  We managed to book a camping pod for our stay too which after staying in the pods on Eigg were a little bit more rugged but at half the price we couldn’t complain. Note to those going, the campsite/pods are a 10-20 (30 with a toddler) minute walk from the ferry terminal.

The main “village” is based on the edge of Loch Kinloch an impressive stretch, headed by Kinloch Castle.  A very impressive castle surrounded by beauty.   You can do tours of the castle but on this occasion the weather was too good to go indoors:

Kinloch Castle on the Isle of Rum

Arriving in the afternoon we had the afternoon to explore the immediate area.  With the Robot in the backpack and fast asleep we went on the NorthSide Nature Trail.  A one hour circular walk and a pleasant stroll with easy to follow signs.  I think if you are on a day trip this is the suggested walk to get a true feel of the wild Rum.

Still having very little fuel left in our stove we were able to cook tea on a fire pit outside our camping pod.  The Robot who normally loves fire was really good at ignoring it thankfully.  A fed fuelled Robot with a lot of energy meant we walked him to the village play park and back.  On route we spotted the Red Deer that roam the area.  They seem really tame and used to humans because the didn’t run when seeing us.

Tame Deer on The Isle of rum

So far we had avoided the Scottish Midge but the warm weather and sea meant it was their first night appearing.  Sigh.  They love me.  Dave is lovely though, while I was getting the Robot to sleep he built a giant fire to ward them off.  The Isle of Rum boast that they have the worst midges in Scotland so to say I avoided any bites was a plus.

Fire pit with view over loch kinloch on the Isle of rum

The next day we headed up into the mountains along a recommended trail up some waterfalls.  I can’t think of the name right now but if you really want to know ask in the comments and I will find it on our map…  It was a short walk for the Isle or Rum and up a height we could see the Isle of Sky and the expanse of mainland UK.   My picture does not do it justice:

View from the hill side from the Isle of Rum

Given that we were up extremely early and had lunch at 11am up the hill we had the afternoon ahead of us.  We stopped off at the Island of Rum cafe for a cup of tea and a freshly cooked cake then headed back to the camping pod.

We had spotted a bit of a beach next to the jetty so this is where we took our mini diggers and spent the afternoon at the beach.  For people who normally like to be doing something this relaxing was a welcome change.  A nice breeze was welcome too!  The Robot loved running around and digging sand, splashing/falling in the sea and having cuddles with Mummy in the towel.  A brilliant afternoon.

robot sat on the beach playing with his diggers

The next day we had to basically hang around all day for the ferry off the island.  The problem with the Isle of Rum is that it’s too big to explore properly with a toddler.  There are bike tracks across the island, longer walks and lots more that we will have to go back for one day.

From the ferry terminal there is the Otter Hide walk, a 30 minute walk through the woods to a hide where you can sit and watch the wildlife.  On route there are lots of old ruins of buildings that must have been there for many years.  A brilliant place for the Robot to explore and burn off some energy.  Here he is building a fire.

Old settlements on the isle of rum

On our OS Map there was a marked path along the coast from the Otter Hide.  With plenty of time we decided to explore.  The path is well hidden in places and we had a few back tracking moments but once out of some woods the path was more obvious.   The walk took us to old settlement, worn down by the elements.  All there was to see was the foundations of homes of a long-lost civilisation of Port-na-Caranean.

Dave and I sat and ate lunch here just trying to imagine how these islanders lived all those years ago.  A very remote existence of survival and island life.   Very different to today.

Old settlement on the isle of rum with view over the Isle of Skye and mainlad scotland

So of the two islands we visited on this holiday this was my least favourite but I think this was through circumstance rather than actual.  Such a vast island with more to explore one day means we will come back.  Most likely with bikes and older children.

The ferry ride back to the mainland was un-eventful and we had another couple of nights camping.  We were very lucky with the weather on this trip and it’s one that will be hard to forget.

Have you visited the Scottish Islands before?  Where are your favourite places to visit in the UK?  There are many places for us left to explore!







  1. OH it sounds nice lovey, shame you couldn’t see more but it’s hard with toddlers eh. I am impressed, Dave is so useful, he literally built a huge fire, I bet he can do anything. Camping with someone like that must be super handy. I am glad you had a nice time lovey, another island I have never heard of. Perhaps I’ll get there one day, maybe when you go back with the older children lol. #familyfun
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  2. I LOVE the Scottish islands – Adrian and I used to go to one every year. My favourite has to be Skye – we’ve been loads of times and I never get tired of it. Your stunning pics of Rum make me want to go back! #FamilyFun

  3. I’ve never been to the Scottish Islands and I really don’t know why. It looks like such a lovely place to go, especially now that you’ve shown me it’s possible with a toddler! Thanks for sharing! #FamilyFunLinky

  4. Pingback: View From My... Tent on The Silver Sands - Two Tiny Hands - Adventures with the Robot

  5. I remember standing on a beach near Mallaig a few years ago, looking across the sea at the mountains of Rum and thinking: “We have GOT to go there…”. Still haven’t made it, but your post has only added to my wanderlust. In perfect weather I can’t think of anywhere more beautiful than the Scottish islands. Greetings from Luxembourg #CountryKids
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  6. I love the island just from the name! Your pictures make it look very appealing, though I just know those midges would find me! Well done Dave on the big fire, it is the only way to sit out a night in my view, wards off midges ( we suffer in Cornwall too) and provides warmth after the sun has gone down. An afternoon off soaking up the sun on the beach sounds a lovely break from your usual exploring, though those mountains were a must to appreciate the views.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids
    Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…Mini Travel Games from Orchard ToysMy Profile

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