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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!