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Isle of Rum National Nature Reserve

Isle of Rum, By Mallaig

One of Scotland’s most famous nature reserves, this large island was once the core of a volcano. It is well-known for its Manx shearwaters. Some 60,000 pairs, one fifth of the world’s population, nest in burrows high on the mountain slopes. The island has at least two pairs of golden eagles and several pairs of red-throated divers. The spectacular hills have some special plants including purple saxifrage, mountain avens, the rare Arctic sandwort and the recently identified Lapland Marsh orchid. Red deer flourish and feral goats, that have been here for at least 300 years, graze the cliffs. The island has its own special breed of pony. Before the island became a nature reserve it was owned by the Bulloughs, a wealthy Lancashire family. They built the impressive Kinloch Castle, completed in 1900, the first building in Scotland outside Glasgow to have its own electricity. Money was of little object. In addition to many greenhouses the gardens had 6 large heated palm houses, 60m long, with humming birds, freshwater turtles and small alligators. Visitor facilities today are more modest and include a general store (tel. 01687 462037), seasonal tea room, hostel, camp site and other accommodation, trails and leaflets.

Opening Times

Reserve is open all year



Isle of Rum National Nature Reserve

Isle of Rum
By Mallaig
Phone: 01687 462 026
Isle of Rum National Nature Reserve


By Calmac Ferry from Mallaig or Shearwater Cruises from Arisaig. Allow 3-4 hours for the crossing.

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Accommodation nearby