Sightseeing on the Isle of Rùm
Home to one of the world’s largest Manx Shearwater colonies, the Isle of Rùm in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides is a haven any wildlife and birding enthusiast is sure to enjoy. Visitors are likely to see otters frolicking in the waters of the ferry terminal, while white-tailed and golden eagles are a regular sight in the skies over Loch Scresort. Eider ducks will be seen along the shoreline in spring and large numbers of seabirds breed on the island’s cliffs, including kittiwakes, guillemots and shags, while the woodlands and moorlands of Rùm are home to cuckoos, stonechats, warblers, wrens, plovers, pipits and crows.
The Isle of Rùm is home to around 900 red deer, with an ongoing research study being conducted at Kilmore on the northern side of the island. As part of the research project, red deer are not culled on the island and have become quite tame, allowing researchers to gather valuable data relating to genetics and other topics for the Natural Environment Research Council. Other animals on the island include a Highland Pony breed called the Rùm pony, feral goats, and Highland cows.
Hill walkers and mountaineers will find the untamed terrain of the Isle of Rùm has plenty to offer. Short walks include the Northside Nature Trail which follows a circular route offering spectacular views and taking around an hour to complete. From the ferry terminal, visitors can take a short walk through Loch Scresort’s south side woods to the otter hide and back. More strenuous and longer routes are plentiful and the island’s Community Ranger Service is on hand to point visitors in the right direction to enjoy what suits them best. A program of family-focused guided tours, events and talks is arranged by the Community Ranger Service from April through to October each year.
From a historical and cultural perspective, daily tours of Kinloch Castle take place during the summer months, timed to run with the ferry services from Mallaig and Arisaig, while the craft shop on Shore Road sells a wide variety of locally made items. Certainly there is something for everyone on the charming Isle of Rùm.