always something new to discover.
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(c) Vikki Trelfer

Photo Galleries Now Here!

We are making a gallery of Rum pictures - please email us any good photos of the island you have:

We'll have separate galleries for wildlife, landscapes, Kinloch Castle, people and ponies.  Maximum file size is 200kb.

New Bunkhouse Open for Business - May 2015


Rum Bunkhouse

A new community-owned bunkhouse on the Isle of Rum begins its first summer season this year.

The energy-efficient facility is close to the community-run campsite and camping pods with privately-run B&Bs and self-catering accommodation nearby. The new-look accommodation is owned and run by islanders with profits ploughed back into local projects.

The move comes as Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) confirmed temporary hostel accommodation will be closed from 15 June 2015.

Stewart Sandison, SNH operations manager, said: “We have worked closely with the Isle of Rum Community Trust to develop a future for visitor accommodation facilities on the island after the previous facility in Kinloch Castle had become un-sustainable.

“Over the past few years we have worked with the trust to manage the transition to the community bunkhouse by providing an extremely effective temporary hostel.”

Rum National Nature Reserve (NNR) extends to around 10,000 hectares, or 41 square miles.

It features breath-taking jagged mountains with an amazing range of wildlife from white-tailed sea eagles to tiny, rare plants like the pillwort fern.

Rum is of international importance for Manx shearwaters with an estimated quarter of the world’s breeding population nesting in the high mountains on the island.

To avoid predators, they fly to their nesting burrows under cover of darkness, and their strange, night time calls were thought by Vikings to be trolls. SNH runs events throughout the summer to get a closer look at these remarkable little sea birds.

Kinloch Hostel

Lesley Watt, a director of the Isle of Rum Community Trust, said that: “Closure of the SNH hostel will create space for us to maximise income from our new bunkhouse and all the profits will be put back into development projects in our small community. It is also hoped that this project will continue to inspire more private individuals to take up business opportunities to provide further visitor facilities on the island.”

Jed Cossar, the community bunkhouse manager, said: “Thanks to a huge amount of hard work by directors and staff of the Isle of Rum Community Trust, Rum Enterprise and other community members pulling together, the vision of a community run bunkhouse has come to fruition on Rum.

“Tremendous thanks too to our funders, the Big Lottery and Highlands and Islands Enterprise for having faith in this project. As a result of this support, the bunkhouse has been built to high environmental specifications using sustainable materials and is the first purpose built visitor accommodation on Rum. It is highly insulated and boasts solar thermal panels, a pellet boiler and log burner, and sleeps up to 20 people in high quality self-catering accommodation with spectacular views across Loch Scresort.”

There is evidence of human existence on Rum for more than 8000 years and the island’s archaeological features are as fascinating as the wildlife.

Kinloch Castle was built in 1897 by the wealthy industrialist George Bullough. More than 2500 people visit the castle each year to marvel at its interior and furnishings, much of which remains as it was when the owner, Lady Bullough, sold it along with the island to the nation more than 50 years ago.

Commenting on the bunkhouse, Fliss Fraser, a director of Rum Enterprise, said: “In 2011 SNH and the Isle of Rum Community Trust began discussions to develop a long-term visitor accommodation plan for the island. This has now reached fruition in the form of this brilliant new bunkhouse.”

And Melanie Worman, visitor services manager for SNH, added: “The 32-bed temporary hostel has provided a comfortable place to stay for people visiting the island to enjoy the spectacular beauty of the National Nature Reserve.

“We opened the Kinloch Hostel adjacent to the castle in 2013 and, with not a little sadness, our last day will be 15 June 2015. I would like to thank all our guests for their custom and wish the IRCT and the bunkhouse team all the best.”

SNH will continue to run daily and private tours of Kinloch Castle throughout the season from April to October.

The bunkhouse opened for business in October 2014

For further information:

Stewart Sandison, SNH Fort William 01397 715232

Melanie Worman, SNH Isle of Rum 01687 462037

Fliss Fraser, IRCT Company Secretary 01687 462404

The Isle of Rum Community Trust is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status, established in 2007. It comprises a board of directors from on and off-island from a range of backgrounds. These individuals volunteer time and expertise for the benefit of the community. In January 2009 islanders voted in favour of a handover of assets in and around Kinloch Village from SNH to the Isle of Rum Community Trust, with the handover completed in March 2010.

Ranger Gallery online - April 2015


Our Ranger Gallery is now online. Find it at the bottom of the Ranger Service page, or find it here

Galleries now online - March 2015


(c) Ali MorrisNew for 2015 on are a series of photo galleries we have put together.  If you have taken a great picture in one of the following categories - landscapes, people, castle or ponies, please send them to us for a chance to be included in the gallery.  

We are also looking for old pictures of Rum, whether people, animals or landscapes.

Finally, we are also able to include short films made about the island.

Clown00 and Hallival (c) Ali Morris

If you would like to submit a photo, please e-mail  Please send us just one picture which must be a jpeg, not less than 700px on the longest side and no more than 200kb file size.

A Great Start to the Year - January 2015


We celebrated Hogmanay in style with the help of our Bunkhouse guests and their enthusiastic dancing.  You can see an awesome video they made of their trip here.  Everyone had a great time despite the ferry being cancelled due to stormy weather on the day they were meant to depart - it just meant there was an extra day to explore the island!

New weekly guided walk for 2015



Britain has five species of carnivorous plants and they can all be found on the Isle of Rum!

Come along on this 2hr Ranger-led walk in Kinloch Glen, every Tuesday morning to find them, and see lots of other wildlife too.

Meet outside the Village Hall at 10am, returning by 12pm.

No need to book, just turn up: wear good boots (carnivorous plants are lovers of boggy conditions!) and bring cameras, binoculars and midge repellent.

For more details speak to Trudi the Ranger or contact her on

Cost £5 Adults / £2.50 Children

Fire and Ice - October 2014


Hallival and Askival (c) Vikki Trelfer

Rum’s iconic peaks Hallival and Askival have been nominated in the “Fire and Ice” category of 100 Great Geosites!  The Geological Society has launched the list of 100 sites across the UK and Ireland as part of Earth Science Week (13th - 19th Oct).

More than 400 sites were nominated and split into 10 categories.  From glaciations to volcanic eruptions, the sites included in the “Fire and Ice” category represent some of the most dramatic events in our geological past.

Swedish researchers have revealed that Rum may once have been a supervolcano two or three kilometres high.  Sixty million years of erosion by glaciers, wind and rain have reduced the mountain to what remains of Rum’s cuillin ridge today.

Rum's Third Blasda - September 2014


Now in its third year, our annual celebration of all things edible and local is becoming a Rum tradition.  It sometimes feels like trying to feed the five thousand with one loaf and three fishes – you never quite know how many people are going to turn up, or who’s going to bring how much of what – but there’s always enough, and it’s always a great evening.  It was lovely to see so many people out, sharing a meal and reaffirming the bonds that hold us together as a community.  For starters there were three kinds of soup and freshly foraged winkles; mains were a choice of fish pie, wild mushroom risotto, sea trout, veg & mushroom casserole, and a vegetable curry (or a little bit of everything).  To finish off, we enjoyed Ady’s bramble crumble with Debs’ mint choc chip ice cream.  Many thanks to all the bringers and sharers!

Introducing Rum's new Community Ranger - June 2014


new ranger imageI am delighted to take up the position of Community Ranger here on Rum. I’m an environmental biologist with many years’ experience in nature reserve management and field biology: I have worked with Sandwich terns on Anglesey; saltmarsh birds, plants and Natterjack toads in Dorset; mice on St Kilda and rare plants in southern Portugal. Most recently, I have been running guided wildlife walks in Bristol, while studying for an MSc in Applied Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

I come from Bristol but I have lived in various places around the UK and abroad. Before gaining my degree, I worked in bookselling and as a freelance photographer and artist. My decision to retrain for a career in nature conservation was made after witnessing firsthand the destruction of the rainforests in Tasmania in 2001.

I’ve had a special affinity for the wildlife and communities of the Scottish Western Isles since my first visit to Islay in 2006. I have visited the Outer Hebrides twice and returned to Islay and Jura nearly ten times now. In 2012, I spent four weeks on St Kilda working as a field research assistant for the St Kilda Mouse Project.

My hobbies and interests include:

Writing: “Trudi's Tales from the Field” -

Photography & art:

Sculpture; linocut printing; travel; canoeing; Portuguese language studies; climate change and future ecology; evolutionary biology; Australian ecology; archaeology; anthropology; history of the natural sciences.

I’m looking forward to seeing my first sea eagles, and I want to start canoeing again, but am currently hampered by lack of paddle...and lack of canoe!

Watch out for upcoming events and news via Facebook and Twitter, and my Ranger page HERE.

Rum Bunkhouse Progress - March 2014


If you’re following the updates on our Facebook page you’ll know that there’s been lots happening in recent weeks!

The site was cleared and groundworks completed at the start of the year.The building itself has been constructed in sections in MacQueen’s workshop on Skye, and arrived on the Calmac ferry on the 18th March.

Now that all the pieces are on site it’s just a case of putting them all together, and as if by magic the bunkhouse is growing day by day!

Homecoming Scotland - January 2014


In 1795 Rum was home to over 400 people, but the clearances of 1826 and 1828 saw the eviction of 350 people in total, to be replaced by sheep. Most

Homecoming logo

of the emigrants sailed to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia; all 208 passengers listed on the St Lawrence from Tobermory to Port Hawkesbury (NS) on 12th July 1928 (though it may have been 1926) were from the Isle of Rum, and ranged in age from young babies to 89 year old Allan MacLean. The full list is available online. []

Today the population is stable at around 40 permanent residents, but what happened to our predecessors? When the MacLeans, MacKays, MacKinnons and MacPhadens dispersed across Cape Breton, where did they go? Where are their families now, and do they still pass on stories of the Rum life?

Malcom McKinnon from Rum was the first settler near Kinloch on the Northwestern side of Inverness County, Cape Breton and had a family of three sons and four daughters; the farm is still occupied by his descendants.**

Two brothers from Rum, Donald and Allan McLean, were the first settlers of Beech Hill, Inverness County in 1826. Donald married Ann McDonald who had emigrated from neighbouring Muck; they had 8 children and Ann lived to be 106!**

2014 is the Year of Homecoming - a year-long programme of events and activities showcasing all that's great about Scotland. Elsewhere there are preparations for the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup, and a range of events to celebrate our national food and drink, the outdoors, and our arts, culture and ancestral heritage. Here on Rum we’re putting together a programme of events for 2014 to entertain, inspire, and get your toes tapping – keep an eye on the Events page for more information.

We always welcome stories and memories from former Rumachs and their descendants

Wherever you’ve been and whenever you visit, you’ll be very welcome so join us and be part of Homecoming Rum 2014!

[**Info from: History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia

By J. L. MacDougall (1922) -]

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