No visit to Rum is really complete without a visit to Kinloch Castle. Daily tours are timed to be ‘between boats’ from April – October, making it possible to visit this amazing Edwardian time capsule on a day trip or before you return home after a longer stay.
Tours take approximately 45 minutes and start promptly from the steps at the front of the castle.
Booking is not necessary, and if the arrival of the ferry is delayed for any reason we do try and start the tours a little later than advertised when possible. However, you will not be able to join the tour once it has begun.
During tours visitors are welcome to take photos. Kinloch Castle guidebooks, postcards, and books can be purchased in the castle at the end of a tour, or from Kinloch Hostel at other times.
Private tours can be arranged for groups of 10 or more (smaller groups will be charged a minimum of £90.00), subject to staff availability.
For more information or to book a private tour please contact us on the details below.
What people have said about their visit to Kinloch Castle:
‘This was a highlight of our recent holiday’ Tripadvisor Sep 2014
‘What made it for us was the tour guide whose enthusiasm and knowledge brought it all alive’ Tripadvisor Aug 2014
‘The entrance fee was only £9. It was a truly stunning experience’ Tripadvisor Jul 2014
27 October 2014 - 2 April 2015
**Tours by prior arrangement only**
This subject to staff availability and winter building works.
Please contact us on the details below.
Daily tours will recommence on 3rd April 2015
Prices (cash payment only)
Children (6-12 year olds) £4.50
Groups (15+) £8 per person
Kinloch Castle is a 20 minute walk from the ferry terminal along a flat unsealed road. If you have mobility issues there is a shuttle service that will bring you to Kinloch Castle (charges apply).
Isle of Rum, PH43 4RR, UK
The Isle of Rum is a paradise for hill walkers and mountaineers alike. If you are here for a few hours or a few days there are walks to suit all abilities.
Rum, while wonderful, can have savage weather (so have suitable clothing, footwear and navigation aids); has very rough terrain and in the summer season midges aren’t a joke so take precautions.
During late September and early October the annual red deer rut takes place. This is the deer mating season, and while fascinating to watch, stags can be extremely dangerous during this time and should be given a wide berth.
Although there are no access restrictions at any time of year, please see the Scottish Outdoor Access Code website for more information about your rights and responsibilities in the outdoors.
With so much to see and do on Rum, planning your visit can feel a bit daunting.To help you out, we’ve put together some suggested itineraries to so you can make the most of your trip depending on how long you have to spend on the island.
The itineraries include walking times from the pier but there is also a shuttle service available for a small charge between the Pier and the village.
There is a Tea Shop in the Village Hall from April to October, serving hot and cold drinks and light snacks, which makes a good beginning or end to any visit!There is also a craft shop on the shore road which is open all year.
Shorter walks - under 2 hours
Northside nature trail
This circular trail takes approx 1 hr to circumnavigate and is ideal if you are just here on a day trip. It takes you up and along the northside of Kinloch Glen, giving you views out into the NNR and a glimpse of the true wild Rum. Follow the signs and enjoy a pleasant stroll. Click HERE to download a guide for this walk.
This is a short (30 min) return walk along through Loch Scresort’s southside woods. Starting from the ferry terminal and although initially steep, this is a gentle walk is along a good quality, but unsealed, path and can be enjoyed by all and passes some of the islands initial settlements. The path continues (approx 40min) along past the otter hide to the abandoned settlement of Port na Caranean, but becomes increasingly rough so is better suited to the more adventurous. Click HERE to download a guide for this walk.
Kinloch Castle is a 20 min stroll from the Ferry Terminal and runs tours, lasting approximately 40 minutes daily throughout the Summer season. Click HERE to download a guide for your walk to the Castle.
Although there are no specific areas set aside in Kinloch Village to bird or wildlife watch, you never know what is going to appear where or when, so if you are a keen naturalist it is vital to keep your binoculars to hand. Otters and seals are often seen from the ferry terminal whilst waiting for the Loch Nevis to arrive and time spent sitting and looking around the village can often give some spectacular views of white-tailed (sea) eagle and golden eagle soaring overhead. Walking along the shore road and listening to the eider ducks, oystercatchers and curlew going about their daily routines is also a pleasure to the senses, along with watching our flocks of resident greylag geese flying in and out to feed. For more information on the bird and wildlife of Rum go to our Wildlife section and for info on guided walks and talks see our Ranger section.
Click on the Map of Kinloch Village to see the roads and paths in the village.
Longer walks - 2 hours or more
Kinloch Glen Waterfall
Walk up out of Kinloch Village and along the road into Kinloch Glen to get a taste of the Rum National Nature Reserve. On this approximately 8km walk, you will have a chance to see Golden Eagle and Red Deer. It is also the same route as to go to Kilmory or Harris, so if you have longer, you can just keep going.
This is a return walk of 10 miles (16km), for the most part along a very rough track, taking approximately 2hrs each way. Follow the road up out of the Village and through the deer gate and along Kinloch Glen to the crossroads where you veer right, turning into Kilmory Glen and continue into the Red Deer Project Study Area (see Wildlife section for more info). Kilmory boasts an unspoilt beach with outstanding views of the Skye Cuillins.
This is a return walk of 16 miles (26km) along a good track and takes approximately 4hrs each way. Follow the road out of the Village, along Kinloch Glen and carry on to the left at the crossroads. Harris is the site of the Bullough’s mausoleum, standing proudly looking out to the west, where Sir George, his father John and his wife Lady Monica, were laid to rest. The road to Harris has, in good weather, spectacular views of the mountains comprising the Rum Cuillin.
The path to Dibidil begins in Kinloch, to the south of the Reserve Office. It is an extremely rough path which can often be waterlogged and the burns that cross the path overflow very quickly in poor weather making this an extremely challenging 8 mile (13km) walk, one way. At Dibidil, there is a Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) bothy, with great views over the Sound of Rum to the Isle of Eigg. (See Places to Stay for more information on the bothies). It is a great base for further exploring the Rum Cuillins and Papadil.
This walk takes approximately 4 hrs from Kinloch one way. The route goes over Bealach a’ Bhraigh Bhig, and drops down into Glen Guirdhil. This takes you over rough hillside and there is no particular route, so good orienteering skills help. Guirdhil bothy (MBA) sits nestled into the back of the pebble bay looking out towards Canna. (See Places to Stay for more information on the bothies). It is a great spot where you have a good chance of seeing both white-tailed (sea) eagles and golden eagles, as well as red deer and feral goats (see wildlife section for more information). During the summer, Guirdhil is a magical place to watch the sun set and in the winter the northern lights are often seen during the dark nights.
Rum Cuillin Ridge Walk
This is a classic walk, along the mountain ridge of Rum, covering approximately 13.5 miles (22km), depending on your route, of steep ascent and descent with some moderate rock scrambling over six peaks taking about 12hrs. There is no clear path or route, so you will have to pick your way along this difficult range, BE PREPARED and have the necessary navigation aids. Starting either in Kinloch Village or Dibidil, this walk takes in the mountains of Barkeval, Hallival, Askival, Trollaval, Ainshval and Sgurr nan Gillean, before dropping down into Dibidil or Harris for the walk back to Kinloch.
Although none of the mountains on Rum are Munroes, the weather can change in the blink of an eye, so BE PREPARED and ensure you have suitable clothing, footwear and navigation tools. If you are staying in Kinloch, you can complete an optional route card before you set out. These can be found in the Courtyard of Kinloch Castle and are always available if you plan an early start.
Be aware! There is NO Mountain Rescue Post on the Isle of Rum. The nearest teams are on Skye and in Lochaber and there will be a considerable delay before any of these teams could be on scene at an incident.
Further Reading and Maps
Click on the image to see the item for sale online.
OS Landranger Map 1:50,000 Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna Sheet 39
OS Explorer Map 1:25,000 Rum, Muck Canna and Sanday Sheet 397
For more books about Rum, please see our Further Reading section here
page updated 18th March 2014
Rum is a great place to bring your bicycle and it's free to take them on the ferries! All of the roads on Rum are unsealed so they're more suitable for mountain bikes but people have used road bikes here too. There are about 2 miles of roads around the village and about 11 miles of roads outside the village into the National Nature Reserve. The walking tracks on Rum can be fairly boggy or rocky in places making it very difficult to ride on, so we recommend sticking to the roads.
Click on the Kinloch Village Map to see the roads in the village
Click on the Map of Rum link and zoom in to see the roads on the rest of Rum in greater detail.
Cycling to Harris Bay - 16 miles / 26km return
Harris Bay is on the south west of Rum and there is a 4WD road all the way there. The Harris road is fairly smooth with some rough patches and it's just under 8 miles one way. You take the road out of the village up 2 miles to the crossroads, then take the left branch. It's a gradual climb up, up, up! to the highest point in the road, then it's a brisk freewheel down into Harris Bay. There are great views over the bay and you are likely to see the Rum ponies, red deer, feral goats and the Highland cows. At Harris Bay you will also see the Bullough mausoleums (see the Kinloch Castle section for more info on the Bulloughs) and old farming remains of 'lazy beds' (see the Human History section for info about historic settlements on Rum)
Cycling to Kilmory - 10 miles / 16km return
Kilmory is located on the north coast of Rum and there is a 4WD road that you can take to get there. It's about 5 miles one way and although it's shorter than the road to Harris Bay, the surface is a lot rougher so mountain bikes are highly recommended. You take the road out of the village up 2 miles to the crossroads. Here you take that right branch and go slowly down into Kilmory Glen where you will have lovely views of the Skye Cullin and you will enter the Kilmory Red Deer Project study area so are likely to see many red deer. See the Deer page in the Wildlife section for more information on the project. You will be able to see the old Bullough laundry house and also be rewarded with a lovely sandy beach.
Bikes are now available for full or half day hire from Fliss at Ivy Cottage. For more information on tarriffs please follow this link or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
No permit is required if responsible fishing is carried out anywhere along the coast.
Loch and River Permits are needed between 1st April and 15th Oct. These are provided free of charge and all we ask in return is that you adhere to the restrictions and return the catch form.
The Loch Fishing Permit covers 6 Lochs – Loch Papadil, Loch Coire nan Gruund, Loch MacIvor (an Dornabac), Loch Fiachanis, Loch a’Ghillie Reamhra, and Loch Long. Visitors are asked to avoid fishing on ALL other lochs and lochans between 1st Mar and 15th Oct, as these are important breeding habitats for Red Throated Divers (Learga-ruadh). These birds are a threatened species of conservation concern and are protected under European and UK Law (Wild Bird Directive 79/409/EEC, and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981).
Red Throated Divers nest on the ground close to the loch side and any disturbance is likely to cause abandonment of the eggs or vulnerable young. It is an offence to knowingly disturb these birds during the breeding season.
This is permitted on Kinloch Burn and Allt Slugan a’Choilich (Coire Dubh), and covers the area from the river mouths to the main deer fence (approximately 1 mile upstream). Please do not fish on burns outside these areas.
Visitors are asked to put back all salmon and sea trout parr and smoults. Hen fish heavy with spawn in the autumn and finnoch under 8” long should also be returned to the water.
Permits cover fly-fishing and spinning and are available from the following locations:
During summer months only, on a Thursday, our Ranger leads a 2 hour guided sea-watching trip (non-landing) to the Island of Soay on the MV Sheerwater. Species seen regularly include, Manx Shearwater, bottle nosed and common dolphin, harbour porpoise, basking shark and minke whale. Rarer species such as killer whale are sometimes glimpsed. Booking is essential.
Rum is a great destination for canoeists and kayakers and is an ideal method for seeing much of the marine and birdlife of the island close up in its natural environment. With approximately 30 miles of varied coastline, including secluded beaches and rocky shores, there are plenty of places to stop, admire the view and watch the world go by.
The Mountain Bothy Association bothies at Guirdhil and Dibidil, provide places to stop and rest; see the Places to Stay section for more information on all the accommodation options on Rum. Kinloch Village is a good base for exploring the island as canoes and kayaks travel free on the ferries, and they can be safely left at the Ferry Terminal when not in use.
If you do come to Rum with your canoe or kayak, please check the weather forecast and tidal conditions to ensure a safe trip as conditions can change rapidly in the waters surrounding the islands.
Here is a link to Met Office weather forecast for Mallaig Here is a link to XC Weather Forecast showing wind forecasts Here is a link to a tide timetable for Rum Here is a link to an Arisaig kayak hire company Here is a link to a blog about kayaking around Rum and Canna
Click on the Map of Rum and zoom in to explore the coastline in detail