1Do you need permission to visit Rum?
No, there are no access restrictions on Rum anymore so you can visit Rum and walk to any part of the island at any time of year. Notices of deer stalking are posted in the village so you will be aware of these activities and it is recommended that you do not get too close to rutting stags (around October). See www.outdooraccess-scotland.com for info about your rights and responsibilities.
2How long does it take to walk from the ferry terminal to the places in the village?
From the ferry terminal, it’s about a 20 minute walk to Kinloch Castle and a further 5 minutes to the Village Hall where the Cafe, shop and post office are located. The village road is only about 1 mile long and is mainly flat, although quite rough in places.
3Where are the toilets on Rum?
There are two public toilets next to the Old Pier, campsite and visitor centre. These are a 10 minute walk from the ferry terminal. There are also toilets in the Village Hall. Please note that there are no toilets at the ferry terminal so don’t get caught short while waiting for the ferry!
4Are there showers on Rum?
There are showers at the Campsite. For users not staying at the campsite, payment is by the honesty box in the Bunkhouse entrance.
5Can I take my car to Rum?
No. The roads are privately owned and you need a good reason and a special car permit from the Isle of Rum Community Trust. The roads are unsuitable for anything less than a 4X4 and the speed limit is 15 miles per hour. People generally leave their cars parked at Mallaig or Arisaig while they visit Rum. Campervans are not permitted.
6Can I bring my bike?
Yes! The roads are quite rough and better suited to mountain bikes. Harris Bay (8 miles each way) and Kilmory (5 miles each way) are both nice rides. There are not any suitable off road mountain biking trails as the paths on Rum are fairly rocky and boggy.
7Are there internet facilities on Rum?
Wifi is provided in the hall for which we ask a small contribution of £1 per half hour. The internet on the Small Isles and a few other remote locations in the area are provided by a community interest company called Hebnet. They beam the internet from island to island and the mainland through a network of wireless masts. Most of these masts have been installed by the local communities on each of the island sites.
8Will I get any mobile phone reception?
Mobile phone reception varies from network to network. Reception is generally better on the east side of the island where a good 4G signal can often be found. Reception on the west of the island is patchy and shouldn't be relied upon, but is getting better all the time. There is also the red BT phone box on the shore road. This is in working order.
9Are dogs allowed on Rum?
Yes, although you must keep your dog under control at all times and make sure they do not worry livestock or ground nesting birds. See www.outdooraccess-scotland.com for info about your rights and responsibilities.
10What happens with rubbish and recycling?
General rubbish, glass and household recycling facilities are at the ferry terminal. We really appreciate visitors separating out their rubbish and recycling and taking it to the pier as there are limited waste disposal facilities in the Village.
11What is the weather like and which are the best months to visit?
May and June tend to have more sunny and calmer weather than the rest of the year. June, July and August are also fairly warm but with more possibility of wind and rain.
12Can I see eagles?
Nest locations of these protected birds are secret but it is possible to see golden and white-tailed sea eagles in flight over Rum especially on warm sunny days when they like to ride the up-drafts. Best thing to do is keep on looking up!
13 Is there a shop?
Yes, there is a small but very well stocked shop in the village. It sells a wide range of items including bread, milk, veggies, fruit, eggs, meat, toiletries, batteries, alcohol, and several kinds of midge repellent. You can also order ahead, see the Shop and PO section (make Link)
14Are there guided walks?
Yes, the community ranger has a programme of activities. This year, events will be bookable as limited by Coronavirus restrictions. See the Ranger page for details.
15How many people live on Rum?
The population of Rum is about 40, fluctuating with seasonal workers and volunteers The longest residents have lived here for over 20 years
16Do people live on Rum all year round?
Yes, most of the residents live on Rum all year although there is a small number of seasonal staff and volunteers.
17What do people do in winter?
During the winter, people get on with their lives, much as people anywhere else.
18Is there a school?
Yes, there is a Primary School and Nursery. High school age students go to Mallaig High School and come home every weekend at the moment during Coronavirus.
19Does everyone live in Kinloch Village or are there other villages on Rum?
Everyone lives in Kinloch Village. The Red Deer Research team can be found at Kilmory during the calving season in May and June when they are busy catching and tagging calves in the Kilmory Glen study area. There is often a team during the rut too.
20Where does the drinking water in Kinloch come from?
Rum gets plenty of rainfall and the water system is fed from the same water intake as the hydro electric scheme. The water supply in the village gets chlorinated before being piped to buildings.
21Where does the electricity on Rum come from?
Rum is not connected to the National Grid and all the electricity is generated on the island from hydroelectricity turbines and diesel backup generators. The Hydro was set up for Kinloch Castle - one of the first places outside Glasgow to have electricity. This means it is rather elderly and temperamental at times! The amount of power available is limited to each household.
22How bad are the ‘Midges’?
Rum midges are notorious for being some of the worst on the west coast, so take suitable precautions. The village shop sells midge head nets/jackets, a range of different insect repellents, mosquito coils and incense sticks. Midges usually start to appear in the middle of May and disappear with the first frosts around October. They don’t come out when it’s windy and if you walk at a brisk pace, you will be too fast for them. For more information see www.midgeforecast.co.uk
23 What else?
BE PREPARED! Rum, while wonderful can have savage weather (so have suitable clothing and footwear); does have very rough roads (even within Kinloch they aren’t that great – take note child buggy pushers); in season midges aren’t a joke so take precautions; rough weather can cancel the ferry for days, perhaps great but slightly inconvenient if stuck on the island, very disappointing if trying to get there.