As part of our holiday in Scotland we had the chance to get a day out on Rum. After ferries are taken into account a day works out at 4½ hours which is barely enough time to get your bearings and explore around the village of Kinloch. The island is a National Nature Reserve run by Scottish Natural Heritage and only a very small population live on this, the largest of the ‘Small Isles’.
As with many other parts of Scotland it was heavily populated, the 350 residents were forcibly removed in the 1820s as part of the clearances to be replaced by a single sheep farm. The somewhat overly grand castle was built in the 1890s by George Bullough as part of his private island estate. The island was bought by the Nature Conservancy Council in 1957 and has been run as a national nature reserve since then.
We didn’t manage to explore beyond the coast and woodlands to the south of the bay. There were plenty of signs of past habitation and woodlands festooned with an array of lichens and other woodland plants. Further along the coast the old village has now been taken over by wildlife with oystercatchers and gulls now inhabiting the former village.