most spectacular of the Small Isles, Rum is
now a nature reserve run by Scottish National
Heritage. Formerly the private, sporting
estate of the wealthy industrialist John
Bullough, and later his son George, it was
purchased in 1957 and is a wildlife habitat of
The island has its own range of mountains as well as the world’s first wind-powered telephone exchange. Rum was where sea eagles were reintroduced to Scotland and is at the centre of extensive research into red deer.
All of its 30 or so inhabitants live in the village of Kinloch, site of the Bullough family’s former Edwardian mansion Kinloch Castle. The island has the earliest evidence of human occupation in Scotland. Humans were living here at least 10,000 years ago. In common with other members of the Small Isles, Rum’s people were forced to emigrate to make way for sheep in the 19th century. Today’s visitors arrive by ferry from Mallaig on the mainland.