The forbidden island
Rum is a round island reaching out of the Sea of the Hebrides with a crown of jagged peaks. Long the private reserve of the Bullough family, wealthy Lancashire industrialists in Edwardian times who kept visitors off, it's now owned and run as a nature reserve by Scottish Natural Heritage. The Bulloughs party house, Kinloch Castle, is grand but dilapidated, and visitors can take a short tour of the impressive interior rooms.
Rum is the largest of the Small Isles in the Inner Hebrides.
Day visitors can take a Saturday afternoon cruise from Mallaig, with 2.5 hours on the island. It's a fifteen minute walk from the pier to Kinloch, where the shop and village hall (incorporating self-serve tearoom) are situated, as well as the impressive Kinloch Castle. Castle tours take 45 minutes, cost £9, and are timed to fit in with the ferries. Highlights include the billiard room, grand staircase, and purpose-built mechanical musical Orchestron built underneath the staircase.
Although there are short walks for the day visitor, the classic hike here is a tour of the Rum Cuillin hills - Barkeval, Hallival, Askival, Trollaval, Ainshval and Sgurr nan Gillean - a circuit which takes around 12 hours.