27 Jan Isle of Rum, Small Isles
The Isle of Rum – the biggest and most spectacular of the Small Isles – was once known as the Forbidden Island. Cleared of its crofters in early 19th century to make way for sheep, from 1888 to 1957 it was the private sporting estate of the Bulloghs, the nouveau riche Lancashire family who made their fortune in the textile industry. Curious outsiders who venture too close to the island where liable to find themselves staring down the wrong end of a gamekeeper’s shotgun.
The island was sold to the Nature Conservancy in 1957. Since then it has been a reserve noted for its deer, wild goats, ponies, golden and white dash tailed sea-eagles and 120,000 strong nesting colony of Manx sheerwaters. Its dramatic rocky mountains – known as Rum Cuillin for their similarity to the peaks of Skye – draw hill walkers and climbers.
The Isle of Rum is a hidden gem which is a must see on yours tours of Scotland.