Scotland

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Isle of Rum

with thanks to Iain Gow who contributed this article

Stage 1

Plan for a Wednesday to give you 4.5 hours on the island or a Saturday for a full day to include the Mausoleum. If arriving at Mallaig with a car, continue passing the ferry terminal and small boat piers for a few hundred metres where there is ample free parking at East Bay. Private vehicles are not allowed to park inside the terminal. Cycle back to the terminal, buy your tickets and board the Calmac ferry. You can purchase any snacks and drinks before boarding, on the ferry or in the small shop on the island. Just over an hour later, you have arrived on Rum.


Stage 2

Push your bike off the ferry then cycle for a short distance looking for a narrow path on your left heading through the trees to the Otter hide where you might be lucky enough to spot an Otter. Unfortunately today wasn't that day. When ready, return along the path and continue round Loch Scresort towards Kinloch Castle.


Another unfortunate day as the Castle was under major repairs so wasn't able to visit for a tour. Even the White-tailed Sea Eagles which are resident on Rum were not for showing themselves. Continue along the road in front of the castle then take the left at the junction heading inland and up the gradual incline rising to just over 100m. Cycle along this well-maintained grit covered road for about 2 miles admiring the scenery as you go. Don't worry about traffic; there isn't any.


Stage 3

After the 2 miles, you arrive at a fork in the road where you take the right onto a landrover track. (The left fork will take you to the Mausoleum about 4 miles SSW from here). If you have children with you, extra care might be required for the track to Kilmory Beach. Navigate your way alternating from one rut to the other as the surface dictates. Sometimes, the centre ridge is the best option.

The surface does improve (slightly) the closer you get to Kilmory beach. This area is a nature reserve where Universities have been studying the Red Deer on the island since 1972. Continue for 3.5 miles watching for the Deer as well as keeping an eye on the track ahead. When you arrive at the beach, there is a Deer hide where you can watch the Deer from a distance. The cottages are private property so you should not approach them. There are excellent views across the sea to the Cuillin on Skye.


Stage 4

Return is by the same route. There is a small shop and café in Kinloch if you need refreshments while waiting on the ferry back to Mallaig.

Arriving back at Mallaig, there are several good fish & chip shops or if you need something more nourishing, the Chlachain Inn which is under new management is well worth a visit for good pub grub.

iain gow

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