Life on the edge
Extinct volcanoes, wilderness and spectacular wildlife await visitors to Rum National Nature Reserve (NNR).
Here, on a mountain top, is one of the world’s largest colony of Manx shearwater – at least 23% of the world’s breeding population. Sea cliffs also support magnificent colonies of other seabirds. Red-throated divers breed on inland lochans and golden and white-tailed eagles soar high above the mountains and moorland.
More obscure wildlife includes rare plants, a rich diversity of mosses, lichen and fungi, and thousands of types of invertebrates. Otters also abound along the shorelines.
An incredible mix of habitats supports this wealth of wildlife. Heaths, grasslands, sea cliffs, crevices and peatlands peppered with lochs and lochans have also earned the reserve international recognition.
As you approach Rum, the largest of the Small Isles, the rugged mountains set a dramatic stage for spectacular wildlife and geology.
There is lots to see and do on Rum, whether you want to climb the Cuillin, walk through the glens or join a ranger-led event.
Find out more about visiting Rum NNR.
Listen to our Podcast as Francesca Osowska, Chief Executive of NatureScot visits Rum and explores this magical National Nature Reserve for this first time. Interviewed by Ian Sargent, Nature Reserves Manager.
- Watch out for huge white-tailed eagles and golden eagles. Both breed in good numbers here.
- Wonder at one of the largest breeding colonies of Manx shearwater in the world. Join one of our night-time walks to the colony, or watch the birds feeding on the sea during the day.
- Traverse the spectacular Rum Cuillin – one of Scotland's most spectacular routes.
- Walk or cycle to Kilmory or Harris to see the famous Rum red deer. If you visit during the rut, expect to see and hear roaring stags battling for their harems of hinds.
- Take the short walk up the Coire Dubh Trail – a good way to get a flavour of the reserve if you have limited time on the island.
- Head to the otter hide near the pier to look out for otters, feeding red-throated divers, seals and other seabirds.
- Stay overnight in one of two remote bothies at Guirdil or Dibidil.
Find out more about the reserve and its natural history.
Other attractions on the island include Kinloch Castle (tours available) and the community craft shops and cafe in the village.
Visit our Events page to see what upcoming events you can get involved in at this reserve.
Reserve manager: Lesley Watt
Rum Reserve Office
Isle of Rum
Find out more
Discover more about why Scotland’s National Nature Reserves were created and the partners who manage them.
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Find out more about the Isle of Rum Community Trust and what they offer visitors to the island.
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Follow NatureScot’s Scotland’s Nature blog and find interesting articles on Scotland’s natural heritage.
Enjoyed your visit?
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