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Explore Rum, the Small Isles, Coll and Tiree with a Cicerone Guidebook

Cover of Walking on Rum and the Small Isles
12 Jun 2012
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.4cm
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Walking on Rum and the Small Isles

by Peter Edwards
Book published by Cicerone Press

This guidebook to walking and backpacking on Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna, Coll and Tiree includes a tough 55km backpack around the coast of Rum, a circuit of the Rum Cuillin and an ascent of An Sgurr (Eigg). The 16 routes across all these Western Isles of Scotland are suitable for a range of abilities exploring coasts, mountains and wilderness.

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Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.4cm
Weight: 260g

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Buy individual routes

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The Small Isles, and the nearby Hebridean twins Coll and Tiree, offer adventurous walkers a fine range of routes, from the jagged volcanic peaks of the Cuillin on Rum to the beaches, dunes and machair pastures of its lower-lying neighbours. Many of the walks follow sublime coastlines, dotted with striking geological formations and teeming with wildlife.

Easier routes on Rum, along long-established paths, explore the National Nature Reserve with opportunities to spot deer, golden eagles, feral goats and Rum ponies along the way, and detailed information is included on each island's history, geology, wildlife, plants and flowers to help walkers make the most of their experience.

Walking on Rum

Rum is by far the largest of the Small Isles, and arguably the most mountainous island of its size in Britain. Rum's highest peaks, Askival and Ainshval are Corbetts, and it's also the smallest Scottish island to have a summit over 762m. A round of the Rum Cuillin is included in the guidebook, but walkers will also find there's much more to discover.

Walking on Eigg, Muck, Canna, Coll and Tiree

Eigg, second largergest of the Small Isles, lies a little less than 7km south-east of Rum, and boasts the most varied scenery and range of wildlife habitats. Canna is the westernmost and the second smallest of the Small Isles. It's linked to its tide separated sister, Sanday by a bridge and by sandbanks and a road a low tide.

Muck is the smallest and most fertile of the Small Isles. Muck is also known for its seal population, and for the porpoises in the surrounding waters. Coll and its near neighbour, Tiree are often referred to as the Hebridean Twins.

This guide describes 16 routes across Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna, Coll and Tiree, suitable for a wide range of abilities, and exploring coast, mountains and wilderness.

  • 15 day walks, including the Rum Cuillin, and one 3-day walk around the coast of Rum
  • illustrated with OS map extracts and inspirational photographs
  • with comprehensive information about travel, accommodation, equipment and other practicalities
  • Seasons
    spring, early summer and early autumn are the best times as the weather is mildest and the midges are in abeyance; high summer is the busiest season and midges can be a nightmare on Rum; winter days are short and storms are frequent, but the solitary grandeur of the islands in winter weather is ample reward for the well-prepared walker.
  • Centres
    Kinloch, Dibidil, Guirdil (Rum); Galmisdale, Cleadale (Eigg); Port Mòr (Muck); A'Chill (Canna); Arinagour (Coll); Scarinish, Balephetrish, Hynish (Tiree)
  • Difficulty
    routes range from the challenging to the relatively undemanding; weather can change suddenly in the Hebrides - be prepared for wet, wild and windy conditions.
  • Must See
    the Rum Cuillin, Kinloch Castle, Kilmory bay; An Sgurr and Cleadale on Eigg; Canna's cliffs and rock stacks; verdant landscape and sparkling shores of Muck; white sand bays and flower-carpeted machair of Coll and Tiree; wildlife, geological features and ancient monuments; stunning coastal landscapes

November 2014

The Rum Bunkhouse, managed by the Isle of Rum Community Trust, is now open (autumn 2014) and has accommodation for up to 20 people in four mixed dorms and one twin room. There are two fully equipped kitchens and a lounge with a wood burning stove and sofas.

For further information and bookings, email


April 2013


Kinloch Castle hostel will be closed definitively from the end of May 2013. Funding for the construction of a new bunkhouse has just been announced (April 2013) and in the interim temporary, self-catering hostel accommodation next to the castle will be available from 8 June 2013. For more details contact:

phone: 01687 462037


When to go
Getting there
Ferries and flights
Maps, route finding and access
Safety and emergencies
What to take
Using this guide
Walk 1 A round of the Rum Cuillin
Walk 2 The Dibidil Horseshoe
Walk 3 Around the coast of Rum
Walk 4 Kinloch to Guirdil
Walk 5 The Guirdil Horseshoe
Walk 6 Around Rum’s western hills
Walk 7 Kinloch to Kilmory Bay or Harris
Walk 8 An Sgùrr and Grulin
Walk 9 Around the coast and cliffs of north Eigg
Walk 10 Around the coast of Canna
Walk 11 Around Sanday
Walk 12 Around the coast of Muck
Walk 13 Coll’s western tip
Walk 14 Ben Hogh and the Breachacha castles
Walk 15 Tiree’s east coast
Walk 16 Tiree’s west coast and three highest points
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Accommodation
Appendix C Further reading
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