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4.7
| 23 reviews

Hike and Wild Camp on the Isle of Rùm

4 nights
Challenging

A truly wild adventure on a remote island in the Scottish Inner Hebrides

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with local, certified mountain guides

Hostel & Wild camping

3 nights wild camping, 1 night in a bunkhouse

Meals

Expedition-style meals throughout

Transfers

Return ferry tickets from Mallaig to Kinloch

Equipment

Expedition tents

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 10 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

4.7
| 23 reviews
Fantastic Trip
May 2024
Ian
Looking for great scenery, and not bumping...
July 2022
David
Looking for great scenery, and not bumping...
July 2022
David
Looking for great scenery, and not bumping...
July 2022
David
Looking for great scenery, and not bumping...
July 2022
David
This was a fantastic trip - I was excited a...
July 2022
Jo
We didn’t go to the Isle of Rùm due to terr...
July 2022
Louise
We didn’t go to the Isle of Rùm due to terr...
July 2022
Louise
We didn’t go to the Isle of Rùm due to terr...
July 2022
Louise
We wanted to do Isle of Rum expedition, ins...
June 2022
Ja
We wanted to do Isle of Rum expedition, ins...
June 2022
Ja
We wanted to do Isle of Rum expedition, ins...
June 2022
Ja
We wanted to do Isle of Rum expedition, ins...
June 2022
Ja
We wanted to do Isle of Rum expedition, ins...
June 2022
Ja
Don’t mind what the Scottish weather throws...
June 2022
Jessica
Don’t mind what the Scottish weather throws...
June 2022
Jessica
Don’t mind what the Scottish weather throws...
June 2022
Jessica
Don’t mind what the Scottish weather throws...
June 2022
Jessica
The only word to describe this trip is WILD...
September 2021
Dawn
The only word to describe this trip is WILD...
September 2021
Dawn
The only word to describe this trip is WILD...
September 2021
Dawn
The only word to describe this trip is WILD...
September 2021
Dawn
The only word to describe this trip is WILD...
September 2021
Dawn
This was an awesome trip .
The 1st time I...
September 2021
Robert
This was an awesome trip .
The 1st time I...
September 2021
Robert
This was an awesome trip .
The 1st time I...
September 2021
Robert
This was an awesome trip .
The 1st time I...
September 2021
Robert
The trip was amazing. It was my first time...
September 2021
Sachin
The trip was amazing. It was my first time...
September 2021
Sachin
The trip was amazing. It was my first time...
September 2021
Sachin

Traverse the 6 peaks of the Rùm Cuillin ridge, topping out on Askival (812m) for the ultimate panorama of the Western Isles

Soak up life on Scotland's hidden gem; an island of no roads, forgotten castles and a mere 29 residents

Wild camp in deserted spots alongside rocky shorelines, keeping watch for eagles, otters, seals, dolphins and the ubiquitous red deer

Key Information

Day 1

Hop on the ferry to Rùm and hike to Harris Bay

Hiking

4hrs · 13km · 310m up · 310m down

Meet your guide at the port in Mallaig. Hop on the 10 o'clock ferry and settle in for the 90-minute crossing with views of the Western Highlands and the nearby Isles of Skye and Eigg. Arriving at Kinloch on Rùm you'll start the hike straight from the jetty, following an excellent trail cutting through the wild interior with spectacular views of the Rùm Cuillin. End up at Harris Bay, a beautiful spot to wild camp, grab a swim in the sea and explore the nearby mausoleum.

Day 2

Harris to Papadil

Hiking

5-6hrs · 9km · 550m up · 500m down

Breakfast and coffee overlooking the bay, keeping watch for otters, sea eagles, seals, dolphins and if you're super lucky orca and basking sharks spend time in the waters around Rùm. Load up the pack for the next hike around the coast, tackling rougher terrain off the trail today with some rocky sections, moorland and bog. You'll definitely see a good number of Rùm's large red deer population around here, and if conditions are good you'll scramble up your first of the island's peaks: Ruinsival. Wild camping tonight is at Papadil, an abandoned settlement on the coast a short walk from Loch Papadil.

Day 3

Papadil to Dibidil

Hiking

4-5hrs · 5km · 400m up · 375m down

Today you’ll continue along an old pony path that steers you through some tricky terrain, it can be slow going as you navigate the rough ground in this wild area. On a clear day, you can see the distant silhouettes of the Outer Hebridean chain of islands; Barra, Uist, Lewis and Harris. Skirt around the edge of Sgùrr nan Gillean as the full arc of the Rùm Cuillin comes into view while you descend towards Dibidil bothy. The camp tonight is in a beautiful spot next to the Dibidil River which flows down from the Cuillin, forming a waterfall into the sea while the Isle of Eigg hovers in the distance. You have your choice of wild swim spots in the river or ocean before some much-needed sleep ahead of tomorrow.

Day 4

The Rùm Cuillin Traverse

Hiking

7-8hrs · 13km · 1590m up · 1625m down

Today is the big day of the expedition with the aim being a full traverse of the Rùm Cuillin. You’ll take in six peaks with lung-busting climbs, exposed ridges and summit scrambles including to the high point of the island at the top of Askival (812m), rewarding you with 360-degree views back along the Rùm Cuillin, across to the Outer Hebrides and over to the famous Black Cuillin mountains on the Isle of Skye. After high-fives on the top of Askival, embark on a fun frolic to the finish line, scrambling down the boulder-strewn peak, along a ridge, up and over Hallival (722m) and down into Kinloch - the only hamlet on the island and home to 29 people, one of whom will cook you up a sumptuous feast while you sip a well-earned beer overlooking the bay.

Day 5

Wave goodbye to the Isle of Rùm

It's time to say cheerio to your new favourite Scottish island as you head back to the jetty to hop on the 10:40 ferry back to Mallaig. Stand out on deck for farewell vistas of the Rùm Cuillin which you successfully traversed yesterday. The adventure ends as the ferry pulls into Mallaig at 14:00.

Day 1

Wild camping · Solo tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Wild camping · Solo tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Hostel · Solo tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

The food on the trip is proper expedition style since there are no shops at all until you reach Kinloch on the evening of Day 4. Your host will bring along lightweight but hearty expedition meals to be distributed so that everyone carries their own food. Expect oats and coffee for breakfast, sandwiches and fruit for lunch and a selection of curries, risottos, pasta and couscous from the array of dehydrated dinners. Make sure to bring along a good supply of your own energy and protein bars. After the big Cuillin traverse on Day 4, you'll be cooked a delicious dinner by one of the locals in Kinloch who runs a small restaurant called Kim's Kitchen. Here you can tuck into venison from Rùm itself, almost certainly the most sustainable meat found anywhere, given the lack of food miles and the need to control the deer population to allow trees and shrubs to regenerate on the island.

Most dietary requirements can be accommodated, including vegetarian and vegan diets.

What is the accommodation like?

Wild Camping

You'll be wild camping at spots on Harris Bay, Papadil and next to the Dibidil River. The locations are stunning and make for a big part of the adventure. You'll stay in a solo tent supplied by your host - you'll need to pack your own sleeping bag and lightweight sleeping mat such as a Thermarest. If you'd prefer a twin tent your host can provide one, please request this at the time of booking.

Rùm Bunkhouse

Your final night is spent at the Isle of Rùm community bunkhouse in Kinloch. You'll stay in 4-bed rooms, or twin rooms depending on group size and availability. The bunkhouse is situated on a gravel track right on the waterfront a short walk from the jetty. It has a spacious and comfortable living and dining area with a log burner, plus all-important hot showers after your days in the wilderness.

Upgrades

Due to the very limited space at the bunkhouse and a lack of alternative accommodation on the island, private room upgrades are not possible on this trip. You will automatically have a solo tent for the 3 nights of wild camping.

This trip has been rated as Challenging

A good level of fitness is recommended - you'll be out for up to 9 hours in a mountain environment moving over challenging terrain and ascending considerable heights on Day 4. The scrambling along the Cuillin ranges from grade 1-3, but all sections are more than doable alongside your experienced and highly qualified mountain guides. Some previous hillwalking experience is recommended for you to get the most out of this trip, and we suggest putting in some light training for this adventure by going on some hikes carrying a backpack in your local area in the lead up.

What will I need to carry?

You will be carrying your gear throughout the hike, including a sleeping bag, tent and food. Your load will be lighter on Day 4 for the big push over the Rum Cuillin. Make sure to bring along a sense of adventure and a willingness to go with the flow!

The weather in the Western Isles can easily offer all four seasons in one day so you should be prepared as such. Your guides will be assessing the weather constantly and will adjust the route based on wind and wet weather predictions. Weather is important for the Cuillin traverse with wet rock taking twice as long to cross as dry rock so this will be factored into the plan for the day. It's important to bring good waterproof clothing, dry bags and ideally Goretex hiking boots - see the kit list for more detail.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Mallaig

09:00 on Day 1

Ends

Mallaig

14:00 on Day 5

Transfers

The start and end point of the trip is in Mallaig. You'll need to make your own way to the Mallaig ferry terminal at 09:00 to leave plenty of time ahead of the 10:10 ferry departing for Rùm. Your host will meet you at the ferry terminal. There is a Co-op store round the corner to grab any last-minute supplies.

Travel options

Rail travellers are in for a treat. You can take the West Highland Line to Mallaig through one of the most scenic rail routes in the world, passing over the Glenfinnan Viaduct – used in the Harry Potter films for the Hogwarts Express. If you're taking the train to Mallaig you'll need to arrive the day before the trip starts and spend the night in Mallaig as there are no trains that will get you into Mallaig in time for the 10:10 ferry.

Mallaig is roughly a 3 hours and 30 minutes drive from Glasgow, 4 hours from Edinburgh. You can leave your vehicle for free in the long stay car park adjacent to the ferry port, on the left as you drive into town. There are three rapid electric vehicle charging points available in Mallaig at the West Bay Car Park, approximately 300m from the ferry terminal.

Mallaig is easily reached by bus from Glasgow with a change in Fort William. Shiel Buses operate a service departing from Fort William which will officially link up with the ferry departure at 10:10 on day 1.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Solo expedition tent
  • Sleeping mat

Your host will also carry essential group equipment such as a first aid kit and group shelter.

What do I need to bring?

Pack as light as you can, you'll be carrying everything for the whole trip.

BAGS

  • Hiking rucksack (we recommend 45-60 litres) with waterproof liner
  • 2 x drybags: one for your tent and one for your sleeping bag

CLOTHES

  • Good quality waterproof hiking boots (not shoes)
  • Long hiking trousers (not shorts)
  • Hiking socks, two or three pairs
  • Thermal base layer, merino best
  • Fleece top – not cotton
  • Synthetic or down jacket, ideally lightweight and packable with stuff sack
  • Heavy-duty waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Hat
  • A pair of good gloves
  • Neck buff
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Insect repellant - Smidge is good for when the midges are around
  • Power bank or solar charger

OTHER

  • Sleeping bag, season 3 rated, ideally as lightweight as possible
  • Lightweight camping pillow
  • Head torch
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Energy snacks
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Lightweight towel
  • Tick remover

OPTIONAL

  • Walking poles (if you like to use them)
  • Extra dry bags for clothes or valuables

No optional extras are available for this trip.

Ian(May 2024)
Fantastic Trip
Fantastic Trip

OMG, this was everything I dreamed of and more... When I first booked I thought it was a bit pricey, but it's not as you couldn't do it without the support and the guide. Rum is a beautiful island, completely unspoilt with fantastic views of many other islands from every vantage point, and a great mountain and ridge in the middle. The guide we had Lizzie, was just a super girl, positive, knowledgeable, patient and I got the feeling she was in about 2nd gear at most taking us up the hills. Camping was great, food was better than I ever imagined vacuum packed meals would be, and the whole thing was just a huge adventure and switch off from the real world. You need some basic fitness, and maybe I should have practiced a bit more with carrying a full bag, but it was all OK as I am pretty fit anyway. Would I recommend, yes 100%, saw deer, goats, and an eagle plus the islands of Eig, Muck and Skye from the hills and a lovely bothy ay Dibildil, where I also got to have a cold water dip. Last day is the big day, but Lizzie built us up for Askival summit and we all got there. Do it is my advice

Robert(July 2023)

Fantastic trip - highly recommended! Very well planned, with excellent guides. If you want some remoteness with stunning scenery, likeminded company, and don't mind carrying a heavy backpack, then this trip is for you! (Weather not guaranteed unfortunately.....)

Stuart(May 2023)

Absolutely excellent guides, views and crew - an extremely wild adventure I will never forget!

Robert(May 2023)

Excellent adventure.

Michael(September 2022)

Rum was unfortunately closed due to bird flu outbreak but we ended up with an equally great trip on knoydart! Our guides Jamie and Rachel were fantastic, the scenery was amazing as well and even though we weren't on rum, the sense of wilderness on knoydart was quite something! Make sure you're happy walking long distances with a heavy pack on this trip!

David(July 2022)
Looking for great scenery, and not bumping...
Looking for great scenery, and not bumping...
Looking for great scenery, and not bumping...
Looking for great scenery, and not bumping...

Looking for great scenery, and not bumping into lots of other hikers, do this trip. Absolutely gorgeous landscapes - I will be thinking about the views and the trip for years to come. Admittedly, we were lucky with the weather, which helped. (Even the train journey from Glasgow - Mallaig has stunning views before you even start hiking).

Jo(July 2022)
This was a fantastic trip - I was excited a...

This was a fantastic trip - I was excited about it and it went far beyond what I expected. Helped along by great weather, but largely that was due to a top leader - in Jeannie - and a great (and eclectic) group! 3 days of trekking and camping without meeting another living sole - you'd have to travel some to match that. Campsites to die for. Challenging peaks. Great swimming holes. Kit better than my own. Top food (if anything too much!) - all rounded off with a local venison steak and wine at the Rum Community Centre. A1+

Louise(July 2022)
We didn’t go to the Isle of Rùm due to terr...
We didn’t go to the Isle of Rùm due to terr...
We didn’t go to the Isle of Rùm due to terr...

We didn’t go to the Isle of Rùm due to terrible weather, so we went to the Cairngorms instead- where we ended up camping in a gale! The tents broke, so for the final two nights we were in accommodation in Fort William. Connor was a fantastic guide and helped us to make the most of a trip that definitely didn’t go according to plan!

Megan(June 2022)

Although we didn't get to Rum, Connor bent over backwards to make this trip an experience for us and he was constantly thinking on his feet in the most unexpected adverse conditions! The food was great, the company was great, and we all had a fantastic adventure, despite it not being quite what we'd signed up for!

Ja(June 2022)
We wanted to do Isle of Rum expedition, ins...
We wanted to do Isle of Rum expedition, ins...
We wanted to do Isle of Rum expedition, ins...
We wanted to do Isle of Rum expedition, ins...
We wanted to do Isle of Rum expedition, ins...

We wanted to do Isle of Rum expedition, instead we got a much better adventure. Namely, weather conditions on Isle of Rum during our planed tay were extremely bad and basically dangerous. The amazing guide, Connor, was quick on his feet and instead of us being miserably stuck in tents or cancelling our tour, he proposed to take the adventure to Cairngorms, where weather forecast was drastically better. After the whole group enthusiastically agreed, he created a matching itinerary of our hiking program on Rum and we had a truly lovely time! He even taught us the basics of scrambling and showed us "the roads less traveled" in the area, so our trip felt truly special ! All in all, it was a wonderful adventure ! Thanks Connor !

Jessica(June 2022)
Don’t mind what the Scottish weather throws...
Don’t mind what the Scottish weather throws...
Don’t mind what the Scottish weather throws...