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I’ve written a few times about our trips to the Isle of Rum. You can find one of them here If you’ve never heard of it, it’s an island on the West coast of Scotland and you reach it by ferry from Mallaig. Although is the largest of the Small Isles, it has a very new and upcoming community being built on it. For quite some time it was known as the Forbidden Isle and was purely a nature reserve that you couldn’t visit. Times, they are a changing.
So although Rum was and still is primarily a nature reserve, there is one really rather unique feature on the island that has nothing to do with nature at all. Kinloch castle is unmissable as the ferry comes towards docking at Rum. It’s imposing structure invites you to wonder more as you walk past it towards the village shop. What is the story behind it?
Here’s just a snippet of the history, I’d never do the whole thing justice! The castle was built in the late 1800’s from stone that came from the Isle of Arran and was in effect a holiday home for one of the richest men in the UK at that time – Sir George Bullough. It took three years to build and if it was priced in todays money would have cost £15 million pounds!
Intrigued? Not what you’d expect to find? No, me neither!
We took a castle tour on our most recent visit to Rum and found it way more enjoyable than I expected it to be. I’d heard stories that the castle was falling down and really in a bad state, and I just didn’t have high hopes for the tour, thinking it would be all about broken plaster! Mel, the castle manager, took us round and injected such a huge amount of enthusiasm into the place that it really brought it to life for us. It’s also not just empty rooms, but they are all full of trinkets and artefacts that really bring the place to life. That combined with the wonderful story telling made it such a wonderful tour.
Knowing some of the personal stories and seeing the view that the Bullough’s had when they woke in their rooms means I’ll certainly never look at the castle the same way again and it’s brought a whole new dimension to the island. I highly recommend visiting it if you can!