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The Small Isles are often called the hidden gems of the Western Isles, providing a walking paradise for those seeking wilderness and solitude, alongside the better-known Rum. Highlights include, on Rum, the towering volcanic peaks of the Rum Cuillin, Kinloch Castle, Kilmory bay; An Sgurr and Cleadale on Eigg; Canna's towering cliffs and rock stacks; the verdant landscape and sparkling shores of Muck; and the white sand bays and flower-carpeted machair of Coll and Tiree. Each island is different and has its own introduction here, with detailed information on geology, history and wildlife, as well as local amenities. The Small Isles have few roads and visitors may bring vehicles only by special arrangement, and, although amenities are excellent, they are far from extensive. This rare isolation makes the islands a haven for walkers wanting to immerse themselves in the peace and freedom of wild landscapes unaffected by large-scale tourism. The routes range from a long round of the Rum Cuillin and a pathless backpack around the coast of Rum to easy day walks. But conditions can be wet, rough and changeable, so this guide has advice on what to take, as well as detailed route descriptions and OS maps.
Overview map; Introduction; When to go; Getting to the Small Isles; Maps, route finding and access; Safety and emergencies; What to take; Using this guide; Rum; Introduction; 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; Eigg; Introduction; Walk 8 An Sgurr and Grulin; Walk 9 Around the coast and cliffs of north Eigg; Canna; Introduction; Walk 10 Around the coast of Canna; Walk 11 Around Sanday; Muck; Introduction; Walk 12 Around the coast of Muck; Coll; Introduction; Walk 13 Coll's western tip; Walk 14 Ben Hogh and the Breachacha castles; Tiree; Introduction; 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
Peter Edwards grew up in Sussex and nurtured a love of walking amid the hills of the South Downs. He has undertaken numerous walking and cycling expeditions in Europe and beyond and is drawn to wild and remote landscapes in particular. He moved to Glasgow in 2006.