14km (8 2/3 miles) SW of the Isle of Skye

The enticingly named island of Rhum is only about 13km (8 miles) wide and 13km (8 miles) long. There are those who advise against visiting: "If you like a barren desert where it rains all the time, you'll love Rhum," a skipper in Mallaig once told us, and his comment remains true today. It's stark, all right. And very wet. In fact, with more than 229 centimeters (90 in.) of rainfall recorded annually, it's said to be the wettest island of the Inner Hebrides.

Since the mid-1950s, Rhum has been owned by the Edinburgh-based Nature Conservancy Council, an ecological conservation group. Attempts are being made to bring back the sea eagle, which inhabited the island in Queen Victoria's day. On this storm-tossed outpost in summer, mountain climbers meet challenging peaks and anglers come for good trout fishing. Bird lovers seek out the Manx shearwaters that live on the island in great numbers. Red deer and ponies, along with the wildflowers of summer, add color to an otherwise bleak landscape.