Small Isles

Small Isles

The Small Isles are at the centre of this Hebrides map
Blaeu's 1654 Atlas of Scotland - The Small Isles. Rum is at centre, surrounded by "Kannay', 'Egg' and 'Muck'.

The Small Isles (Scottish Gaelic: Na h-Eileanan Tarsainn)[1] are a small archipelago of islands in the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland. They lie south of Skye and north of Mull and Ardnamurchan – the most westerly point of mainland Scotland.

A distant view of Eigg, with the hills of Rùm behind

The four main islands are Canna, Rùm, Eigg and Muck. The largest is Rùm with an area of 105 square kilometres (41 sq mi).

The islands now form part of Lochaber, in the Highland council area. Until 1891 Canna, Rùm and Muck were historically part of the counties of Argyll; Eigg was historically part of Inverness-shire, and all of the Small Isles were in Inverness-shire, from 1891 to 1975. The Gaelic name is literally "cross isles" referring to their position between Morar and The Uists.[1]

Smaller islands surrounding the main four include:

  • Sanday, separated from Canna by a narrow tidal channel;[2]
  • Eilean Chathastail, near Eigg and
  • Eilean nan Each (Horse Island), near north coast of Muck (NM3981)

There are also a number of skerries:

  • Hyskeir, (not to be confused with Heisker or the Monach Islands in the Outer Hebrides)
  • Garbh Sgeir,
  • Eagamol, near Eilean nan Each
  • Humla, and
  • two places called Dubh Sgeir

The Small Isles is one of 40 National Scenic Areas in Scotland.[3]


  1. ^ a b Iain Mac an Tàilleir. "Placenames" (PDF). Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  2. ^ "History of Canna". Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  3. ^ "National Scenic Areas". SNH. Retrieved 30 Mar 2011.