Rathlin Island is a boot shaped island that lies just off the causeway coast at Ballycastle. It is eight miles long and less than one mile wide.The island has a population of about 100 people and is absolutely hiving with wildlife. It is a perfect setting for many seabird species as it is quiet with very little traffic.The only way to get to the island is by passenger ferry from Ballycastle and it only carries vehicles by special request.

The island is great for a day out, especially if you are a keen bird-watcher, cyclist or rambler. The RSPB have a superb bird sanctuary and viewpoint at the West Lighthouse. You can expect to see Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills and Peregrine Falcons. Other wildlife includes Irish Hares and Seals.

What you should know

If you are interested in the Puffins, the best time to visit Rathlin is around early June.

You can get the ferry across from Ballycastle and walk to the bird sanctuary. It is about 5 miles from the harbour. There is also a mini-bus service if you prefer. You can hire bicycles at the harbour if you would rather cycle around the island.


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Map showing location of Rathlin Island

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