Rathlin Island has recently undergone a complete upgrade of its Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre making it a must-visit destination for everyone in Northern Ireland, it’s certainly on my list!
Visitors can now experience the ‘upside down’ lighthouse built on Rathlin’s cliffs as well as one of the largest breeding seabird colonies in Europe with birds such as Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills and Kittiwakes making the island their home.
Rachel Quigg, Communications, Destination & PR Officer at Tourism Northern Ireland is encouraging everyone to check out Rathlin Island for themselves over the coming months.
“If you are looking for a magical place to spend a day or even an exciting weekend then Rathlin Island is the place for you. This hidden gem is simply brimming with things to see and do and is ideal for those who like to get out and about or who have a keen interest in wildlife.
“Visitors will be surrounded by stunning scenery and the locals will be sure to give you a warm welcome so don’t delay and flock to Rathlin” added Rachel.
Tourism Northern Ireland has put together a list of upcoming events and ways to discover more about Rathlin Island:
Rathlin Island has an exciting calendar of upcoming events including the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival which celebrates the stunning scenery, diverse attractions and local culture of Ballycastle Town and Rathlin Island. Starting with the unique boat-blessing event at Ballycastle seafront and Marina on Friday, May 27 and continuing until the closing event on Rathlin Island on June 5, the festival is sure to have something for everyone.
On June 5, the final day of the Festival, Naturally North Coast and Glens Market will arrive in Rathlin Island allowing visitors to take a stroll through a wide variety of stalls taking in the fresh aromas, vivid colours and buzzing crowds.
In July, more cultural celebrations will take place on the island in the shape of the Rathlin Island Festival Week, July 10-17. The annual week of music and celebration will include amateur dramatics, model yacht races, ceildhs, and much more.
Explore the Island
When it comes to seeing the beauty of Rathlin Island, visitors have many options throughout the year including exploring by boat, bicycle or on foot. The island boasts four walks which join the already existing Rathlin Trail and Roonivoolin Walk to provide just under 20 miles of walking trails, right around the island.
Walking tours are available courtesy of Coastal Walking Tours and participants can take in the beautiful sights and sounds of the island whilst learning more about its rich heritage and history. Alternatively why not hire a bike from Soerneog View Hostel and cycle around the island at your own pace.
Rathlin Island Boat Tours are another exciting way to explore the island as visitors will leave Portrush harbour and sail along the Causeway Coast, taking in the Skerries, Dunluce Castle, the Giant’s Causeway, White Park Bay, Ballintoy, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and then over to Rathlin Island. Once on the island, visitors will spend time exploring the Puffin sanctuary and the West Lighthouse.
There are great accommodation options on Rathlin Island including Coolnagrock Bed & Breakfast,The Hayloft, Soerneog View Hostel (reopens April 14th), Kinramer Cottage and Rathlin Island Hostel.
For further information on things to see and do in Northern Ireland click onwww.discovernorthernireland.com.