Rathlin Island is a walker's paradise. The roads are mainly well-surfaced and they arenât too busy, while you can also walk off road in permitted areas. Your guide is Paul Quinn, a native of the Causeway Coast and a keen explorer of the history and heritage of his local area who hasÂ built up an intimate knowledge of the island and its way of life throughÂ exploration and study. Walk options range from 90 minutes to a full day. Advance booking is essential and the details of your itineraryÂ will be agreed at that point.
The Mill Bay Meander
This walk departs both in the morning and in the afternoon from Church Bay and will last for one hour approximately. Start time depends on Rathlin Ferry arrival time. The walk is on surfaced roads, at a gentle space with few inclines. Expect to see seals and shorebirds (perhaps Curlew, Oystercatcher and Herring Gull). You will pass old buildings and hear their story. Shipwrecks didn’t just happen in the days of sail: you will hear about HMS Drake, sunk in WW1 and a ship wrecked as recently as 29 January 2007. The walk lasts a bit more than an hour and children are welcome. Find out what it is like to live on Rathlin today. How are children educated? What if you suddenly get sick? What’s the chances of getting a speeding ticket? What jobs are important?
The Lower End Walk
By “The Lower End” we mean the part of Rathlin that points south, towards Ballycastle and Fair Head. It’s called that because it is lower in elevation compared to the other portion. That larger portion points west and is referred to as “The Upper End”. A stream, entering the sea beside St Thomas’ Church, forms the boundary between the two Ends.
This walk takes place on a combination of surfaced roads and designated trails. Different routes are available so please ask at time of booking. If you walk to the Rue Lighthouse along the spectacular cliffs at Roonivoolin you will be covering about half the island. Keep your ears open to hear the distinctive call of the Chough: an island bird rarity. Altacarry or Rathlin East Lighthouse is another way to go. Unfortunately you can’t get to see round the East light. If you visit the RSPB Seabird Centre (other end of Rathlin), you will be able to see inside that Lighthouse.
Hear the tale of Robert the Bruce or stories of the many other battles fought on Rathlin. You could hike towards the lonely Coastguard Hut, looking out for Buzzard, Raven and Peregrine.
This walk lasts around for 4 hours, be prepared to get muddy at times. This tour is unsuitable for children.
The Round the Houses Walk
The walk is on a combination of trails, clifftop and surfaced roads off with different route options, but all offering you a great opportunity to cover many parts of Rathlin.
In late spring see orchids and maybe the rare Pyramidal Bugle (a favourite of your guide). This walk will last for over 7 hours, but at a relaxed pace. It is sometimes combined with a bus journey, which is at additional cost and subject to availability. With the time at your disposal you could visit all three of Rathlin’s lighthouses. Plenty to see and learn with lots to chat about. This tour is suitable for adults with a good level of fitness (not suitable for children).
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
A minimum of 5 people per booking is required
Not recommended for participants with back problems
Due to uneven surfaces, this tour is not recommended for those with walking disabilities or using a wheelchair
Subject to favorable weather conditions. If canceled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund