Do you have an interest in birds or wildlife? Rathlin boasts Northern Ireland’s largest seabird colony and panoramic coastal views. At the Seabird Centre, you will enjoy close-up views of Northern Ireland’s biggest seabird colony, with puffins and other seabirds congregating in their thousands to breed from late April to July. They have also been working to create ideal habitat for corncrakes at Church Bay, Craigmacagan, Knockans and Roonivoolin reserves. Keep on the lookout for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm. Rathlin Island is comprised mainly of rugged cliffs, unimproved grassland managed for corncrake. There are also several lakes.
From the visitor centre it is a short scenic walk and 98 steps down to the viewing platform, with binoculars and telescopes available. As part of Irish Lights’ Great Lighthouses of Ireland trail, visitors can also explore the unique ‘upside down’ lighthouse, learning about its history and the people who lived and worked there. There are a further 64 steps to the bottom of the lighthouse tower. Occasionally you can enjoy watching islanders racing hand-crafted model sailing boats around Ushet Lough, a traditional sport combining skill and tactics in friendly competition.