Project Description

Full Monty Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island, the only inhabited offshore island in Northern Ireland, rests on the waters between Scotland and Ireland.

Rathlin Island is six miles long, one mile wide, “L” shaped and six miles across the Sea of Moyle from Ballycastle.  It is a rugged and picturesque island steeped in a rich history, vibrant mythology, maritime heritage and diverse wildlife.

Rathlin has long associations with both Scotland and Ireland.  It once lay at the heart of the ancient Dal Riada Kingdom.

Departing from Ballycastle you will cross the Sound of Rathlin to make a full circumnavigation of the island, allowing you to see Rathlin’s beautiful coastline, shipwreck sites, lighthouses, seals at Ushet Port and Bruce’s Cave.

From April to July is puffin season and as well as Puffins other breeding seabirds include guillemot, kittiwake, razorbill and fulmar.  Rathlin Island is also home to Northern Ireland’s only pair of breeding chough and more recently corncrake.

Seals and seabirds are not the only non-human inhabitants of the island.  Rathlin is home to the beautiful Rathlin Golden Hare which displays a distinct genetic variation producing individuals with blue eyes. Whilst hare colonies in other locations in Ireland have declined, Rathlin remains a stronghold for Irish hares.

Upon landing on the island itself visitors will find a scenic harbour with a Boathouse Visitor Centre.  Here visitors can discover some of the exciting history of Rathlin and its people, learn about present day island life and see some artefacts from shipwrecks around the island. There are many walks on the Island  including along the shore to Mill Bay where you may see some of the resident seals basking or at play.

Close to the harbour there is a takeaway The Hungry Seal  and public house McCuaig’s where you can relax, dine and enjoy refreshments or even live music.  The local Co-Op also offers delicious freshly made snacks to go if you want to picnic on the beach or eat while exploring.

Before leaving Rathlin visitors can peruse the beautiful locally made gifts and crafts in the Rathlin Gift Shop or drop by the ‘Breakwater Studio’ which features the work of local artist Yvonne Braithwaite.

  • Great for:  Sight-seeing, family day out, adventurers, photographers, historians, video producers, wild-life enthusiasts
  • Private Charter:  Only your group onboard
  • Duration: 4 hours plus
  • Not suitable for small children or dogs
  • Fast RHIB Experience:  Some restrictions apply
  • Text/Call Lynn on +44(0)7845 370231 to check availability or book 

Message from Rathlin Residents

Message from Rathlin

“This is always the highlight of our summer holiday up the North Coast. We have been on many trips with Tim and every time it feels like it is the first trip as he makes them all individual and fantastic fun. From the young to the old in our family and friendship group this trip suits everyone. We have seen dolphins, seals and last year puffins flying past us so close that you feel that’s you could reach out and touch them. Rathlin is always a firm favourite via Carrick-a-rede rope bridge as we stop at the pub for chips and refreshments. There is nothing like seeing this amazing coastline from a rib and the kids love the speed and the parents like the knowledge that we are in the safest hands with Tim who has many years of experience. We are already planning our next trip. I love seeing the kids faces with their huge smiles during this trip and hear the chatter about it after the trip. A superb experience from start to finish.”

Christine W.

“I can’t recommend this enough. I have been on boat trips all around the world and this was the best. We went round Rathlin Island from Ballycastle. Saw some amazing sights nesting birds on the cliff faces the noise was incredible. We saw seals and puffins andTim was great with his knowledge of the area, the ocean and the wildlife. We were advised that it would be a calmer trip to stay closer to the coast but we were keen to go round the island and we did get a bit wet which made it more exciting but we were always safe.

If you’re in the area it’s a must. We all loved Northern Ireland but the boat trip was everyone’s favourite.”

Robert H.

“5++ stars
Such a great day’s craic with Tim and Ben. I would highly recommend the Full Monty trip for everyone. A great way to see Rathlin and the beautiful coastline with all the information on wildlife, geology, important landmarks and historical events. With skipper, Tim, and son Ben at the helm, it’s all about safety first then enjoyment. RNLI rocks! No problem with nervous embarkees like Joanne! Maybe keep a spare pair of socks and trainers on the boat, Tim! Good oul Norn Iron banter. Thanks from the noisy group of giggling girlies.”

Heather W.

“we LOVED every second of our trip …from we started till we finished it was AMAZING ! We had a beautiful meal at the pub on Rathlin Island and enjoyed the running commentary throughout the cruise ..Allan and myself will do this again SOON …SUPERB !!!”

Jenny C.R.

“Absolutely fabulous trip on the water today. Tim was so accommodating of my sons needs (quadriplegic CP). We all had a blast!!”

Wendy H.

+44 (0) 7845 370231

call or text Lynn to book or make enquiries

Discover Abhainn Cruises Trips by Interest

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