I got an email recently from Paul Quinn, a local from the Ballycastle area who runs regular tours of Rathlin Island for individuals and groups.
We went across to Rathlin a couple of months ago with the family, and I really wish I’d known about Paul back then. He’d probably have advised us to attempt a walking trip without the children!
His email reminded me that Rathlin is Northern Ireland’s only inhabited island, and sent me some information about the types of walk he undertakes:
A selection of walks is available, ranging in duration and distance. The shortest option is around the central area of the island. Lasting about an hour, there is time to hear about some of the buildings and sites along the way. Or what about a visit to the nature trails at Ballyconaghan? This would involve one and a half to two hours, including time on pasture/heathland tracks. Another possibility is a walk to Rue Point where, in season, breeding ducks and gulls may be viewed together with the resident seals. Other routes are also available: just ask!
Paul has been visiting Rathlin for over 30 years, and is an enthusiastic birdwatcher (an activity the island is renowned for). He’s got a great knowledge of the history of the island and regularly takes groups of up to 40 people for tours.
If you’d like to arrange a tour with Paul, you can contact him on 028 7032 7960 or 0774 5566 924 or visit his website. I may arrange a weekend tour myself over the summer, so I’ll let you know how it went!
See some more pictures of Rathlin Island as taken by Alison McFaul..