Description

A must-visit for unrivalled views of Northern Ireland's largest seabird colony and a chance to explore Rathlin's unique 'upside down' lighthouse.

Just six miles off County Antrim's north coast, Rathlin Island is a world away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Before you even step ashore, look out for gannets, gulls and dolphins during the ferry crossing. Once on the island, head four miles west (by private bus, bike or on foot) to the RSPB NI Seabird Centre. Here you'll have close-up views of Northern Ireland's biggest seabird colony, where puffins and thousands of other seabirds jostle for space from May to July.

Rathlin Island is Northern Ireland's only inhabited island and is also home to one of the UK's largest seabird colonies.

The Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre, perched on the cliffs overlooking the colony, is one of Northern Ireland's most iconic tourist destinations.

In summer, the seabird colony is a real assault on the senses – the sight and sound of tens of thousands of birds, including puffins, razorbills, guillemots and kittiwakes, jostling for space is like nothing else.

Friendly staff and volunteers are always on hand to answer any questions you may have, and binoculars and telescopes are available to use free of charge.
  • Rathlin Island
  • Rathlin
  • Antrim
  • BT54 6RT

Top Reasons To Visit

  • A seabird spectacular like no other
  • Access to the unique West Lighthouse
  • A taste of island life just six miles from the north coast
  • A chance to explore Rathlin, NI's only inhabited island
  • Rathlin West Light

    As well as the amazing wildlife spectacle, visitors to the Seabird Centre can explore the lighthouse itself. Situated at the heart of the colony, it is a spectacular feat of engineering, clinging to the cliff face with the lantern gleaming red at its foot.

    Visitors can access this unique, fully operational lighthouse and learn about its history, its people and the role of Irish Lights in maritime safety today.

    Along with 11 other lighthouses around the Irish coast, Rathlin West Light is part of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland Trail – all of which will offer unforgettable experiences and create a deep appreciation of the role of lighthouses and the seafaring story of the island of Ireland.

  • Visitor Information

    The Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre will be open from 1 April – 15 September 2019. Please visit www.rathlinballycastleferry.com to book your ferry crossing.

    Please note that while the main visitor centre is accessible, there is an 89 step descent to the viewing platform and a similar number of steps down through the lighthouse.

    For more information about the Seabird Centre, visit the website. To find out more about the Great Lighthouses of Ireland Trail, visit www.greatlighthouses.com.

  • Opening Hours and Prices

    Admission Prices:

    • Free for RSPB members
    • Adults: £5
    • Children and concessions: £2.50.

    The Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre is open from:

    • 1 April – 16 September 2019
    • 1 – 30 April 2019: 11am – 4pm
    • 1 May – 31 August 2019: 10am – 5pm
    • 1 – 15 September 2019: 11am – 4pm.

You might also like

  • Titanic Belfast
    Titanic Belfast
    Attractions

    Titanic Belfast

    2.72KM

    Titanic Belfast is the world's largest Titanic visitor experience and a must-see on any visit to Belfast and…

    Find Out More
  • Crumlin Road Gaol
    Crumlin Road Gaol
    Attractions

    Crumlin Road Gaol

    1.82KM

    The Crumlin Road Gaol is a 19th century Grade A listed jail, open to the public for tours,…

    Find Out More
  • Antrim Lough Shore Park
    Antrim Lough Shore Park
    Attractions

    Antrim Lough Shore Park

    36.92KM

    Situated on the shores of Lough Neagh, Antrim Lough Shore Park is an area of natural beauty with…

    Find Out More
  • Hickson's Point
    Hickson's Point
    Attractions

    Hickson's Point

    2.54KM

    Inspired by one of the first ship builders in the city, Hickson’s Point at Titanic Belfast offers an…

    Find Out More
  • The Belfast Gin and Spirits School
    The Belfast Gin and Spirits School
    Attractions

    The Belfast Gin and Spirits School

    1.07KM

    The Belfast Gin and Spirits School offers an opportunity to see the first spirit to be distilled in…

    Find Out More
  • Drumglass Park
    Drumglass Park
    Attractions

    Drumglass Park

    3.74KM

    Drumglass Park is located between the Lisburn and Malone Roads in south Belfast. It is popular with families…

    Find Out More
  • Ulster Museum
    Ulster Museum
    Attractions

    Ulster Museum

    1.73KM

    Come face to face with dinosaurs, meet an ancient Egyptian mummy and see modern masterpieces with a visit…

    Find Out More
  • Linen Quarter
    Linen Quarter
    See & Do

    Linen Quarter

    0.22KM

    The historic Linen Quarter is rapidly becoming one of the most vibrant, must visit areas of the city,…

    Find Out More
Ask Us
Ask Us

We're here to help, so if you can't find the info you're after, or you just want to ask a really odd question, then we're here for you.

Ask A Question

Ask a Question

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Start
Choose a date
End
Choose a date
Back To Top
In order to display distances relevant to you, we'd like to be able to use your GPS location. Privacy Policy
In order to display distances relevant to your current position, we'd need to be able to use your GPS location. To find out more about how we use your location, please read our Privacy Policy
You have previously denied access to your GPS location. In order to allow access to your location, you need to update your site settings through your browser settings to allow this site access to your location.

To find out more about how we use your location, please read our Privacy Policy
Your settings have been updated. They will take effect next time you refresh the page.
By default, all distances on the site are calculated from Belfast City Centre. You can choose a different starting point here, or specify your own.
Open 'Ask a Question' window Close 'Ask a Question' window

Ask a Question

X

Hide this tool

Open 'Sign up for Newsletter' window Close 'Sign up for Newsletter' window

Visit Belfast Newsletter

X

Sign up to the Visit Belfast newsletter and receive inspiring ideas, events and offers which showcase the best of Belfast and Northern Ireland.

Sign-Up

Hide this tool