Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island

The ferry to Rathlin Island travels just six miles across the Sea of Moyle. This island is six miles long, one mile wide, "L" shaped and home to a slowly increasing population of around 140 people.

A short walk from the harbour is the Boathouse Visitor Centre, where visitors can discover some of the exciting history, learn about present day island life and see some artefacts from shipwrecks around the island. Walk a little further to Mill Bay and you may see some of the resident seals.

At the other side of the harbour are two churches where visitors can sit quietly or just admire the architecture. 

Many tales of myth and mystery surround Rathlin; perhaps the most famous tells of Robert the Bruce. In 1306, the Scottish King was driven from Scotland by Edward I of England and took refuge on Rathlin where he watched a spider persevering again and again to bridge a gap with its web. Eventually it succeeded. Taking heart from the spider's efforts, he returned to Scotland and eventually regained his crown. 

The island has a range of accommodation to suit different needs, a pub, restaurant, community shop and gift shop, offering Rathlin produced crafts. ‘Breakwater Studio’ features the work of local artist Yvonne Braithwaite.

The Rathlin Development & Community Association (RDCA) is the voluntary body that represents the Rathlin community and manages an informative website with detailed information about services and activities on the island www.rathlincommunity.org 



Opening Hours

Ferry times to Rathlin Island can be found at http://www.rathlinballycastleferry.com/timetable/ 



Rathlin Ferry tickets are priced at:

Adult Return –  £12.00

Child Return (aged 5-15) –  £6.00

Family Day Return (2 adults + 2 children) –  £32.00

Bicycles are £3.30 return (bicycles must be booked through office as restrictions apply)

Under 5’s and senior citizens who are resident in Northern Ireland with a valid Smartpass travel free.


Vehicle capacity is available on the ferry however some restrictions apply. Contact Ballycastle Ferry Terminal for details.


Getting There

The ferry to Rathlin Island leaves from the Ballycastle Ferry Terminal which is located off North Street in Ballycastle.

Walk Trails

Circular, 1.8 miles

Rathlin Ballyconaghan Trail. An enjoyable trail on open ground with stunning coastal views.

Circular, 4 miles

Rathlin Island Roonivoolin Walk. A breathtaking cliff top and lakeland walk.

Circular, 1.9 miles

Rathlin Kebble Cliff Walk. A waymarked trail across open ground with coastal views.

Circular, 2.1 miles

Rathlin Kinramer North Walk. A waymarked trail across open ground with coastal views.

Circular, 1.9 miles

Rathlin Kinramer Trail. A waymarked trail across open ground with coastal views.

Linear, 4 miles

Rathlin Trail. Coastal walk with splendid land and seascapes.

Cycling Routes

Linear, 8 miles

Rathlin Island. Escape to seascapes, landscapes and wild wonders.

Canoeing Routes

Church Bay. On the North Coast Sea Kayak Trail Canoe Trail.


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Rathlin Island

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Photo of Rathlin IslandPhoto of Rathlin Island
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