Rathlin Island

Cycling Route

Please note the Sea Bird Sanctuary will be closed for major refurbishment during the 2014 Summer Season.

There will be no access to the West Lighthouse while work is ongoing. The work will improve the facilities on the Seabird Centre making the experience at Rathlin better than ever.

There will still be plenty to see and do on Rathlin Island this sumer with new walks, cycle hire and bus tours of the Island.
For events taking place on the Island check:

Rathlin Island Ferry Service from Ballycastle.
Tel 028 207 69299

Booking recommended

Traffic: Generally traffic is restricted to Islanders only, so apart from a minibus there are few cars and farm vehicles. Walkers also use this route and there may be cattle on the unfenced stretch through the nature reserve.

Nearest town:

Church Bay


14 miles

OS map:


Start Point:


Finish Point:



A steep ascent from the harbour in Church Bay, then fairly level, tarmac road for three miles. Dismount at the two cattle grids. Rough, unfenced, gravel track for final mile.

Point of interest:

Harbour side activities and amenities including Boathouse visitor centre. Emigration Memorial, with views to East Lighthouse, Kintyre, FairHead and Causeway Coast.
Cliff side, culitvated and grazed fields, provide habitat for Northern Ireland's only breeding pair of chough. Ancient meadows, rich in botanical interest are hidden havens for hares. A Neolithic quarry site, where Stone Age men extracted porcellanite for fashioning into tools and weapons is situated at the base of a rocky coutcrop in the middle of the island. Wheatears, stonechats and skylarks fill the air with sounds, while peregrines, buzzards and ravens watch for prey.


Car parking at ferry terminal
Cycle hire on island 207 63954
Accommodation, refreshment and toilets at Church Bay.

Accessibility information:

Disabled badge holders may travel with vehicle to island (prebooking must be made at Rathlin/Ballycastle Ferry Co.
Mainly public, tarmac road with rough gravel section at end (1 mile).

Accessible toilet facilities:


Publication availability:

RSPB Northern Ireland Headquarters 028 9049 1547

The nearest Tourist Information Centre is:

Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre
Are you the owner/manager of this business? Click here to update Are you the Product owner? Click here to submit updates.