Rathlin Adventures....

Last month we took a sailing trip to Rathlin Island.  We set off on a Sunday with the most amazing weather, which is always nice!

We were setting off from Glenarm but before we did we had a wander up into the forrest….

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The light was dappled through the leaves of the trees.

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There were swathes of wild garlic, the smell was quite something.

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Glenarm Castle.

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Some whispy cow parsley by the gate of the forrest.

Once we’d popped into the shop and got the Sunday papers and a chocpop ice lolly we started off for Rathlin.

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After a few hours we had a spot of lunch and then Rathlin appeared in the distance…

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The entrance to Church Bay.

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I was very taken by this lovely arch.

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Sunset in Church Bay

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These invoices were on the wall in McCuaigs Bar.  I have a bit of an obsession with old invoices and receipts so I was very taken by these!  I’m always amazed by the incredibly decorative headers at the top of these invoices.

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The next day we set off to the west lighthouse where there is an RSPB bird sanctuary.  We passed this cottage on the way, I’m a great fan of blue painted windows.

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This is the church which I assume Church Bay is named after.  It is very pretty and has a number of Commonwealth War Graves in the graveyard.

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After four miles or so we made it to the sanctuary and had a look for some puffins on the cliffs.

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They were a long way down, but incredibly noisy!

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This is the West Lighthouse which I had drawn for my Irish Lights book.

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The lichen on the wall was the colour of egg yolks.

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and the view was something else (sorry the horizon is a bit wonky!)

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We spotted this little beach from up near the lighthouse, I think probably the only way to get to it is by boat.


Rather than walking back we hopped on the puffin bus which travels up and down to the sanctuary.  We were a bit hungry so nipped in to Emma’s Chips Ahoy for some scampi.




Then sat on the harbour wall to eat and look at these old boats.

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Some California poppies (I think)

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The next day wasn’t quite so sunny (wellies and raincoats all round)  But we still decided to walk out to Rue Point, another of Rathlin’s lighthouses.

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We passed this building on the way which I think was used to dry and store seaweed that the locals collected to sell.

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The cheerful pink sea thrift brightened up the dreary weather.

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There were some interesting details to this remote house, and some rugged daisies who’d made their home there.

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We made it to Rue Point, a little damp and through a barrage of screaming seagulls!

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another secret cove, surrounded by no one except lots of sheep…

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The smell from the gorse was amazing, so tropical and coconutty.

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On our way back into church bay we spotted this stone, don’t know what it means.  Answers on a postcard please!

We were only away for a few days but we managed to pack a lot in, if you haven’t been to Rathlin before I’d definitely recommend a trip, it’s lovely in the sunshine but in the rain and mizzle it is just as windswept and interesting!  You can get there by ferry from Ballycastle and there are quite a few B&B’s in Church Bay you can stay in.  The National Trust also have accommodation in the Manor House which is open in the summer months.