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Quality Walk

Rathlin Island Roonivoolin Walk

Take the route less travelled on Rathlin Island and venture south to the RSPB Roonivoolin Reserve. Amazing views of the coastline can be enjoyed as well as wildlife such as seals, irish hare and curlew.




4 miles

OS Map


Nearest Town

Rathlin Village

Route Shape


Route Type

Beach, Coastal, Lakeland


Tarmaced laneway and open fields

Grid Reference (Start)

D147 510

Grid Reference (End)

D147 510

Point of Interest

Church Bay, Mill Bay, Craigmacaghan Lough, Ushet Lough, Rue Point

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Antrim Coast & Glens

Route Description

The route begins at Rathlin Harbour. Follow the Shore Road to the right past the Manor House. Continue following the road past Church Bay, the disused Kelp Kiln and Mill Bay. At the end of Mill Bay, bear left to rejoin the straight tarmaced road leading south on the peninsula. Turn right onto this road and continue walking for 500m to meet Craigmacaghan Lough. Follow the route for another 800 metres, where on your right you should come across a wooden gate and a RSPB information panel highlighting the Roonivoolin Reserve. Go through the gate and follow the wooden way markers past Ally Lough on the right and Ushet Lough on the left. Continue following the wooden way markers across the open field, arriving at the fence along the cliff tops. From here stunning views of the cliffs, Church Bay and the Northern Irish coastline can be enjoyed. Continue following the fence in a southerly direction for 700m, to bear left along a fence to bring you back to the tarmac path. Land between the clifftop path and Rue Point Lighthouse is private, if you wish to continue to the lighthouse, follow the tarmac path in a southerly direction to reach the disused Kelp Kiln and the lighthouse. The route back to the harbour follows the tarmac path.

Getting to the Start (by Public Transport)

Rathlin Ferries - www.rathlinballycastleferry.com or 028 2076 9299

Getting to the Start (by Car)

Rathlin Ferries - www.rathlinballycastleferry.com or 028 2076 9299

Getting to the Start (on Foot)

Rathlin Ferries - www.rathlinballycastleferry.com or 028 2076 9299


Dogs are allowed. Dogs must be kept on a lead.

Accessibility Grade

Grade 5

Accessible Facilities

The following facilities are available for users with limited mobility:

Café (wheelchair accessible) - May to October
Visitors Centre - May to Sept at Rathlin Harbour
Disabled toilets


Cafe, restaurant, public toilets and B + B's are all available at Rathlin Harbour.


Rathlin Island Walking Leaflet

Publication Availability

Available at the Ferry Terminal, on the ferry, or can be downloaded on this page.

Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
Image Gallery

Ratings and Comments

Heather Styles 11 September, 2015 @ 00:08

I enjoyed this walk very much, including seeing seals at Mill Bay.

Mohamed 20 June, 2012 @ 10:56

I'm quite pleased with the infomatroin in this one. TY!

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