A waymarked route on National Trust Land taking in the north of the island, stunning views out to the Atlantic and Scotland


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Walk Route

Rathlin Ballyconaghan Trail

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  • We got completely lost just past the lighthouse. The arrow gives the impression that you need to go straight ahead when in fact you need to bear left up the hill. You need to keep the lookout on your right. I think the walk description needs to be improved as we ended up at a dead end on really difficult terrain. Great views though. It feels longer than 1.3 miles even if you don’t go off the beaten track.

    Karen Dougan at 10:52 am
  • County Antrim

    Distance 1.3 miles

    OS Map 5

    Terrain open hillside and farm track

    Nearest Town Rathlin Harbour

    Route Shape Circular

    Grid Reference D146 515

    Route Type Coastal, Hill, Lakeland

    Route Description

    Follow the road to your left leading west from the harbour. Turn right by the church and up the Church Brae to the chapel. Take the road bearing right passing the chapel and follow this for 300m until reaching a lane on your left hand side with a National Trust information panel. Follow this lane for 200m until you reach a metal kissing gate on your right hand side. Follow the waymarked posts (green arrows) straight on before bearing round to the left. This route travels in an anti clockwise direction and leads across open countryside, with views of the East Lighthouse and Scotland further beyond this. The arrows direct you to the top of the cliffs on the northern side of the island, before directing you back to a farm track which winds its way back through the hillside to the metal kissing gate at the start of the route. An optional diversion includes going to visit the old Coast Guard Station, so when you reach the farm track, bear right rather than left to wind your way up the hill to the station. Retrace your steps to rejoin the trail. 

    Please note that there may be livestock present on this trail.

    Point of Interest

    Coastguard station, Church quarter

    Getting to the start

    Take the ferry from Ballycastle harbour to Rathlin. The ferry goes several times throughout the day in the summer and winter.
    The ferry is operated by Rathlin Island Ferries, for travel times call 028 2076 9299 or visit the website below.

    Public transport

    Translink – journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

    Dog Policy

    Must be kept on lead, livestock may be present


    Toilets, pub, cafe and small shop available at Rathlin Harbour. The following facilities are available for users with limited mobility: – Disabled toilets

    Accessibility Grade

    Grade 5

    • There may not be a formalised path, and variable, single file trails are to be expected.
    • Gradients and cross slope could be expected to be steep and not limited.
    • Obstacles and surface breaks of greater than 75mm measured across the line of the path to be expected.
    • Overhanging branches are possible. Passing places and rest areas may not be formalised or provided.