ABOUT RATHLIN ISLAND

Rathlin or Raghery as my grandfather would have called it, lies like a stepping stone between  North Antrim and Scotland, at its closest point is is only three miles from Fair Head and sixteen from the Mull of Kintyre. This eight mile long limestone and basalt island is steeped in history, evident in the standing stones, cairns, passage tombs, cashels, ancient church and castle sites that speckle its landscape. Raghery has a lot to discover, perhaps one of most famous is the story of Robert the Bruce,  while hiding in a cave on Rathlin  he was inspired by a spider to return and fight for Scotland. Over the centuries the strategic island  has suffered turmoil from the warring Scots, Irish  and English, as well as suffering during the famine years which decimated its population. The wildlife and natural environment is  something to behold, from the colony of seals basking on rocks at Rue Point to the vast colonies of seabirds nesting at Bull Point or the lone buzzard hunting above rare orchids on Altacarry Head. It's shorelines and landscapes are a naturalist's paradise and its ambience precious. Many shipwrecks have taken place around the island which in summer attracts divers from all over the world. The most famous being HMS Drake, a 14,100 ton First World War armoured cruiser which was torpedoed of the North Coast and sank in Church Bay.

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