Stunning scenery and wonderful wildlife are just two reasons to visit the RSPB’s Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre, which will re-open its doors on Saturday, 1 April.

Northern Ireland’s only inhabited offshore island is home to around 150 residents but in spring and summer the ‘population’ explodes, as tens of thousands of seabirds come ashore and nest on the craggy cliff stacks.

The Seabird Centre offers a close-up view of the spectacular seabird colony and, as the numbers grow throughout the season, the sight, sound (and smell!) is like nothing else!

Last year more than 17,000 people flocked to see this amazing spectacle, with almost half of all visitors coming from outside the UK.
As well as the nature spectacle, visitors were delighted to be able to explore the unique ‘upside-down’ west lighthouse for the first time. With its lamp glowing red at the foot (to allow for the dense, low fog that sometimes shrouds the island), the lighthouse has been restored to give visitors an idea of what island life was like in years gone by.

Along with 11 other lighthouses around the Irish coast, Rathlin West Light is one of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland, all of which offer unforgettable experiences.

Alison McFaul, Visitor Experience Manager at the Seabird Centre, said: “We can’t wait to welcome more visitors to the West Light Seabird Centre this year. The seabirds have already started to arrive and we’ve been enjoying some beautiful spring weather – there’s nowhere on earth like Rathlin on a sunny day!
She added: “We have an amazing team on hand to help visitors get the most from their experience, whether it’s helping them identify different birds, or telling them all about the history of the lighthouse.”

The Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre will be open daily from 1 April until 17 September (April and September 11am to 4pm, May to August 10amto 5pm). Admission is free for RSPB members, £5 for adults and £2.50 for children, with last entry one hour before closing.
For more information about the Seabird Centre visit

If you fancy getting even closer to the action, RSPB NI is on the lookout for volunteers to help give visitors an amazing time at the Seabird Centre. Accommodation is provided and a minimum commitment of two weeks (Monday to Monday) is preferable. Find out more by emailing or calling RSPB NI on 028 9049 1547.