Church Bay, Rathlin Island
Tiny Rathlin Island has been settled for more than 6,000 years. Today it has a population of just over 100 persons and is a popular bird-watching destination. Rathlin has been designated as a special conservation area and its bird colony is home to tens of thousands of seabirds, including Common Guillemots, kittiwakes, puffins and Razorbills – about thirty bird families in total. Shaped like a boot, the island is eight miles long (12 km) and less than one mile wide (1.6 km) and surrounded by impressive limestone and basalt sea cliffs reaching 400 feet (122 m) in places. Three lighthouses stand as testament to Rathlin’s wild coast.