Rathlin Island Walking Tours
with Paul Quinn
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December 2008

I have been fortunate to have had lots of opportunities to visit Rathlin in the course of the last year. As I write Christmas is over and the New Year is hours away. My home, which has been pleasantly overcrowded over the festivities, is back to normal.


I have some time to myself so a trip to the island, the last of the year, is in order. It has to be a day trip, so I call the ferry office to check the sailings. I am one of a few passengers on the CANNA and step ashore to settled and dry conditions. I walk most of the way along the Upper End, stopping short of the camping barn. The only vehicles that pass me are the nurse then an old blue jeep. There is not much to report in the line of birds but, opposite the rescue centre, a solitary and unseasonal primrose is in flower. On my return journey, a car pulls up alongside. It is crowded with five friends and a dog. I say hello to all within and wish a Happy New Year all around. It is great to catch up with folk, especially since most are visitors and I probably wonít see them again until next summer.


Then itís time for some lunch, before setting off in the direction of the East Light. Puff and pant up the hill: an old caravan opposite Clyde View has been replaced by a nice new chalet. I have the roads to myself up to the East where I spend some time watching the light spin round. Along the way back I turn around to see how strongly the light is showing, but it is a bright day, so it is inconspicuous, even though it is only an hour to sunset.
© 2008 Paul Quinn. All Rights Reserved. Additional title photography © Andy McInroy