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Rathlin Ready for Walkers

Four new walking trails have recently been developed on Rathlin Island providing walkers with almost 20 miles of walking on the island.

The Ballyconaghan, Kebble Cliff Walk, Kinramer North Walk and Kinramer Trail join the already existing Rathlin Trail and Roonivoolin Walk to provide walkers with a haven of waymarked trails to explore the island easily whilst enjoying the incredible views.

Walkers wanting to try out the new routes can expect to see thousands of seabirds, including common guillemots, kittiwakes, puffins and razorbills as well as a world renowned RSPB centre making it a birdwatchers paradise. However as well as enjoying the comical antics of puffins and seals in spring and early summer from the cliffs, walkers can expect to be treated to some magnificent views of Donegal, the North Antrim coastline, the island of Islay and the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland.

All of the walks have been given the seal of approval from award winning website WalkNI.com which has granted each of the walks Quality Walk status meaning walkers can leave home with the knowledge that these routes are some of the best Northern Ireland has to offer! The 1.8 mile circular Ballyconaghan Trail will take walkers through National Trust Land in the North of the island providing stunning views out to the Atlantic and Scotland. Taking in the south of the island with superb views of dramatic sea cliffs and of Ballycastle beyond, the 1.9 mile circular Kebble Cliff Walk passes Bull Point, near to where Richard Branson crash landed his hot air balloon in 1987, on his record breaking transatlantic flight. For the more intrepid rambler, the 2.1 mile circular Kinramer North Walk also through Kebble Nature Reserve features sections through rough terrain, with steep slopes providing walkers with amazing views of dramatic sea cliffs before returning along the edge of Kinramer Wood. Finally the 1.9 mile circular Kinramer Trail crosses open field, boardwalk and cliff top walkers with views of basalt columns same in structure to those found at the Giant’s Causeway.

The new quality walks have come as a result of a recent Access and Interpretation Audit for Rathlin Island undertaken by Outdoor Recreation NI. Following consultations with a range of stakeholders including private landowners, RSPB, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), National Trust, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), Moyle District Council and Rathlin Development and Community Association the audit proposed a pilot project for improving the Island's signage making visitors more aware of the walking opportunities available on Rathlin.

Andrew Braton from the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust enthused, “We are delighted to have worked in partnership with Outdoor Recreation NI to help further develop the walking product on Rathlin Island. It is fantastic to see these walks enhancing access within the Antrim Coast and Glens AONB and on one of Northern Ireland’s hidden gems which will hopefully encourage an increase in tourists to the island who may not have considered visiting before.”

Michael Cecil, Chair of the Rathlin Development & Community Association is also delighted with the outcome of the project and is looking forward to welcoming walkers to enjoy the new trails which highlight the beauty of Rathlin, “We, as a community, are very proud of our island and are excited for others to now be able to explore it more easily while, at the same time, protecting and respecting those who manage the land carefully, especially through farming. However it’s not just about attracting new faces to the island; the new trails also remind the resident community of the opportunities for safe enjoyment of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, internationally recognised for its high quality environment.”

Rathlin Island and the official walking trails are accessible by ferry throughout the year from Ballycastle. Contact Rathlin Island Ferries for travel times on 028 2076 9299 or visit www.rathlinballycastleferry.com

Development of the trails was lead by Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust in partnership with Moyle District Council, National Trust, NIEA and private landowners.

For detailed route descriptions and downloadable maps for these new walks on Rathlin and hundreds of other quality walks across Northern Ireland, visit www.WalkNI.com


Notes to Editor

WalkNI.com is your definitive guide to walking in Northern Ireland and provides up-to-date information on routes for both the serious rambler and those who just want to take a short stroll. With downloadable route descriptions and maps on offer for over 230 short, medium and long distance quality walks, WalkNI.com boasts everything you need to know to get out walking in Northern Ireland.

Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust
The Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust was established in May 2002 as a partnership body with the responsibility of promoting and enhancing the unique qualities of the Causeway Coast and Glens area. Within the Trust’s boundary, which encompasses an area of more than 3400 km², there exists a wide variety of scenic landscapes, important wildlife resources and a rich cultural heritage.

Rathlin Development & Community Association (RDCA)
The Rathlin Development & Community Association (RDCA) is the voluntary body that represents the Rathlin community and lobbies for improvements to services and infrastructure etc. with the aim of improving the quality of life for those living on the island, ensuring that basic services and infrastructure are provided and encouraging appropriate economic development.

Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland
The mission of Outdoor Recreation (Northern Ireland) is to develop and sustain a vibrant countryside recreation culture in which responsible and well-informed people enjoy high quality, sustainable and appropriate activities in an accessible, well managed yet challenging environment: where landowners and managers are welcoming and where there are accompanying benefits to local communities both in social and economic terms. Outdoor Recreation NI is supported by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Sport NI, Inland Waterways of the Departments of Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Department of Social Development. For more information visit: www.outdoorrecreationni.com

For more information please contact:

Sarah Nelson
Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland
Direct Line: 028 9030 6942
Email: s.nelson@outdoorrecreationni.com

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