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About Ailsa Craig

Black guillemot wing-flapping

Image: Steve Round

Ailsa Craig lies nine miles offshore, rising to 1,109 feet. The dramatic seacliffs are home to the third largest gannetry in the UK - comprising 36,000 pairs - with a supporting cast of guillemots, razorbills, black guillemots and increasing numbers of puffins.

It is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Protection Area because it supports 73,000 breeding seabirds. It dominates the outer Clyde; often referred to as Paddy's milestone, it lies halfway between Glasgow and Belfast.

Ailsa Craig is accessible only by boat - tours run from Girvan and Campbeltown during summer.

Opening times

No formal visiting arrangements. The island is best viewed from the sea - tours around the island run from Girvan and Campbeltown during the summer and are dependant on calm sea conditions.

If you are new to birdwatching...

Round the island tours (summer only) give excellent views of gannets and puffins and Manx shearwaters can be seen en route. It's a fabulous experience of a large seabird colony.

Information for dog owners

This nature reserve is important for wildlife. RSPB Scotland welcomes responsible access, in line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. During the ground-nesting bird breeding season (1 April to 15 August) we would ask that you keep your dog close to you, preferably on a short lead and please clean up after your dog.

Contact us

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 55.252980,-5.116096
  • Grid reference: NX020998
  • Nearest town: Girvan, South Ayrshire
  • County: South Ayrshire
  • Country: Scotland

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