Isle of May Boat Trips
We are the only boat operator departing from the Lothian side of the river who are licensed by Scottish Natural Heritage to land passengers on the Isle of May. Visit this fantastic National Nature Reserve with one of our boat trips direct from North Berwick.
The sheer number of seabirds which return to the Island every year to breed is staggering
- 80,000 Puffins, 30,000 Guillemots, 5,000 Razorbills, 5,000 Kittiwakes, 700 Fulmars, 900 Shags
With all this great wildlife on the island, there is plenty to see.
Journey to the Isle of May
One of our Fast Ribs leaves form North Berwick harbour and carries 12 passengers out to the Isle of May in approx 30 mins. You get kitted up with a full set of waterproofs and a lifejacket and then we set out on the fast and exhilleratiing ride out to the Isle of May. Once we arrive at the Island, you will be welcomed by the SNH wardens who live on the Island, you can then leave all of the lifejackets and waterproofs near the landing stage and then set off to explore the island. (Some trips are fully guided to minimise the disturbance to the nesting birds).
Tour of the Island
On every trip there is the option of joining a guided tour of the island with one of our expert guides who will take you around the island so that you get to see the best and most interesting parts of the island, and gets you up close to the wildlife but makes sure that you do not disturb the nesting birds. They are also a wealth of information on the things you see on the island and are happy to answer any of your questions. You will be ashore for between 2.5 to 3 hours (actual time depends on the tides). At certain times during the nesting season Scottish Natural Hertitage insist that all visitors are guided round the island to minimise disturbance to the nesting birds.
Due to the Island's location right at the entrance to the Firth of Forth, it has proved a major hazard to ships trying to enter the Forth. Over the centuries, there have been 3 lighthouses built on the island, to allow safer navigation, Scotland's first ever lighthouse was built on the island in 1635 which was no more than a coal fire that was lit atop a stone tower. In 1816 Robert Stevenson completed the gothic stone tower lighthouse which is still in use today. A secondary 'low light' was established in 1844 to guide ships past the notorious North Carr Reef on the northern approach to the Firth of Forth. The Low Light ceased operation in 1887 after the North Carr Lightship took up it's position to guide ships away from the dangerous reef. The Low Light is now home to the Isle of May Bird Observatory
See the Bass Rock on the Return Journey
On the return jouney fom the Isle of May, our fast rib stops off at the Bass Rock so that you can get views of this maginificent lump of rock covered in 150,000 Gannets. This means you get to see two of Scotlands best wildlife attractions in one trip!!