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Handa Island Wildlife Reserve

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
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Address: Scotland
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours

Handa Island is one of the most important seabird colonies in northern...

Handa Island is one of the most important seabird colonies in northern Europe. Home to over 100,000 seabirds in the summer, including internationally important populations of Guillemot, Razorbill and Great Skua. Small numbers of Puffin and Arctic Skua amongst other seabirds also nest. The island is also superb for botany and for spotting whales, dolphins, seals and the occasional otter. The scenery and geology is also fantastic.The reserve is owned by the Scourie Estate, and managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. There are few facilities on the island, just a small visitor shelter, composting toilet and shop. The reserve is reached by a ferry boat from Tarbet, near Scourie, and runs from April to September (Phone to check dates). The ferry runs on demand Monday - Saturday from 9.00am, with the last boat out to the island at 2pm. Returns available all day with the last one being at 5pm. Ferry charges £12.50 for adults, £5 for children (ages 5-14), under 5's are free. Please note, the ferry does not run on Sunday or in severe weather.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 71 reviews
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  • 48
  • 4
    Very good
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  • 1
Fantastic Day

Wanted to go over and see puffins but sadly they haven't arrived yet but this didn't distract from what was a beautiful day with sightings of everything else. Wheatears, pipits... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Helen P
Bunchrew, United Kingdom
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71 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 53: English reviews
Bunchrew, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Wanted to go over and see puffins but sadly they haven't arrived yet but this didn't distract from what was a beautiful day with sightings of everything else. Wheatears, pipits, snipes, stomechats, fulmars, kittiwakes, guillemots and dozens of great skuas. But the highlight of the day was the artic skua. Beautiful and amazing views. Can i also say what a... More 

Thank Helen P
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2017

Handa island is beautiful and well worth a visit. However the rangers are a little irritating and jobsworthy. Myself and a friend went over onmy dinghy to camp and there was a chap with dreadlocks who was trying to get me to set up camp in a midge infested sheep pen - we just ignored him and camped down on... More 

3 Thank Dugscot
Level Contributor
607 reviews
170 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 519 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2016 via mobile

We drove for over an hour to catch the ferry over to Handa Island today only to find that it's closed for the season. There is nothing on the website to indicate this whatsoever. There is nothing on the signage at the start of the 3 mile tortuous drive to get to the ferry to say closed for the season.... More 

1 Thank fmck49
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2016 via mobile

Great day out on this beautiful island. The scenery is stunning especially the beaches and the Rangers/guides are very knowledgable. After a short talk you are free to walk around the island on the designated paths which are well laid out.

Thank Ainz_Sadie
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
84 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2016

This is the sort of experience everyone should have! I fulfilled my ambition to see puffins - once the very helpful warden had pointed them out to me through her powerful spotter-scope, I could easily see them (over 300 at the last count apparently) with my naked eye. Handa is open 6 months of the year, 6 days a week... More 

4 Thank HeatherJS01
Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
44 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2016

We enjoyed a great ferry ride to the Island and a breathtaking walk around Handa. We saw plenty of Puffins and many other birds. The Ferry staff were extremely friendly.The walk is not strenuous, the views are breathtaking.

Thank Rina S
Forres, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 3 July 2016

Had a great time on Handa with £12.50 for the boat trip a bargain. All rangers were very helpful and informative

Thank nellsswell
Forres, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
298 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 242 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2016

Have always wanted to see a real live puffin, and it was recommended I go here to see them. Trip is only 10 mins by boat to Handa island. The volunteer guides take you from the beach to a hut, where they tell you about the island. Pick up a pair of binos there, or take your own - you'll... More 

1 Thank Maria W
Rainford, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2016

We had a lovely day on Handa. Nice coastal walk. Lots of sea birds nesting on the cliffs. We did see a few puffins.

Thank Helen P
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2016

My first trip out to Handa Island coincided with a spell of fantastic sunny weather with the temperature in the 20s (centigrade). A short boat ride (£12.50 each for the return trip) and we were there. A little safety briefing from the volunteer staff member and off we went to explore the island. A walk right across the middle of... More 

Thank KenH2968

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Preston, United Kingdom
10 months ago

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