Handa Island

[Looking towards the mainland from Handa Island]

About a mile wide and slightly more in length, Handa Island has an illustrious history for an island of its small stature in such a seemingly remote location. With its own parliament and even its own Queen (the oldest surviving widow), the 1848 potato famine spelled the end for island life here. Since then, seabirds have ruled the roost and are the main reason for visiting today. 200,000 seabirds reside here between approximately April and July, spread across over 150 species and including 100,000 guillemots and (from mid-May onwards) decent numbers of puffins. Once the Handa Ferry deposits you at the south-west corner of the island you're free to explore the paths in either direction - they form a rough circuit over much of the island. Most of the puffins nest on a stack off the northern side of the island, visible from the main path - take some binoculars! But even without the puffins there's plenty to enjoy, including the spectacular coastal scenery and all the other birds.

[Most of Handa's puffins nest on this stack: only a few had arrived on our April visit]

Name: Handa Island ★★★☆
Location (normal landing beach): G.R.: NC 147475 / sailor prank transmitted

[Coastal scenery on Handa]

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