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“Visit this special island beloved by wildlife and nature” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Manor House

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The Manor House
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Rathlin Island, Rathlin Island BT54 6RT, Northern Ireland   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Belfast, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
“Visit this special island beloved by wildlife and nature”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2009

There are presently two ferries to Rathlin Island: a fast passenger ferry; and a slower ferry for passengers and vehicles. On my trip over to Rathlin I took the slow ferry at 10am from Ballycastle in County Antrim.

I stayed for two days at the Manor House, the island's main guest-house right at the harbour. In fact, when the ferry leaves you off, it's a mere two minutes (if that) to the Manor-house. I checked in early, at 10:50am which was no problem at all. I was given my room key, number nine, and settled in.

Room 9, like most of the bedrooms, has a wonderful sea view. It overlooks the harbour, from where you can watch the boats, pier, and everything else. My window was small - the manor-house is early Georgian. My room was fine: small, with a single bed at the window, sufficient space for clothing, a wardrobe, wash hand-basin, plenty of towels, a glass,liquid soap and tea-making facility with kettle, cup, sugar etc.

The bath-rooms are just across the corridor. The manor-house is long and narrow in shape because of the steep hill at the back so the rooms are all at the front while the toilets, baths and showers are at the back!

I breakfasted in the dining-room at 8.30am. I enjoyed my full meal of fruit-juice, cereal, plenty of toast, a fully cooked breakfast consisting of a sausage, a rasher of lean bacon, fried egg, potato bread, soda bread and half a tomato washed down with tea or coffee. I thought it was great - freshly cooked, by the way.

I dined there too, in the evenings. There is not a massive choice but it's perfectly acceptable and the choice includes sea-food, chicken, sirloin steak and a veggie option. They specialize in lobster which costs £25 (2009). The dining-room is fairly spacious and the decor is plain. Tables are well spaced out. I had a glass of wine one evening which was generous - more like two glasses!

There is a little bar at one end of the manor-house called The Auld Kitchen. It is so small that you are bound to make acquaintance with your neighbour!

About Rathlin: if you enjoy nature, wildlife, the great outdoors and remarkably unspoiled scenery this is the place for you. I'm fond of Rathlin. Don't expect anything like the Ritz or facilities like the Internet here - it's a good place to escape from them! There are two pubs, two churches, one primary school, a grocer's, a post-office, the RSPB, a National Trust walk and more.

Do hire a bike: it's a great way of seeing the island and costs £7 per day.

Although I'd booked my return sailing for 5.30pm I decided to leave at 12 noon and that was no problem: if there is a seat on the ferry, they'll take you.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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83 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2008

We travelled to Rathlin and The Manor House for my partner’s birthday. With the weather on our side, clear blue skies we took the ferry from Ballycastle to Rathlin which was the start of what was to come. The Antrim coastline in all its beauty was amazing and after 40 minutes we stepped off the ferry and right onto the doorstep of The Manor House.

Owned by the National Trust and run by a lovely couple who couldn't do enough to help from arrival to departure we were given our key and booked in for dinner the same evening - no waiting about, great for us as we wanted to start walking as soon as the bags were dropped off in the room.

The hotel is in a perfect spot - overlooking the bay and the view from our room was picture postcard material. Not all rooms have an ensuite so if you’re fussy or just want some privacy ensure to check this - we are used to camping in a tent so it didn't bother us either way. Rooms are large with everything you need including tea&coffee (all fair trade), we couldn't find fault with anything about The Manor House.

The island itself is a little piece of heaven with views that have you reaching for your camera nearly every few minutes. Find a quiet spot and sit down; you will want to at times because there are a few hills, and listen - total tranquillity! The hills are worth the effort though, every twist and turn in the pathways lead to something equally as beautiful as the previous.

After walking to the east lighthouse we headed back to the hotel for dinner. As there were only two of us we had a window seat and really would have been happy to sit there with a bottle of wine. The staff was very friendly and service was quick. Food was very good although I wish I had of ordered the lobster as it looked fantastic and caught by the hotel's family fishing boat fresh every day!

After dinner we headed over to the local pub which was the best of craic. Joined in the pub quiz, played some pool with a few of the islanders and didn't see the time go by.

I would suggest everyone try visiting Rathlin not just for a day but for at least two. Get to see as much as you can either on foot or you can hire a bicycle from the bay for £7 per day. Stay at the Manor, it’s a great wee spot and go to the pub and meet the friendliest people for a bit of craic. You'll find it very difficult to find fault with anything or one in Rathlin.

Thanks to everyone we met on our visit, you didn't have to let us win every game of pool - we would have come back anyway ;-)
Ali & Dee

  • Liked — It was more than we expected!
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed June 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
north yorkshire, england
Top Contributor
219 reviews 219 reviews
114 hotel reviews
Reviews in 123 cities Reviews in 123 cities
217 helpful votes 217 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2007

I was really expecting something special here but it wasn't that great. For a start the seals are about half a mile away! The room was quite small, there was a nice view but 2 people couldn't look at it at the same time. The bathroom was not over the corridor but a step or two along as well and all the rooms are the same price! Dinner the first night was fine but we ran out of things we'd llike to eat the second night. Then the steak was overcooked which didn't help. I know it's difficult to get stuff because it's an island but the website doesn't give that impression. The Polish staff were just this side of surly. All the walking on Rathlin is on lanes so you cna't get away from traffic which is a shame. I guess we just expected too much after looking at the website.

  • Liked — the location
  • Disliked — no atmosphere
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Wales, U.K.
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2007

We have just returned from a weekend stay at the Manor House, Rathlin Island. Where should we start, the Island itself is dedicated to walking, wildlife and recharging lifes batteries. A forty five minute ferry ride out of Ballycastle and you arrive in the Harbour of Rathlin Island. We (my wife & I) had booked into the Manor House on-line. Great communication pre-travel, any questions answered! The walk from the ferry to the door of the hotel, maybe 50 feet. Check-in, well they are waiting for you, no problem. The room, prefect!!! just put down your luggage and look out of the window, every room has view of the harbour, every room is well appionted as you would expect of any 4* hotel. There are North Atlantic grey seals just down from the hotel on the beach. Dinner was superb on both evenings we stayed, remeber you have to order well in advance, you will understand and get used to it. The hotel is owned by the National Trust and run by a lovely couple who will make your stay delightful, they really will and do make sure you have everything. Be sure to take in the local pub, where the 'Islanders' make the 'visitors' most welcome. We spent the day walking, and were joined by a dog that just latched on and came for the whole day, so please say hello to 'Jen' a beautiful golden lab!!!! The great thing is, everyone will know her. If you just want TOTAL relaxation, book it, its one undiscovered treasure of the UK and totally 5***

  • Liked — Location!!
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Manor House

Address: Rathlin Island, Rathlin Island BT54 6RT, Northern Ireland
Location: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Antrim > Rathlin Island
Beach Free Breakfast
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Rathlin Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Please note that the Manor House is now closed until further notice, awaiting some refurbishment. The Manor House is a lovely, late Georgian property overlooking the harbour in Rathlin Island's Church Bay. All guest rooms are south facing, with sea views. It's the perfect place for those wishing to enjoy peace, tranquility and an island to explore. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Manor House Hotel Rathlin Island
The Manor House Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

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