Isle of May National Nature Reserve



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Our View

The Isle of May stands like a long grey battleship guarding the mouth of the Firth of Forth. In early summer the cliffs are alive with nesting seabirds in a noisy spectacle that you can witness at close quarters from the clifftop path. The island is also home to the comical-looking puffin, a bird which charms visitors with its brightly coloured bill and quizzical looks. But there’s also a long and dark historical past here, and monks, Vikings and smugglers were on the list of previous visitors. Geologically, the island is important as a sill of volcanic rock, crossed by a series of faults which have eroded into steep gullies or geos. There are fine rock stacks, arches and caves all along the west cliffs. The spectacular cliffs on the southwest coast are where the huge colonies of seabirds nest in summer, while grey seals haul themselves ashore to breed in autumn on the lower, rocky coast to the east and north.

Isle of May National Nature Reserve


About the area

Discover Fife

This 20-mile wide peninsula between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Tay is an ancient kingdom, once the home of Scotland’s kings and saints. Despite its modern bridges it still seems curiously detached from the rest of the country. Travelling along Fife’s grand coastline reveals a fascinating legacy of caves, castles, and ancient fishing ports. Blend coast and countryside by following stretches of the Fife Coastal Path, or take an exhilarating trek in the Fife Regional Park.

St Andrews has a unique place in Scotland’s heritage. According to legend, the city was founded by St Regulus in the 4th century, who was carrying relics of St Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, when his ship was wrecked off the coast. Thereafter, the town grew as an important religious centre, eventually home to the largest church in Scotland, now an attractive ruin, with the powerful bishops wielding great influence over church and state. Today, St Andrews is famous for its university, the oldest in Scotland, and as a world golfing mecca. The Old Course at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club claims to have 15th century origins and to play a round on these hallowed links is many golfers’ dream.

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