Handa Island

Magnificent Torridonian sandstone cliffs rise from the Atlantic on the north west coast of Handa Island. Each summer, nearly 100,000 seabirds breed here, including internationally important numbers of guillemots, razorbills and great skuas. These dramatic cliffs provide stunning ocean panoramas.

Why visit?

Highlights include:

  • Internationally important for seabirds
  • Amazing sight of a live seabird colony
  • Spectacular views
  • Fascinating history

Best time to visit?

  • Apr to Jul for breeding seabirds
  • Mid-May to July for puffins

Visit for:

  • birdwatching
  • wildflowers
  • coasts
  • geology
  • scenery
  • mammals
  • archaeology
  • uplands

Other information


There are loads of opportunities to volunteer on Handa, from just one week at a time, to a series of Assistant Ranger placements, lasting from 8-21 weeks!

For more information, visit the Volunteering on Handa page.

You can find out more by reading the Handa newsletter: 2016 Handa newsletter


Hover for more information


How to get there


There is a pedestrian ferry service to Handa Island which runs on demand from Tarbet on the mainland during the visitor season (from April to September). Tarbet is signposted from the A894 about 3 miles north of Scourie and 3 miles south of Laxford Bridge.

Get directions

Getting onto the reserve

When you arrive on Handa you will be met by a volunteer, who will give you a short introductory talk about the reserve and answer any questions you may have. See the “Ferry Info” tab for more information.

For non-ferry related enquiries, the Ranger can be contacted from April-August on 07920 468 572 or handaranger@scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk.

Access restrictions

Weather conditions can change quickly and the ferry crossing can be very wet, depending on wind and tide conditions. It’s very important to be prepared and take warm, waterproof clothing, even in midsummer. The terrain on Handa is changeable and we recommend that you wear appropiate stout footwear.

Nearest town
Scourie (3 mi / 4.8 km)
OS grid ref
Landranger map


Ferry Info

For all enquiries relating to the Handa ferry, contact Roger Tebay on 07780 967 800 or info@handa-ferry.com

  • Running times: Mon to Sat 9:30 – 16:45. Last ferry to island at 14:00.
  • Ferry does not operate on Sundays, and at operators’ discretion in bad weather. 
  • For reasons of passenger safety, comfort, and space, the ferry does not carry dogs.
  • If travelling with a large group or from a long distance away, you are advised to contact the ferry operators in advance.


About Handa Island

Out & about

Nearby reserves
Ben Mor Coigach

Local group
North of Scotland

Links & downloads

Reserve leaflet

Reserve map


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