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Isle of May
The Isle of May is located in the north of the Firth of Forth, approximately 5 miles off the coast of mainland Scotland. It is 1.1 miles long and less than half a kilometer wide. The island is owned and managed by Scottish Natural Heritage as a National Nature Reserve. The Isle is an incredible mix of seabirds, seals, and smugglers, where seabirds cram onto the ledges of the Isle’s towering cliffs and puffins peek out from their grassy burrows. There are now no permanent residents, but the island was the site of a St Adrian’s Priory during the Middle Ages.
Most visitors to the island are daytrippers taking the ferry from Anstruther in Fife. The only way to get there is by ferry; the journey takes 45 minutes from the small ports of Anstruther and Crail, and also from North Berwick.
The best months for seeing the breeding seabirds are June and July. Ferries run to the Isle of May from April through to September. The island is closed to visitors from 1 October until Easter to prevent disturbance to a large number of seal pups.
There is a visitor centre, which nestles into the slope overlooking the main harbour. An external viewing area looks out across the island with excellent views of wildlife, the shoreline and the south of the island. Large windows offer more sheltered viewing from inside the building.