Seals and seabirds
Anchored on the Firth of Forth, the Isle of May is a magical mix of seabirds, seals and smuggling.
In early summer the cliffs heave with nesting seabirds – a noisy spectacle you can witness from the cliff-top path. The island is also home to the unmistakeable puffin – a comical bird that dazzles visitors with its brightly coloured bill. In the autumn the largest Atlantic grey seal colony in eastern Britain breeds on ‘the May’, as it’s known locally.
There’s a dark past here, though, with Vikings and smugglers on the list of previous visitors.
A visit to the Isle of May is an amazing experience. Take a ferry from Anstruther or North Berwick. Explore an island blessed with natural wonders and a rich history.
Find out more about visiting the Isle of May NNR.
- See puffin – one of Scotland’s best-loved birds.
- Follow our cliff-top paths to see nesting seabirds.
- Watch for seals on the rocks as your boat nears the island.
- Learn about the colourful history of this remarkable island.
Find out more about the reserve and its natural history.
Visit our Events page to see what upcoming events you can get involved in at this reserve.
Reserve manager: David Steel
Scottish Natural Heritage
Telephone: 01738 458800
Find out more
Discover more about why Scotland’s National Nature Reserves were created and the partners who manage them.
Follow the Isle of May blog to keep up to date with news from the island.
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Enjoyed your visit?
- Make a donation to support nature and visitor facilities on our NNRs.
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