FAQ

Get answers to frequently asked questions about Scattery Island Tours.

  • Chevron down Do we sail every day?
  • Our sailings commence in May and run until September.

  • Chevron down Do we sail at the same time every day?
  • The Shannon Estuary is tidal which impacts our sailing times. As a result our daily departure times can vary.

  • Chevron down Where is Scattery Island?
  • It is located approximately 2km from Kilrush Marina at the mouth of the Shannon Estuary.

  • Chevron down What is Scattery Island?
  • Scattery Island is home to a monastic settlement founded in the early 6th century by St. Senan, who was born locally. It features a fully automated lighthouse, a Napoleonic battery building (one of six built along the estuary), a visitor’s centre manned by the OPW, toilets, picnic tables, and the street once inhabited by the islanders.

  • Chevron down Who are the OPW?
  • The Office of Public Works (OPW) are responsible for caring, maintaining, and operating the country’s most important heritage sites.

    They are your guides for the first hour and give you the history of the monastics sites. They show you the visitor’s centre and answer any questions you may have about the island.

    This guided walking tour is included in the package that you book with us.

  • Chevron down Once the tour is over, what do I do?
  • It depends on your return ferry time. The island is yours to explore; or you can sit and enjoy the peace, go back over the area of the monastic sites, or take the 20 minute walk to the Southern End of the Island where you can explore the Battery and Lighthouse. Just make sure you allow yourself sufficient time to return to the pier for your pick up!

  • Chevron down Do I have to take the Guided Walking Tour?
  • The Guided Tour is optional and offers a fascinating overview of the rich history of the island, so we do recommend it. However, If you would prefer not to take this tour, you can use the walking map provided to explore the island for yourself.

  • Chevron down Who lives on the island?
  • Nobody lives on the Island. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the island was inhabited, and many of the islanders earned their living as river pilots. As ships entered the Shannon Estuary, the pilots raced each other to reach the ship first. Whoever was successful was entitled to lead the ship safely up-river to Foynes, Clarecastle, Limerick, or wherever the ship was headed. The island has been uninhabited since 1978.

    Many species of birds live on the island, including oystercatchers, skylarks, robins, and blackbirds. Rabbits live on the island, and sometimes grey seals can be seen on the shore.

  • Chevron down Can I stay overnight on the island?
  • Scattery Island is an area of conservation with many protected structures. To protect these monuments, no over camping is permitted on the island. However, Kilrush Marina offers some camping facilities and can be contacted directly. Phone (065) 9052072.

  • Chevron down How big is the island?
  • Scattery is about 180 acres in size. Much of the island is grassland.

  • Chevron down What should I wear?
  • Wear warm, comfortable clothing and good walking shoes as the walking paths are a mix of grass and pebbles. Bring a jumper/jacket in case the ferry ride is a little chilly.

  • Chevron down Can I swim at the island?
  • Yes, the island is a safe area to swim. There are several areas where you can swim, and we can show them to you on our walking map. Most of the swimming area is stones. Only when the tide is a at spring low can you see the wet sand.

  • Chevron down My parents are elderly. Can they go to Island? Is there a toilet for them?
  • Yes, as long as they are able to manage about 5-10 steps. We moor by steps and, depending on the tide, it may be less or more steps. During the first hours on the island, we take walking tour around the monastic sites, going from buildings to buildings, but it’s done slowly. If your parents can’t manage the walking tour, they can visit the visitor’s centre. All the information on the island is shown there, and they can sit by the picnic tables and enjoy the peace.

    Yes, there are toilets on the island.

  • Chevron down Can I bring my child's buggy?
  • Yes. Our boat allows room for your buggy, and the monastic area is manageable for the buggy. The other side of the island, where the lighthouse and Napoleonic battery are located, is unsuitable for buggies. You can leave your buggy by the walking path or at the visitor’s centre.

  • Chevron down Do children enjoy the island?
  • Oh, yes indeed. We have lots of schools going to the Island and learning about its history, and they can go inside the round tower, see the birds and rabbits, and use our children’s map to tick the boxes as they travel around. We get great feedback from children both young and older.

  • Chevron down I have a wheelchair. Can I visit the island?
  • Currently, the island is not accessible for Wheelchairs, however, our vessel can cater for Wheelchairs and guests with wheelchairs can avail of our Mini Estuary Cruise and view the island from the comfort of the boat.

  • Chevron down How long is the ferry crossing?
  • The ferry crossing takes approximately 30 minutes.

  • Chevron down How long can I stay on the island?
  • There are different durations available depending on the sailing your avail of. Review Tours to see the various options available.

  • Chevron down Do I need to book in advance?
  • Sailings fill up quite quickly, especially in the busy season, so it is advisable to book in advance to reserve your desired departure date and time by checking out our website and calendar.

  • Chevron down I have a large group - Can I pre-book and pay on the day?
  • Yes, you can pre-book by telephone or by coming into our office. If your group is larger than eight, we need a 20% deposit to secure the booking, and you can pay the balance when you arrive at the office.

  • Chevron down Where is your office?
  • We are located at Kilrush Marina. Our office is separate from the Marina office building. Once you arrive at the Marina office, you can see our brown hut with our logo.

  • Chevron down When do I arrive for my sailing?
  • Change answer to – Please arrive at least 20 minutes prior to your sailing.

  • Chevron down How can I pay for my ticket?
  • Our online shopping facility accepts Visa, Laser/Visa debit card, and Mastercard. You can also pay by credit card and cash at our office.

  • Chevron down Do I get a refund if the sailing is cancelled?
  • If we need to cancel, you are given a full refund. Refunds are transferred back onto the credit/debit card you used to make the booking and may take a couple of days to be transferred to your account.

    If you cancel within 24 hours of the sailing, you can get a refund or you can change your date by contacting us. There is no refund if you do not contact us giving us 24 hours notice.

  • Chevron down What if the weather is bad?
  • As we operate in the sheltered Shannon Estuary, we are seldom affected by bad weather, but please ring to confirm we are sailing. If you are booked with us, we contact you if there are changes when the weather is bad.

  • Chevron down Are there places to shop for food and drink on the island?
  • There are no facilities to buy food or drink on the island. We do have a tea/coffee/water and tuck shop on our boat where you can purchase snacks as you travel to or from the Island. While we are moored at the island, our tuck shop is available to you. (Cash only)

    You can pre-book lunch from us. We need 24 hours notice as it comes from our local cafe The Potter’s Hand. You can check our website for the lunch options, and the cafe provides a lunch bag for you to carry your lunch around the island. We need the lunch bag returned as we use them again. Once you have finished your lunch, you can put all the rubbish back into the lunch bag and return the bag to us at the office, where we discard the rubbish so we can help keep the island rubbish-free.

    There are many local shops in Kilrush that do a great variety of sandwiches, or you can make your own and bring them to the island to enjoy on the picnic tables.

  • Chevron down Where can I park?
  • There is parking available at the Marina next to our ticket office. This private parking is charged at €2 for the duration of your visit.  Parking is also available in the town at the rates noted on the parking signs.