Skip to content

Heritage Ireland

Scattery Island and Visitor Centre

Discover the History, Myth and Legend of Scattery Island


24 May - 25 September 2024
See all opening times

Scattery Island and Visitor Centre

Discover the History, Myth and Legend of Scattery Island


24 May - 25 September 2024

See all opening times


Free admission to Scattery Island

To book your boat trip please visit



Getting here

Co. Clare

Get Directions

Follow us

Scattery Island and Visitor Centre

Explore the magical Scattery Island- rich in legend and stories.
Scattery offers a calm and tranquil environment in which visitors can explore a wonderful range of interesting sites all within walking distance.

Scattery Island contains the remains of an ancient monastic heritage featuring a round tower, the cathedral and several medieval churches. As well as these historic structures the island also has a lighthouse, an artillery battery, a restored village where the islands pilots once lived and beautiful grass land which is home to an array of animal and plant life. Scattery is surrounded by clean waters home to mammals such as otter and the grey seal.

Your tour will begin at Kilrush Marina where you board the ferry. Enjoy the experience of the Marina’s Locke gates as the ferry exits into the sheltered waters of the Shannon Estuary. Your short sail to the island takes you past the picturesque village of Cappa and the smaller Hog Island. Beyond this, Scattery’s round tower and cottages come into view on the horizon as the ferry makes its approach.

Once you have arrived on the island, you will be greeted by OPW tour guides and commence your guided walking tour.
Learn about St. Senan’s brave battle against the serpent Cathagh and his founding of a monastic settlement dating back to the early fifth century. Take in the fascinating history this little island holds from the early monastic times right through to the last of the islanders who inhabited Scattery.

On completion of your tour, visit the island exhibition at the visitor centre and soak up the pier-side views back to the mainland of Kerry and Clare.

To further explore the island you could begin your journey across to the southern end of the island, where you can find the lighthouse and battery. Your audio tour guides you past the Street, where the last of the islanders lived, then onto the lighthouse, and finally the Napoleonic artillery battery, where you learn more about this chapter of the island’s past.
On completion of the audio tour, you have the option to walk the entire circumference of the island, which takes you an additional hour and a half and offers panoramic views of the estuary and Kerry.

If you prefer, stroll back along the path you came from towards the visitor centre and take in the sights and tranquillity of the Island.

Audio Guided Tour is also available to download in French, German, Italian and Spanish.

What to Bring

  • A Packed Lunch – There are no tea and coffee facilities on the Island, drinking water available at our Visitor Centre on the Island. (It is very important that you ‘leave no trace’ please bring all unwanted food and rubbish home)
  • Good Walking Shoes
  • A Water / Windproof Jacket ( Weather Dependent)
  • Towel/Picnic Blanket/Sunscreen (Optional)

Explore the wonderful digital archive of the history of Scattery Island created by the Scattery Island Heritage Group

Conservation By OPW

From the nineteenth century, the Board of Works cared for the ecclesiastical buildings. The entire island was acquired for the state in 1991 and is now a National Monument in State Care under the responsibility of the Office of Public Works.

Community groups on the mainland, including former islanders and their extended families, retain a keen interest in the island and its heritage and how it should best be presented.

The OPW has undertaken several phases of work to repair the churches the most recent being the Cathedral of St. Mary & Senan. Four houses opposite the pier were restored and adapted for new uses in 2002, by which time they were mostly roofless and at risk of further loss.

A cottage is used as a staff room; next door is the interpretative centre; on the other side of the castle are WCs and a gas store.

Two farmsteads beside the inland side of the northern lagoon have been consolidated and restored.

The recently restored Street was once home to the Scattery pilots and the island’s post office before the island was finally abandoned in 1978. Historic photographs illustrate the freshness of the limewash and the well-kept external areas. These views can once again be appreciated by visitors to the Street as can the historic view back to Cappa and Kilrush.

Opening Times

24 May – 25 September 2024

Ferry Travel time around 30 mins each way – departure times vary depending on weather. Duration on the Island is approx. 2.5 hours, but every 2 weeks there is an option of approx. 4 hours stay on the Island. Please see Ferry operator for details.


Please note that access to the island is dependent on tidal/weather conditions.

We ask that visitors co-operate with OPW guide staff and adhere strictly to the warnings /instructions issued by them. It is also important to wear suitable footwear (boots or strong walking shoes) as some conditions underfoot are not ideal.

Please leave no trace on the Island, please bring home any unwanted foodstuffs or rubbish.


Co. Clare

087 995 8427

Getting Here

2.5km boat trip from Kilrush Marina –

Open location in Google Maps

Click the relevant icon below to open Maps directions


  • Bookshop
  • Family Toilet
  • Guided tours
  • Museum
  • Toilets


  • Uneven walkways


Social Guide

Download, print and read our social guide (PDF) about visiting Scattery Island Centre. This will help first-time visitors, families and people with developmental and learning disabilities to prepare for a visit to Scattery Island Centre.

Download the Social Guide

Nearby sites to visit

You might also like

Heritage Card

Unlimited access to Ireland’s past

Buy one today

Join our mailing list

Are you happy to receive marketing material via email from Heritage Ireland