Isle of May via Anstruther harbour, a Fife beach & St. Andrews along the way – 1 day tour #24

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Departure days

  • M
  • T
  • W
  • T
  • F
  • S
  • S

May — September

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Isle of May via Anstruther, a Fife beach & St. Andrews 1 day tour - departures from the Scottish Central belt 10 hour full day tour taking in the Fife coast (beaches, fishing villages & St. Andrews) & the boat trip & free time on the Isle of May

Isle of May via Anstruther harbour, one of the Fife beaches & St. Andrews along the way

1 day tour

  • stops and route along the way flexible and personalised depending on your preferences, interests, the weather and your tour start off pick up/drop off location

Isle of May via Anstruther harbour, one of the Fife beaches & St. Andrews along the way

Isle of May via Anstruther, a Fife beach & St. Andrews 

1 day tour

- departures from the Scottish Central belt 

10 hour full day tour taking in the Fife coast (beaches, fishing villages & St. Andrews) & the boat trip & free time on the Isle of May - depending on the tidal ferry times, the exact route (where do we visit first and last) will differ

1 day tour #24

click here for further info/itinerary/details:

1D#24 - Isle of May via a Fife beach & St. Andrews along the way - 1 day tour - Unicorn Tours

(this tour could also be run as a short day tour, if less than 10 hours lower/short day tour rates will apply)

Price for a full 1 day tour

1 day tour prices (based on 10 hours) - Unicorn Tours


the Isle of May ferry (01st April to 30th September)

Anstruther Pleasure Cruises to the May Isle (


  • Departures from the Scottish Central belt (Stirling, Falkirk, Dunfermline, etc. area & pick ups up to 1 hour drive away from our Alloa/Clackmannanshire base)


1D#24 – Isle of May via Anstruther harbour, a Fife beach & St. Andrews along the way – 1 day tour

Isle of May national nature reserve

For our Isle of May tours, it is essential to pre-book early, so we can guarantee a space on the ferry.

Isle of May ferry times

The ferry times vary each day subject to tides – so it can be a morning – mid-day or afternoon trip to the Isle of May. The sailing time is just under 1 hour each way (and usually includes a circumnavigation of the island, its cliffs, lighthouses and seal haul out spots). The time on the island is generally 2 hours, but can vary, on some days up to 3 hours.

Based on the timings of the Isle of May departure and return from Anstruther and your time requirements, preferences and the weather, we can then with the remaining time on the day still offer a little extra in terms of optionally adding St. Andrews, beaches & fishing villages of Fife – after or before our Isle of May trip.

Isle of May puffins & breeding seabird colony – videos

Isle of May tour photos

Anstruther harbour photos- Isle of May ferry departure

Seals off the Isle of May – videos

Before checking in on our ferry at the stunning Anstruther harbour, we have a bit of free time in Anstruther

On request before or after the ferry, we can also make allowance for enough time to visit the Scottish fisheries museum there, should anyone on the tour be interested in that.

As per our 1D#19 St. Andrews & the fishing villages & beaches of Fife

there are plenty of sights to visit before/after the Isle of May trip, subject to the ferry times – so the Isle of May trip could be an early morning / mid-day / afternoon trip, with the rest of our tour of St. Andrews & Fife being build around those times accordingly.

Wildlife & Bird Santuary on the May Isle


Typically April, May, June, July and August are the best times to view the seabirds, particularly puffins, the earlier the better. You can view seals all year round, with whale spotting late July, August & September and migrants the last week in May.

Seabirds breeding on Isle of May:

Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)

Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)

Eider (Somateria mollissima)

Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)

Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)

Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)

Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis)

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea)

Puffin (Fratercula arctica)

Guillemot (Uria aalge)

Razorbill (Alca torda)

Other birds that can be seen en route and around Isle of May:


Gannet (Morus bassanus)

Great Skua (Stercorarius skua) rarely seen

Around shore:

Purple Sandpiper (Calidris maritima)

Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)

Redshank (Tringa totanus)

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

Note: Puffins normally arrive at the Island late March/early April. The warden’s regularly update the blog with the latest information, and it can be found at

Although only around 57 hectares in size, over 285 bird species have been recorded on the island. The island is free from predators such as foxes and rats, and thus provides a safe breeding site compared to the mainland. At the height of the breeding season the Isle of May can host around 200,000 seabirds, including puffinsblack-legged kittiwakesrazorbillsguillemotsshagsfulmarsoystercatcherseider ducks, and various species of tern and gull. These numbers can fluctuate considerably from year to year, depending on weather and fish stocks.[10][11][12]

Extensive dietary and demographic monitoring of these seabirds is undertaken by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, as part of the Isle of May Long Term Study. Recent evidence has shown that at a community-scale, diet composition at this colony has changed from predominantly lesser sandeel Ammodytes marinus in the 1980s, to a range of alternative prey in recent years.[13] This change is believed to relate to warming ocean conditions around the Isle of May, and linked changes in prey availability.[14]

There are also winter visitors, and the island hosts internationally important numbers of turnstones and purple sandpipers. Various species of pipits, thrushes and wagtails are also commonly seen. The Isle of May also sees occasional visits from migratory birds that do not normally visit Britain, but get blown off route from Scandinavia by easterly winds; recent examples include black-winged stiltlanceolated warblerWhite’s thrushbridled tern and calandra lark.[15][16]

Both harbour seals and grey seals can be seen on the island all year round, and whales are occasionally sighted in the summer. The Isle of May is the second largest east coast breeding colony of grey seals in Scotland, and around 3,000 pups are born here each year. Minke whale and harbour porpoise are often seen in the seas surrounding the island.[11][16]


At Unicorn Tours we offer over 45 one day and short day tours -personalised, flexible, private small group tours for up to 8 passengers:


Choose from one of our 28

1 day tours

1 day tours (


Choose from one of our 17

Short day tours

1 day tours (short) - Unicorn Tours

Price for short day tour:

  • 5 hour half day short day tour is half the price of a 1 day tour

(or more if the tour is longer/or less if the tour is shorter)

(see prices for full 1 day tours above)

COVID-19 information

This business has confirmed that they have implemented, and will ensure ongoing compliance with, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels protocols. The Safe Travels stamp is based on self-assessment and it is not a certification.

Contact details

Unicorn Tours
42 Bridge Terrace
(* pick ups from anywhere in the Scottish Central belt & beyond. We are close to Stirling & its University, Falkirk & Dunfermline; * 45 minutes from Edinburgh, Glasgow & Perth; * just 1 hour from Dundee & St. Andrews)
FK10 1HY

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Tour company information

Unicorn Tours

* 100s of the best routes to cover every corner of Scotland * Small group Highlands, Islands & off the beaten track adventure tours * Personalised, flexible customised tours to suit your interests & preferences * Spectacular tailormade, small group adventure & specialist interest 1 day & multi-day tours * City tours * Nature, wildlife, history, walking, culture, whisky, island-hopping & more interests & activities * Spectacular off-the beaten track routes, where large coaches won't travel * Our maximum passenger number is 8

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