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Ailsa Craig

This volcanic plug, 341m (1109 ft) high, sometimes known as Paddy’s Milestone, (it lies half way between Belfast and Glasgow) is famous for the fine granite used in the manufacture of most of the world’s curling stones. All the curling stones at the last Winter Olympics were made from Ailsa granite.

The island’s other claim to fame is as a nature reserve with Britain’s third largest gannet colony. In the mid 19th century Ailsa Craig had a huge colony of puffins – 250,000 pairs bred there. But rats arrived in 1889, ate puffin eggs and young puffins, and by 1934 there was not a breeding puffin left. But thanks to a rat eradication programme started in 1991 – 5 tons of rat poison was used – the rats are gone and the puffins are making a comeback.

Boat trips from Girvan.

Find out more on Ailsa Craig from Wikipedia


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