Saturday 22 October 2016

The Gobbins: 'White-knuckle' path re-opens on Northern Ireland's coast

Walk this way

Published 19/08/2015 | 15:36

The Gobbins Cliff path
The Gobbins Cliff path
The Gobbins, one of Northern Ireland's most unique attractions, reopened today. Pictured enjoying the spectacular sights is model Collette ONeill.
Tourists make their way along The Gobbins coastal path on August 19, 2015 in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
The Gobbins Cliff path
The Gobbins cliff path

Northern Ireland's historic 'Gobbins' coastal path has re-opened after a multi-million pound investment.

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The Gobbins, a two-mile-long cliff path first developed in the early 20th century at Islandmagee, was officially re-opened today.

Hailed as a ‘best kept secret’ along the Causeway Coastal Route, the path encompasses tubular and suspension bridges, caves, steps and carved tunnels along its route.

Designed by Irish railway engineer Berkley Deane Wise, it originally opened in 1902 to Edwardian 'thrill-seekers'.

After falling into disrepair, however, it was closed in 1954.

The £7.5 million (€10.6m) investment sees it back in business over six decades later, complete with a new visitor centre and guided tours.

Described as "an engineering masterpiece", the refurbished path provides "an unexpected, white-knuckle walk across one of Ulster’s most dramatic coastlines," according to Tourism Northern Ireland.

Guided tours that begin with a safety briefing allow visitors to enjoy the coast in a way they have not been able to in over 50 years, it adds, promising "to excite all the senses, and be the closest visitors will get to walking on water."

Built alongside the eroded remains of the original path, the new experience uses modern materials and methods, coupled with the original design ethos.

Funding came from the Special Union Programmes Body, the former Larne Borough Council and the Ulster Garden Villages Association.

The visitor centre will tell the story of the path, first conceived of in 1902, as well as the geology and ecology of Islandmagee.

The Gobbins will open daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm, and is not suitable for very young children. Pre-booking is recommended on

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