Places to See | Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
On the very edge of the Irish Sea lie The Gobbins cliffs. (Irish: Gobán meaning “tip/point of land” or “headland”)
The Gobbins Cliff Path is a cliff-face path at Islandmagee, County Antrim, Northern Ireland – on the Causeway Coastal Route. The path runs across bridges, past caves and through a tunnel along The Gobbins cliffs.
While The Gobbins Cliff Path is a spectacular new adventure on the Causeway Coastal Route, it is also a re-awakened coastal experience which was first enjoyed by the Edwardians over a century ago. The original cliff path was created by a pioneering Irish railway engineer called Berkeley Deane Wise. He designed and built the path as a tourist attraction and it drew worldwide acclaim. It first opened in 1902 and quickly became famous as a white knuckle walk.
Thousands of people visited The Gobbins in the first few decades of the 20th century – advertisements of the time declared;
the new cliff path along The Gobbins Cliffs, with its ravines, bore caves, natural aquariums … has no parallel in Europe as a marine cliff walk.
The path, which is carved into black basalt cliffs, was an engineering triumph – it’s connected by a network of walkways and bridges – the most iconic of which was the tubular bridge which has been replaced with an almost identical replica. A guide will escort you on a journey along the narrow winding cliff edge path which rises and dips and follows the curves of curious geology. Bridges, tunnels, caves, steps, unique rock formations and stunning views will punctuate your path as you walk, presenting themselves in a different light for your return journey.
The new Visitor Centre, located a short distance away from The Gobbins Cliffs, is where the expedition will begin. The Visitor Centre gives information about the building of The Gobbins, its history from Edwardian times and the geology and ecology of Islandmagee. It also houses a café serving the locally famous Rinkha ice-cream plus a gift shop stocking local arts and crafts.
Access to the new cliff path is by guided tour only, with tours operating every hour. This County Antrim attraction is very popular so advance booking is advised. The Cliff Path is not suitable for children under the height of 1.2 metres and there are no exceptions to this rule.
Weather along the coast can suddenly change so come prepared. Wear outdoor clothing according to the weather, layers are best as it can be windy but as you will be walking, you may get warm. Sturdy walking shoes, hiking boots or trainers with ankle support and good treads are required. Plimsolls and hiking sandals are not suitable. A waterproof jacket or poncho is also required. Even if it is not raining you are likely to get a splash or two from waves or the resident sea birds!
The Gobbins is set to become another jewel on the famous Causeway Coastal Route a stunning 120-mile driving route, voted one of the world’s top road trips.
Address: Gobbins Cliff Path Visitor Centre, Middle Road, Islandmagee, Larne, Co Antrim Northern Ireland BT40 3SX