Gobbins Cliff Path

If you are a thrill-seeking, nature-loving explorer of awe-inspiring scenery you might want to engulf yourself in Europe’s most dramatic cliff path. The Gobbins is a spectacular cliff walk located in Islandmagee.

Location: The Gobbins Visitor Centre, Middle Road, Islandmagee, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland, BT40 3SL

Phone Number: +44 (0) 28 9337 2318

If you are a thrill-seeking, nature-loving explorer of awe-inspiring scenery you might want to engulf yourself in Europe’s most dramatic cliff path. The Gobbins is a spectacular cliff walk located in Islandmagee, just 6 miles from Larne and on the famous Causeway Coastal Route.

Originally opened in August 1902, the 3-mile (5km) path carves its way along the basalt cliffs, over 250 ft high, on the Islandmagee coastline. Starting at the Wise’s Eye, named after Berkeley Dean Wise, an Irish Civil engineer who created the Gobbins Path, the path weaves its way across railway-inspired suspension bridges, passing through old smuggling caves and along sea-sprayed pathways. At one point you will remarkably find yourself walking below sea level and might be lucky enough to witness the dolphins and Puffins enjoy playing in the refreshing waters up above.  As you travel along the path, with birds diving over your head, a tour guide will tell you all about the folklore, history, geology and biodiversity of the area.

The path itself has a fascinating history. When this cliff path was first constructed in 1902 it was billed as having “no parallel in Europe as a marine cliff walk”.  Similar in its tourist success at this time to the Giants Causeway, it was a popular place to visit with special sightseeing excursion trains alighting from Whitehead or Ballycarry before travelling to the Gobbins by Jaunting Car or Charabanc.

Sadly, in 1954 the Cliff Path had to close due to the depression of the 1930s, safety reasons and WW2. In the year 2015, after years of canvassing from the local people, the renewal of interest from major television stations and investment from Larne Borough Council and Mid and East Antrim Borough council as well as investment from the EU, this fascinating old tourist attraction was finally reopened much to the delight of local residents and visiting tourists who now have the opportunity to visit this unique and historic tourist attraction.

The new Gobbins Cliffpath is more than just a fun day out in nature, it’s a journey through time and into the elements; where bridges carry you over crashing waves to sunken caves and sheer cliff faces. A 2/3 mile long cliff face path which includes spectacular tubular and suspension bridges, a staircase, caves and tunnels carved through the rock. A fully accessible cliff-top path will provide breath-taking views of the rugged North Coast of Antrim.

The Gobbins has an Exhibition area, along with a café and gift shop.

Please book early prior to your visit of this busy tourist attraction. If tours are fully booked you can add yourself to a waiting list by creating a user profile, then clicking on the day/tour you want, and under the calendar it will give you the option to “join the waiting list”. You then fill out the online form and if places become available they will give you a call from “03001245000”

Before you book. A moderate standard of fitness is required as the Gobbins can be physically challenging. Walking boots need to be worn. Boots can be hired at the centre.  The path is 3 miles (5 km) long. Children need to be a minimum of 1.2 metres tall >16 year old.

The Gobbins is open between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm every day from the 1st of March until the first weekend of January. Tours run between 0900 and 1430.

Always arrive 15 minutes before a tour. Book and see pricing via their website.

Photos by: Mid & East Antrim Brough Council

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