Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is located on the North Antrim Coast between Ballycastle and Balintoy harbour.
It’s close to other great attractions such as the Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle.
All lie within about a 10 mile stretch of County Antrim coastline.Local fishermen have kept a bridge here since the mid 1600s. The name Carrick-a-Rede (Carraig-a-Rade) means the rock in the road. The road being the sea migration route of salmon past the island to which the bridge crossed from the mainland.The waters around this area of coast are often too rough to be reached by a small boat and it was due to this that local fishermen kept the bridge in order to reach the best places to catch the migrating salmon.
The rope bridge is approx. 70ft across and spans a chasm 80ft deep above the sea.
The bridges construction once consisted of a single, rope, hand rail and widely spaced slats. The single handrail was subsequently replaced by a dual hand railed bridge. The current caged bridge was installed by the National Trust during Easter of 2000. It was a further safety measure, although no-one has ever fallen off any of the bridges. Normally erected in the spring and taken down in the autumn, a salmon bag net is checked and emptied daily between June and August except weekends when it is not fished. The bridge is maintained by the National Trust.Visitors bold enough to cross from the cliffs to the rocky island (which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest) are rewarded with splendid uninterrupted views of Rathlin, the Scottish islands and fantastic bird-watching.
I find walking over this 80 foot high, wind swept bridge, quite scary. I don’t like heights though!
It’s a little walk out to the rope bridge. It’s a cliff path and a distance of approx. half a mile (20 minute walk). The path is quite steep in some places with rough steps.Strong boots or good walking shoes are recommended, but the views and adventure make the hike all worthwhile. The facilities here include a Tearoom. Toilets are located beside the main car park.For those interested in bird-watching, like myself, may get the opportunity to see: Eiders, Fulmars, Kittywakes, Guillemots, and Razorbills. The island to which the rope bridge leads is an important breeding ground for these birds during the months of April to July.
119a Whitepark Road, Ballintoy, Co. Antrim BT54 6LS
If you are travelling by car it’s on the B15, 7ml East of Bushmills, 5ml West of Ballycastle.
The drive time from Belfast is approx. 1.15 hours.
For car hire information, checkout, Getting Around.
Going by Bus? Ulsterbus 172, 177. Causeway Rambler bus (Ulsterbus 376) between Bushmills and Carrick-a-Rede operates in summer; or Ulsterbus 252 is a circular route via the Antrim Glens from Belfast. Both stop at the Rope Bridge.
If you would like an accurate map reference location for the Rope Bridge, type the postcode, BT54 6LS into Google Maps
If you would driving directions to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge from anywhere in Northern Ireland, use Route Planner
Getting there using a Bicycle. National Cycle Network (NCN) route 93 runs past the Rope Bridge.
The bridge is open, weather permitting, every day between the 1st March – 2nd November, 2008.The opening times are: 1 March 08 – 25 May 08, 10:00-18:00. 26 May 08 – 31 August 08, 10:00-19:00. 1 September 08 – 2 November 08, 10:00-18:00.Admission Price:Adult: £3.70, Child £2, Family £9.40.
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