Rose of Tralee hopefuls Gobsmacked by beauty of Mid and East Antrim’s top tourism gem
Tuesday 22 May 2018
This year’s local budding Rose of Tralee competitors praised the beauty of Mid and East’s Antrim tourism gem, The Gobbins, during a visit to Northern Ireland’s most exhilarating tourism attraction.
The Gobbins, near Islandmagee, is a spectacular coastal walk situated on the Causeway Coastal Route - voted the number one region in the world to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet.
Thousands have already visited the epic path since it reopened for the season last month, with guests flocking from across Northern Ireland, Germany, India, Iceland, America, Holland and Spain.
And last Sunday, a group of Antrim Rose finalists took to the path to take in its jaw-dropping scenery, spectacular wildlife and unique visitor experience, ahead of this year’s Rose of Tralee Festival.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, said: “We were delighted to welcome our Antrim Roses to The Gobbins.
“They had a fantastic day exploring what is without doubt Northern Ireland’s most exciting tourism attraction.
“The response and interest in The Gobbins is phenomenal. Already this season we have had thousands of visitors from around the world. Indeed, more than half of those who have joined us travelled from outside Northern Ireland.
“Good luck to the Antrim Roses ahead of this year’s Rose of Tralee Festival and we look forward to welcoming them back to The Gobbins in future.”
Antrim Rose Centre coordinator Stephanie Petticrew said: “Our 2018 Antrim Rose entrants were thrilled to be invited to the iconic Gobbins.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to visit part of our beautiful Antrim coastline, to experience first-hand one of Northern Ireland greatest tourist attractions and showcase The Gobbins to the Rose of Tralee family across the globe via our social media platforms.”
Weaving its way along the base of the dramatic basalt cliffs, visitors cross amazing bridges, access tunnels and narrow pathways in an up close and personal experience of the spectacular coastline.
As visitors travel along the path, they hear about the geology and biodiversity of the area, as well as the history attached to the location.
Looking down to the sheltered waters, an abundance of wildlife is often visible and the suspension bridge provides an expansive viewing point over a nesting place for seabirds.
The Mayor added: “The Gobbins plays a key role within the Borough’s tourism strategy and is a crucial contributor to the long-term growth of tourism within Mid and East Antrim and Northern Ireland.
“Council is committed to a long-term development strategy in partnership with the Mid and East Antrim tourism sector and future investors, to grow the economic impact of tourism along the Causeway Coastal Route.
“The Gobbins’ position in Islandmagee makes it an ideal attraction for local visitors and independent travellers to Northern Ireland. We look forward to welcoming many more visitors to The Gobbins and the Mid and East Antrim area to see just how much we have to offer.”
The 1.2 mile-long cliff walk is one of the most ambitious engineering projects ever seen in Northern Ireland and was originally built in the early 20th century.
Online booking is open for public tours, with slots available every half hour.
For more information, to keep up to date or book tickets, you can go to The Gobbins Cliff Path website.