On the very edge of the Irish Sea lie The Gobbins cliffs. These towering giants cling to the edge of Islandmagee some 20 miles / 32 kilometres north of Belfast on the stunning Causeway Coastal Route. Walking the cliff paths at The Gobbins is an exhilarating adventure that will excite all the senses.
While The Gobbins is a spectacular new adventure on the Causeway Coastal Route, it is also a re-awakened coastal experience which was first enjoyed in 1902 by the Edwardians. The modern cliff path at The Gobbins is an unexpected white-knuckle walk which will thrill those with a sense of adventure and delight those who wish to experience the coast up close.
A steep descent to the beginning of the cliff path is rewarded by the feeling of walking on water as you begin to experience being on the edge of Northern Ireland. You can see and hear the waves crashing against the cliffs as they have done for thousands of years. You can hear and feel the wind as it conducts the swell of the sea below your feet. You can feel the sea spray on your face. You can witness the ever-changing flora and fauna. You are be able to reach out and touch the edge of our island. You can wonder at the closeness of Scotland as you peer across the Irish sea to the east. You will be fascinated by the ancient stories of this place. 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 punctuate your path as you walk, presenting themselves in a different light for your return journey.
The Gobbins is a unique coastal experience – a reimagined ‘best kept secret’ along Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route. Building The Gobbins paths has been a complex engineering feat. The engineers on-site are balancing weather conditions, wildlife conservation, complex geology and sea conditions, so we are eagerly awaiting an official re-opening date.
How can we visit?
Access to the new cliff path is by guided tour only. The attraction is popular so advance booking is advised. The online booking system re-opens a month before the beginning of each open season at www.thegobbinscliffpath.com and reservations can also be taken by phone.
The new visitor centre located a short distance away from The Gobbins cliffs is where the expedition begins. After a brief safety induction, visitors are transported to the top of the path and guided on their journey. Visitors not wishing to walk the path can enjoy the visitor centre and learn about The Gobbins through the exhibition.
The visitor centre offers visitors information about the building of The Gobbins, its history from Edwardian times and the geology and ecology of Islandmagee. There is also a coffee shop and a gift shop.
Where are The Gobbins?
Only a 40 minute drive from Belfast, The Gobbins is located on scenic Islandmagee – a narrow peninsula, just off the brown-signed Causeway Coastal Route.
How long is the walk?
The cliff path itself is accessed by a steep downhill walk for about 1km or 15 minutes walking time. The length of the path itself is about ¾ mile / 1.2km but you will walk this twice as part of your experience. You will also need to be comfortable to walk back up the steep path on your return journey.
What should we wear?
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. Walking shoes or trainers with a flat sole and good treads and a waterproof jacket or poncho are required. Even if it is not raining you are likely to get a splash or two from waves or the resident sea birds!
Is it suitable for children?
Due to the nature of the attraction and for everyone’s safety and enjoyment there is a height restriction in place similar to those used by some roller coasters. The attraction may not be suitable for most children under the age of 8, you can phone in advance of booking your visit for further guidance is required.
Here is a flavour of what to expect:
You can also follow @TheGobbins on Twitter to keep up to date.
The Gobbins is another jewel on the famous Causeway Coastal Route. Find out more about this stunning 120-mile driving route, voted one of the world's top road trips at: www.discovernorthernireland.com/causeway