A short coastal footpath leads to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. On the way, there are wonderful vantage points to stop and take in the natural beauty. The geology, flora and fauna have won Carrick-a-Rede recognition as an area of special scientific interest. Fulmars, kittywakes, guillemots and razorbills breed on the islands close to the rope bridge.
Of course, Carrick-a-Rede also boasts an exhilarating rope bridge experience. Traditionally fishermen erected the bridge to Carrick-a-Rede island over a 23m-deep and 20m-wide chasm to check their salmon nets. Today visitors are drawn here simply to take the rope bridge challenge!
The rope bridge originally consisted of a single rope hand rail which has been replaced by a two hand railed bridge by the National Trust. Sheep Island View Hostel display a collection of old photographs of people doing stunts on the bridge.
Once you reach Carrick Island, the reward is seeing the diverse birdlife and an uninterrupted view across to Rathlin Island and Scotland. There is only one way off the island – back across the swinging bridge! Don’t look down!
The area is exceptional in is natural beauty, to the left as you come down the steep hill is Larrybane headland which once stretched out towards Sheep Island and had a promontory fort on the top dating to 800AD, underneath large caves once served as home to boat builders and a safe resting place from winter storms. Despite having been quarried in the 1950’s this quarry is still worth a visit for its exceptional views.
- One of Northern Ireland’s best-loved attractions
- Rocky island connected to the cliffs by a rope bridge
- Exhilarating coastal path experience
- Stunning views of Rathlin and Scottish islands
- Site of Special Scientific Interest: unique geology, flora and fauna
- Fantastic bird-watching
- Children’s discovery trail for 8 -14 year olds
- Guided tours by arrangement for groups of 15+ people
- Viewing platform suitable for visitors with disabilities
- Dogs not permitted to cross bridge
Visitor facilities at Carrick-a-rede Ropebridge – Refreshments, Guided tours, Suitable for picnics, Access for visitors with disability, Facilities for families, Dogs welcome on leads.