I can tell with certainty that every Carrick-A-Rede Rope bridge visitor has this picture. A one kilometre long coastal walk from the car park over the high cliffs is a treat itself, but still everybody hopes to catch a distant view of the famous bridge, so they stop after each turn of the path and take a snap.
The truth is, you cannot see the bridge until you get there.
The Carrick-A-Rede Rope bridge is a famous tourist landmark of Northern Ireland. It connects the mainland with a small rocky island ( “carrick “goes for a “rock” in Gaelic ).
If you expect an Indiana Jones-ish experience, you will be disappointed. The bridge is not too long; it won’t break up; it won’t swing and toss you in the waves. No one ever fell over the rope handrails, but there were plenty of tourists who just couldn’t make it back… No, they don’t get picked up by a helicopter as I hoped when I first crossed the bridge in 2005. The miserable are seated in a boat and ferried off to the mainland. No, I wasn’t in the boat. It was a windy day, but I made it back: a man with a little baby walking behind me gave me the courage.
The rope bridge didn’t always look the way it looks now. Built by salmon fishers in 1600s it was used from June to September as an access to the rocky islands. The fishers ran their nets between the islands to catch the salmons coming through the area to spawn in the nearby rivers. Below is an image taken in the 19th century. Up to the 1970s the bridge had only a single handrail.
When the salmon fishing came to the end The National Trust installed a new, tourist friendly cage bridge to span the 18m wide and 24m deep chasm. It was a unique and costly project. The bridge was taken down and re-installed annually. Another one was built in 2004, and the current one is built in 2008. Now the bridge is opened all the year round if the weather conditions are not dangerous.
In June 2012 the Olympic Flame was carried onto the Carrick A Rede bridge by a P.E. teacher Clare Leahy from Coleraine. After that the Flame was carried to the Giant’s Causeway ( my next blog).
When you get over the bridge Scotland is as close as never before 🙂
Walking around the island you can enjoy the glorious scenery and take pictures.
Sooner or later you have to cross the bridge again…
The more you do it the less you fear. If I come again next year I might even look down…
So this is my story for to day. There is a link to the webpage where you can read more about the timetable and tickets. If you don’t want to cross the bridge don’t buy any tickets and just walk over and watch the others cross. The walk is beautiful and free.
To be continued.
Photography tip of the day: secure your shooting gear and memory cards. A gust of wind can ruin your trip.