Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in Co. Antrim links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. It spans 20m and is 30m above the rocks below.
Fishermen first built the bridge in 1755 & they have been building bridges for over 350 years. Back then salmon fishing was a flourishing industry and a catch of up to 300 salmon a day was common. This lasted until the 1960’s. Sadly nowadays overfishing and pollution has meant that the last salmon caught here was in 2002. The only building on the island is a small fisherman’s cottage. It was restored and once provided shelter for the fishermen when they worked. Not only was the cottage restored the island’s crane was restored too. The crane had been on the island for over 100 years when during a storm in 2014 it was weathered away and destroyed.
The bridge has taken many forms over the years some scarier than others but I can assure you the current bridge is very safe and can take up to 10 tonnes so there is no need to worry! The bridge may be safe but it is still not for the faint-hearted. A boat has even been know to take people back to the mainland if they cannot face the walk back over the bridge!
The bridge is situated in an area of exceptional beauty. On clear days you can even see Scottish islands. The section of coast that it sits on is one of Ireland’s most stunning coastal trails. As you take the walk to the bridge you will be flanked by the ocean, cliffs and beaches before you descend the steps to reach the bridge. It is also an area with an abundance of wildlife. Basking sharks, dolphins and porpoises like to swim in the area. Once you have braved the bridge you should enjoy a hot drink and something sweet. Weighbridge tea-room will provide you with a range of treats and they also feature gifts from local suppliers.
This is one of the attractions on our Giants causeway day trip