This year I haven’t gone on any touring adventures yet, with the arrival of Caronavirus making the rounds globally, so far I have canceled one holiday this year. So in light of that, I am writing about adventures I have gone on but not yet written about. There are few of them which I will start research, writing and gathering photographs for in the meantime until it is safe to travel again.
So this blast from the past was from my honeymoon in Northern Ireland, what definitely doesn’t feel so long ago but was almost exactly 5 years ago. Luckily, if my memory is not so fresh, Googling the place, and Google Photos (with the map view) are my best helpers in dragging up the details.
Staying in Belfast, my husband and I went with McComb’s Coach Travel, on the Game of Thrones tour (which probably justifies its own article!). The driver was an excellent guide along the way giving us some local facts. He dropped us off at the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge for a quick walk along the bridge, up to the island and back to the coach again.
Carrick-a-Rede Bridge is situated in Ballycastle, County Antrim in Northern Ireland, connecting the County Antrim mainland and Carrick Island across the Atlantic Ocean. It was first constructed by some brave salmon fishermen about 300 years ago, allowing them to access this prime fishing spot. Fishermen would lower their boat onto the water, divert the salmon from the coast, around the island and into their nets. About 100 fishermen would work on the island at its busiest time.
The tour started at Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge car park with a scenic 18-minute walk to the bridge. You can walk across rope bridge which extends almost 30 m above sea level to get onto the island. The crossing itself is an exhilarating experience crossing the 18.3 m gap, having wooden slats under your foot and the ropes in your hands. Underneath you, you can see the waves, the birds on the cliffs and the wind which sways the bridge. When you get onto the island, a short walk will take you around the island, giving you great views of the surrounding coastline and Sheep Island in the distance.
The bridge crosses over the mouth of an ancient volcano that is over 60 million years old. When you are on the island and look back at the mainland, look out for a dark vertical pillar through a white chalk cliff. That dark pillar is basalt, which is cooled lava.
If you aren’t going through with a tour coach, you can book your trip online and use the website’s timed ticketing system, arriving at your chosen time to cross the bridge. Since a limited number of people can cross the bridge at one time, having a pre-booked ticket is recommended.
Also to note, in high winds the bridge might be closed. Keep tabs on the Carrick-a-Rede twitter feed for update
1. Walk to the bridge
2. the bridge
3. on the island
Reference: https://discovernorthernireland.com/Carrick-a-Rede-Rope-Bridge-Ballintoy-Ballycastle-P2829/ and the sign board at the bridge.