Gobbins Path reopens for summer season

The Gobbins. Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons
The Gobbins. Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

The Gobbins cliff path at Islandmagee will reopen tomorrow (June 30) after a 12 month closure.

The tourist attraction will remain open during July and August with visitors able to walk “most of its length”.

(From left): Gobbins guide Mandy Johnston, MEA Council CEO Anne Donaghy, Mayor Cllr Paul Reid and Emma Gribben, guest relations. Picture by Darren Kidd /Press Eye.

(From left): Gobbins guide Mandy Johnston, MEA Council CEO Anne Donaghy, Mayor Cllr Paul Reid and Emma Gribben, guest relations. Picture by Darren Kidd /Press Eye.

The spectacular Gobbins cliff path “clings to over a mile of rugged Antrim coastline.

However, the end section of the walk will remain closed to protect birds during the nesting season.

To offset this, visitors will be offered a one-off chance to visit the beautiful bay of nearby Portmuck, the third largest bird sanctuary in Ireland

Engineering works are scheduled to recommence in the autumn.

MEA Council CEO Anne Donaghy and Mayor Cllr Paul Reid pictured during a visit to The Gobbins in Islandmagee. Picture by Darren Kidd /Press Eye.

MEA Council CEO Anne Donaghy and Mayor Cllr Paul Reid pictured during a visit to The Gobbins in Islandmagee. Picture by Darren Kidd /Press Eye.

The facility has been closed for essential maintenance work. It has been operational just six months since it first opened in August 2015.

Commenting on the reopening, Mid and East Antrim mayor Cllr. Paul Reid said: “As Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, I am delighted to be announcing the reopening of The Gobbins.

“We have strong forward bookings from visitors from across the world and I look forward to introducing them to this must-see attraction which has been acknowledged as one of the most ambitious tourism projects undertaken in the UK and Ireland in recent years.

“Council believes The Gobbins plays a strategically vital role in the development of the east coast of the island of Ireland and the Causeway Coastal Route, in particular.

Anne Donaghy, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s CEO, added: “The Gobbins cliff path is a key facility within the Mid and East Antrim tourism strategy and I believe the Gobbins will be a key contributor to the long-term growth of tourism within Northern Ireland and the Island of Ireland.

“The Gobbins is recognised as a world class attraction which is set to bring new visitors from all over the world to Mid and East Antrim and to the CCR.

“The international significance of the Gobbins cannot be underestimated in terms of direct revenue generation and the broader impact this will have on the Northern Ireland economy and tourism product. I look forward to the further development of this very unique visitor experience.”

The Gobbins manager Alister Bell says visitors need to consider the pathway as a “physically demanding adventure” and while the steep access path demands a reasonable level of fitness, the “rewards are well worth the effort”.

Mr. Bell commented: “The 24,000 thousand visitors who have had the chance to do the walk have all raved about the variety of fascinating features including views, bird life, sea life and the elements themselves.

“It provides one of the most exciting experiences any outdoor lover will remember for the rest of their lives and we know that it has now popped up on a number of people’s bucket list requests.”

The Gobbins will remain in operation seven days a week until September 1 when engineers will complete the necessary work on the final section of the path way.

The attraction is expected to be fully operational from April 2018.

For tickets and times of opening, please go to www.thegobbinscliffpath.com