'Small section' of Gobbins path closed

The Gobbins showpiece tubular bridge.
The Gobbins showpiece tubular bridge.

A small section of the Gobbins cliff path has been temporarily closed, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has said.

The Islandmagee coastal attraction will be monitored closely with hopes that the issue will be resolved within the next fortnight.

The 1.2-mile path has previously been closed on a number of occasions due to rock falls and land slips.

It is understood that a rock slide is behind the latest closure.

A spokesman for the local government authority said: “An issue was identified midway through June, and as the health and safety of visitors and of our staff is paramount, a small section towards the end of the coastal path has been temporarily closed until monitoring of the area is complete. We expect this will be resolved within two weeks.

“In the meantime, our visitors are also being taken to the attraction’s viewing platform to enjoy the area’s breath-taking views.

“Our teams have ensured minimal disruption to tours, which continue every 30 minutes in order to meet continued phenomenal demand.

“The spectacular Gobbins is a natural coastal site exposed to the elements, which is a large part of its attraction and why people from all over the world want to explore the path, and why it must be managed in accordance with specialist geologist, ornithology and rope access teams.”

The path is environmentally managed to ensure all users respect and retain the natural environment, protecting its Area of Special Scientific Interest listing, the spokesman added.

The Gobbins has seen over 9,600 visitors since it reopened for the summer season in April.