Watch: Sneak peek at the Gobbins Path

One of Mid and East Antrim's top tourist attractions is getting ready to welcome its first visitors of the season.

The Gobbins, near Islandmagee, is a spectacular coastal walk situated on the Causeway Coastal Route.

Tour guide Davie Moore (right) leads a group around the Gobbins cliff path.  Photo by Paul Faith

Tour guide Davie Moore (right) leads a group around the Gobbins cliff path. Photo by Paul Faith

It was voted the number one region in the world to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet.

Online booking is now open for public tours starting this Saturday (April 28), with slots available every half hour.

And the guided tours are filling up fast, according to Alister Bell, Gobbins Operations Manager.

"This weekend and the bank holiday weekend are relatively full already," he said.

A tour group at the Gobbins.

A tour group at the Gobbins.

"We work with about 20 different international tour operators so we will have people coming from all over the world."

It's not hard to see what attracts visitors to the 1.2 mile path, which has spectacular views over the ocean.

A series of bridges, including the showpiece tubular bridge, link with rugged steps and pathways to cut their way round the base of the cliffs.

The route allows visitors to get closer to a host of seabirds that make the area their home such as kittiwakes, razorback gulls, and fulmars.

An opening at the path known as Wise's Eye.

An opening at the path known as Wise's Eye.

Occasionally other wildlife, such as porpoises, can be spotted on the seaward side of the path.

A section known as The Tunnel - not for the claustrophobic - takes walkers through the heart of the rock face.

Originally built at the turn of the 20th century and opened in 1902, the path was the brainchild of Co Wexford-born engineer Berkeley Deane Wise.

Hints of its Victorian roots can still be seen, including the remnants of one of the original bridges.

"When they re-imagined the path the bridges were set further out, to allow for landslips and landfalls," said Gobbins tour guide, Davie Moore.

"When you come here you are on about 85 percent of the original path."

Visitors can also hear more about the geology and biodiversity of the area during the tour, as well as the history attached to the location.

For more information, to keep up to date or book tickets, go to www.thegobbinscliffpath.com