Along the rugged Causeway Coast cliff sides of Northern Ireland there is a pirate-like experience, of treading along a narrow old footbridge, with the wild Atlantic Ocean below, home to many a basking shark.
The Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge, along the dark stunning coast featured on popular TV show Game of Thrones, you can tiptoe along the edge of the stunning cliffs and enjoy a wild experience like no other. Salmon was fished here for over 400 years previous and you can watch out for glimpses of lifting gear for raising boats and salmon fishing nets as well as the old quarry, which is now the entrance car park.
The area is home to many wildflowers such as orchids and seabirds such as Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes, Fulmars and Oystercatchers. The National Trust also holds stargazing nights on location, due to its stunning outlook.
Then comes the Carrick A Rede rope bridge looming down an incline. Tiny metal steps allow access to the narrow bridge, where only one person will fit along at a time. Below the bridge basking sharks, porpoises and dolphins can be seen from the bridge, which is strung across two rock faces straight over the ocean.
“It’s an invigorating and thrilling experience dangling over the top end of the globe, the fog that sometimes lingers adds to the theatrics of it all.”
Once made over to the other side, you can explore the rock bolder called “the rock in the road” that sits out in the ocean where salmon was caught, on a clear day providing excellent views to Rathlin Island, which sits only 7 kms of the coast. Puffins breed along the island’s coast every year.
Both breathtaking and thrilling, once again you make it back over the bridge to exit via the nature walk, wondering if you really have just dangled out across the cold Atlantic. The green lush cliff sides are a welcome sight.
The Carrick A Rede rope bridge is open at selected times of the year, due to the chaotic and sometimes harsh weather along the Causeway Coastline.
You can visit the rope bridge by “Game of Thrones” tours from Belfast or Dublin, which takes you past many of the locations for filming, or you can self drive or backpack around the Causeway Coast, there are many hostels dotted along the coastline.
Do you dare cross it?
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