Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast is home to some of the most stunning coastal scenery I have ever seen and a short drive from the Giant’s Causeway is the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.
Owned by the National Trust, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a famous rope bridge near Ballintoy in County Antrim, which links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede and was first erected by salmon fishermen in 1755.
From the car park there is a beautiful mile-long clifftop walk along the stunning coastline to the rope bridge. You will need to purchase tickets at the reception hut in order to cross the rope bridge (National Trust members are free, but still need to get tickets to cross the bridge), although there is no charge to park and walk down to the bridge’s entrance.
The walk to the bridge takes around 15 minutes and includes a large number of uneven steps which is worth bearing in mind if you are travelling with small children.
The bridge itself is as impressive as I thought it would be, spanning 20 metres across to a rocky outcrop and 30 metres above the rocks below.
What I was not expecting was just how busy it would be, with people queuing to cross on both sides of the bridge.
There is a National Trust Ranger each side of the bridge who checks your tickets and grants access through the gate.
If I am honest, I found the whole experience quite disappointing. They send 20-30 people across at one time, so there is no time to stop and take photo’s, although I have been told it is quieter first thing in the morning. The kids were not phased at all, although we did have to be either side of Sebastian on the steep steps to ensure he didn’t fall.
We did have plans to cross the bridge and then head to Dunluce Castle, but were waiting a good half an hour to do the first crossing, and 15 minutes on the return crossing, so ran out of time.
Views of the stunning coastline are to each side and straight ahead as you step off the bridge and on to Carrick-a-Rede Island – the ‘rock in the road’ where fisherman came to catch migrating salmon. Sadly for us, much of the island was closed on our visit, so we didn’t get a chance to see the Fisherman’s Cottage.
It is then back across the bridge to head back to the carpark, where if you look carefully, you will find Larrybane – a location used in season 2 of Game of Thrones as Renly Baratheon’s camp and where Brienne was named to Renly’s Kingsguard. It was also used in season 5 as the setting for the Kingsmoot.
There are lots Game of Thrones Filming locations located along the Causeway Coast and all are well worth visiting for the scenery as well as their significance.