The stunning cliff path walk is set to reclaim its title as Northern Ireland’s premier visitor attraction as it opens to the public.
After six decades of closure and a £7.5 million investment, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council today (Wednesday 19th August 2015) reopened The Gobbins to the public, giving eager thrill-seekers the chance to uncover the once hidden wonder of the Antrim coast and indulge in an exhilarating cliff path walk.
The reimagined cliff path will draw in thousands of visitors each year from across the globe as well as re-establishing itself as the iconic Northern Ireland attraction it once was.
Speaking in advance of the public opening, the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Billy Ashe said: “This is a very exciting time for the Mid and East Antrim Borough, the local community of Islandmagee and for the people of Northern Ireland. We have brought back an exhilarating experience that reinforces the strength of Northern Ireland’s tourism offering and in no time The Gobbins will become the respected tourism giant it once was all those years back.”
Comprising of suspension tubular bridges, caves, steps, and tunnels carved through the spectacular rock face here, Mid and East Antrim Borough’s reimagined treasure has brought what was once a thriving 1900’s hotspot into the 21st century.
Along the trail, visitors will not only enjoy spectacular views of the natural landscape here but get up close to a diverse range of wildlife and gain privileged access to Northern Ireland’s only mainland colony of Puffins alongside various other bird species.
As well as the geological interests, Gobbins Cliff Path boasts history and heritage. It was first enjoyed in 1902 by the Edwardians following its original development by visionary Berkeley Deane Wise, Chief Engineer of the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway Company.
After relishing five decades as Northern Ireland’s top tourism attraction, even exceeding the popularity of the Giant’s Causeway in its heyday, The Gobbins went into disrepair and closed to the public in 1954.
While Gobbins has preserved its original charm to offer the same spellbinding appeal that it did in its prime, new additions bring it into the modern day, including a state-of-the-art Visitor Centre with a café, an Interpretation/ Exhibition space, pre-tour rooms, a shop for branded memorabilia and local crafts, as well as a Tourist Information point.
The Mayor concluded: “It is with great pride and excitement that we open the doors of The Gobbins and share its majestic story with a new generation. There has always been a huge interest in the attraction even long after it closed and today that interest has been heightened dramatically. The demand to experience what is a truly amazing jewel in the Antrim Coastal crown has stretched beyond Northern Ireland as far afield as Australia.
“Bookings are coming in fast and the demand has been phenomenal. I have no doubt that the enthusiasm for The Gobbins will continue to grow rapidly for the foreseeable future.”
The Gobbins cliff path requires a reasonable level of fitness. There is also a height restriction in place and booking online is essential at www.thegobbinscliffpath.com for the hourly tours that depart on the hour from 10am until 3pm is essential. Tickets cost £8.50 per person and £23 for family tickets.