Gobbins Cliff Path
Gobbins Cliff Path

Causeway Coastal Route Sights Improved

Updated October 2021: The Causeway Coastal Route, a popular driving destination in Northern Ireland that showcases the area’s incredible beauty, was given £25,000 in 2020 from Invest Northern Ireland’s Collaborative Growth Program to enhance a number of popular attractions that include The Gobbins and others.

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The Coastal Causeway route in Northern Ireland. Photo: Stefan Schnebelt for Tourism Ireland.

The other attractions include The Glens of Antrim and Causeway, as well as Binevenagh, a mountainous region in Co. Derry.

Here is some more information on each of these attractions on the Causeway Coastal Route.



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The Gobbins

Located in Islandmagee in County Antrim, The Gobbins Cliff Path is a coastal trail that will take you across bridges, past caves, and through a tunnel, all while taking in the stunning beauty of the Irish Sea coastline with its rich birdlife.

It is located about 20 miles (32 km) from Belfast.

Discover the history of the Gobbins at the Gobbins Visitor Centre. Photo: By EastAntrimMan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39343183

The path, opened in 1902, was the vision of Berkeley Deane Wise, chief engineer of the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway Company.

With the advent of the railway in the 19th century, it was possible to not only move goods from city to city but also to transport people to places they might never have seen before.

Wise’s vision was to use the recently expanded railway in Northern Ireland to attract visitors to this new path.

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And while thousands of people visited The Gobbins during the first few decades of the 20th century, the railway company’s financial difficulties forced the closure of the Gobbins Cliff Path leading up to World War II.

The old bridge still remains at the Gobbins alongside the newer one constructed in the mid-2000s. Photo: By EastAntrimMan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39343184

It wasn’t until the mid-2000s that the path was modernized and opened to the public once again, thanks to a grant from the European Union.

A visit to The Gobbins includes a 2.5-hour guided walking tour. The path itself is arduous and often narrow and uneven, so it may not be for everyone.

The tubular bridge at The Gobbins. Photo: Arthur Ward, Tourism Ireland.

Some of the highlights include the tubular bridge, an exposed tubular walkway that was built about 32 feet above the ocean; the “aquarium,” which is where the walk bends like an elbow in the Irish Sea below, forming a natural aquarium of seawater; and “Wise’s Eye,” a rock formation that provides access to the most spectacular section of the path.

Before taking the walk, it is advisable to wear suitable clothing and good hiking boots with good tread and ankle support.

Everyone is required to wear a helmet.

The attraction is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You must pre-book your tickets.

Admission is £20 for adults; £14.50 for children up to age 16, seniors, and students; and £42 for a family ticket (2 adults, 1 child).

The Glens of Antrim

Known locally as The Glens, this area of Northern Ireland contains nine glens of outstanding beauty that are located in North Antrim.

The Glens of Antrim. Photo: Chris Hill Photographic for Tourism Ireland.

The Glens landscape includes lush forests, grasslands, sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, waterfalls, and more.

There are actually nine glens in this region.

They include:

  • Glenarm, also known as the Valley of the Army;
  • Glencoy, also known as the Valley of the Sword;
  • Glenariff, also known as the Valley of the Plough;
  • Glenballyeamon, also known as Valley Edwardstown;
  • Glenaan, also known as the Valley of the Little Fords;
  • Glencorp, also known as the Valley of the Dead;
  • Glendun, also known as the Valley of the Dun;
  • Glenshesk, also known as the Sedgy Glen; and
  • Glentaisie, the most northerly of the glens and named after Princess Taisie of Rathlin Island.

You can explore the region on foot or by car.

a ruined building near the water Causeway Coastal Route
The beautiful Rathlin Island, off the coast of Co. Antrim. Photo: Joshua McMichael for Tourism Ireland.

The Ulster Way is a 625-mile (1,000 km) circular waymarked walking trail that runs close to the sea and incorporates much of The Glens area.

The Moyle Way is another trail that runs through the heart of The Glens.

The 26-mile (42 km) waymarked route brings walkers inland from Glengarriff Forest in the south of Antrim to Ballycastle on its northern coast.

Take a Tour of the Giant's Causeway and the Glens of Antrim (for groups of up to 4 people)

Binevenagh

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you may already know that the popular HBO series was filmed in the area of Northern Ireland called Binevenagh.

Binevenagh Mountain Causeway Coastal Route
Binevenagh Mountain in Co. Derry, which forms part of the Antrim plateau. This was the setting for the Dothraki Grasslands. Photo: Tourism Northern Ireland.

The mountainous region of Co. Derry, in particular the cliffs of Binevenagh, formed the backdrop for a scene in which Daenerys Targaryen is surrounded by Dothraki horsemen and taken as a prisoner.

The nearby Downhill beach, also part of the Binevenagh region, is where other scenes from the series were filmed.

an aerial view of a beach in Northern Ireland Causeway Coastal Route
Downhill Beach. Photo: Chris Hill Photographic for Tourism Ireland.

Exploring Binevenagh can be done on foot or by car.

If you’re driving, take the Bishop’s Road that extends across the plateau.

Local attractions include Mussenden Temple, which belongs to the National Trust and is part of the Downhill Demesne Walk.

Read More: Find Affordable Accommodation in Belfast

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