Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in Northern Ireland is one of those unexpected gems. A highly popular touristy location that has not actually lost its appeal that put it on the map in the first place. Located in the northern most part of Northern Ireland, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a short rope bridge connecting mainstream Ireland with the tiny island of Carrickarede. The rope bridge is only 46cm wide, spans 20m from end to end and is strung 30m above the Atlantic Ocean.
History of the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
The rope bridge was actually first erected in 1755 to aid fisherman who fished for salmon from the Carrickarede island. Prior to the rope bridge, fisherman would use boats to get across; however once the rope bridge was constructed it certainly made things a lot easier. Unfortunately, there are now no salmon in the waters surrounding Carrickarede and fishing died out along with it.
Carrick-a-Rede became a tourist area and the area is now managed by the National Trust. The rope bridge has also been reconstructed, as recently as 2008. The building method is interesting, as even in 2008, building a bridge over this area is difficult. You can read about it here. However, feel no fear when crossing by rope bridge, as it is very safe with 21st century safety standards.
How to Visit Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
When we visited (in June 2016) we did not have a timed ticket; however, as of 2017 tickets are booked in timed allocations to assist with crowds. Each ticket allows the bearer one hour to cross the bridge. I definitely think this is a great idea to ensure everyone has time to enjoy the area. You can find the opening hours here.
We visited as part of a Northern Ireland day tour as this was the most convenient for us. Visiting almost anywhere by tour does mean you are likely to arrive in peak hour and be with the crowds. If this bothers you and you can, I do definitely recommend finding your own form of transport. There is free parking at Carrick-a-Rede so you can also drive if you have hired a car.
The actual rope bridge is located a bit of walk (about 1km) from the carpark, but the scenery is so beautiful (especially if you are lucky like we were to visit on a spectacular and clear day) that the walk is just as enjoyable.
A Photo Diary
Exploring the coastal walk along to Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.
Crossing Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
Looking back on the Northern Ireland landscape from Carrickarede island.
If you are considering Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge on your Northern Ireland adventure, I highly recommend.
Want to visit? Book online here!
If you are interested in visiting Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, you may also want to read Why You Need to Visit Northern Ireland for more amazing destinations you can visit while here.