The famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge is located in Ballintoy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland near the Giant’s Causeway. The bridge, which spans a little over 60 feet, links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede and is nearly 100 feet above the emerald-hued waters and rocks below.
A terrifying bridge to many, some visitors simply gaze at those who dare to walk across, while others just enjoy the spectacular natural beauty and fight off anxiety by not looking down. A few have made it across only to find they just couldn’t stomach walking back and have to be “rescued” by a small boat that will take them back to the mainland.
If you do look down, you might just spot dolphins or even a basking shark, which frequents these waters of the North Sea. Seabirds like fulmars, kittywakes, guillemots and razorbills breed on the islands close to the rope bridge.
A short coastal footpath leads to the bridge, and along the way, there are lots of fantastic vantage points to stop and take in breathtaking panoramic vistas. Once you cross the bridge and step onto Carrick Island, the reward is seeing the diverse bird life and an uninterrupted view across to Rathlin Island and Scotland.
Originally the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in Northern Ireland only had one handrail, making it quite a bit more frightening to cross it back then.
Thankfully, today there are better safety features in place, though it’s still a scary experience for many – especially when letting go of the handrails, or simply looking down.