Monday, May 14, 2007

Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge

On the way back from the Giant’s Causeway we called in at Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. I’d only been across it once before as a primary school child. Twenty something years later, the bridge isn’t as rickety or unsafe-looking as it used to be.

(c) NTPL / Joe Cornish

The picture to the right is pinched from the National Trust website, showing a previous bridge with more open sides.

While it’s still more wobbly than London’s Millennium Bridge, you’d struggle to fall off the 20m long rope bridge that stretches between the mainland cliffs and Carrick Island. It’s about a mile’s easy walk between the car park and bridge (as Jett and Wayne discovered a few weeks later). On the afternoon of Good Friday, we had to queue for about ten minutes to get across. It’s slow since nearly everyone poses in the middle of the bridge for a photo!

Going through the concrete doorway and down the wooden steps towards the bridge, my gut lurched as the 30m drop suddenly came into view. But the bridge itself is quite pleasant. Wooden boards disguise the worst of the scene below—though it was worth pausing to get a few snaps over the edge.

It is suspected that fishermen have been erecting a bridge to cross over to Carrick Island to catch salmon for upwards of three hundred years. These days it’s the National Trust that put the bridge in place between March and October each year. There’s not much to see on the island. Let’s rephrase that. As a non-bird watcher, and general fearer-of-the-great-outdoors-where-there-are-no-power-outlets-to-recharge-gadgets, there’s not to see other than the views up the coast, and some gulls nesting in the cliffs.

Open 10am–7pm all through the summer until 2 September when it closes an hour earlier until the bridge is dismantled at the end of October.

1 comment:

John Self said...

As a heights-hater, you can imagine my relief when I went along to the bridge one day with friends and found it closed due to high winds...