Monday, 23 May 2016

THROUGH MY LENS - Gobbins Walk (Part 1)

Today I am starting a 7 part series all this week of a trip that I organised last Monday for 15 people on the Gobbins cliff – path walk on the Country Antrim coast, Northern Ireland near Islandmagee. It took us an hour to drive to the Gobbins Centre and we were very warmly welcomed by staff and this lovely mat below. I hope you will join me as we head off on this exhilaring adventure.


Throughout this week I will tell you some of the history of the path but for now we went into a briefing room and all safety issues were explained by our very patient guide called George. Of course we had to don hard hats as some parts have rock overhangs and we had also to go through a small dark tunnel.  



This is a beautifully appointed Visitor Centre and restaurant where we had a scrumptous lunch after our 3 hour walk.  We had just time to see a great display about the Gobbins.



BERKELEY DEANE WISE, born 1853 was the Chief Engineer of the railways of Northern Ireland and elsewhere and is the man who masterminded The Gobbins path that originally was opened in 1902. It was said  'No parallel in Europe as a marine cliff walk'. Thousands of visitors testify to its unique appeal.


The path was closed during the Second World War and fell into disrepair. In 1951, a section of the path re-opened, under the control of the Ulster Transport Authority. However a major landfall, soon afterwards, made it impossible to venture as far as Gordon's Leap. The path was closed in 1954 and finally abandoned around seven years later.

One of The Gobbins path's greatest champions was the filmmaker, photographer, historian and lecturer, the late John H Lennon, from County Down and although he died before his dreams and plans for its reopening were accomplishsed, he lived long enough to learn of Larne Borough Council's exciting plans to reimagine the path he loved which eventually was opened 2015. 


This is a shot I took of a photo in the centre showing the jaunting car that visitors would have taken from the nearest station Ballycarry which is one mile away to the Gobbins walk.



We got into the bus at the centre that took 15 mintues, through beautiful countryside, to the top of a cliff where we would start our walk down to the beginning of the Gobbins walk.  


The views were spectacular as we made our way slowly down a very steep slope.  It was fairly easy when we were walking on concrete but during the past winter a storm had lifted a lot of this path and the Gobbins has to close. Part of the path is now got different sizes of grey stones which were very diffidult to walk down on, as one slip and you were down.  


Through binoculars in the distance we could see the 
Copeland Islands and Scotland.


This is George leading the way on part of the concrete path.  


This is a more causious group with Wesley, the gentleman that he is, giving my two Octogenarians members of my bird group a steading arm on the very gravely path.  


I think today we will stop for a 'breather' and tomorrow i will show you very close shots of Kittiwakes and an interesting video of them! I will say no more!

I am linking this post with THROUGH MY LENS.

I hope you have enjoyed this first post in my 7 part series and hope to see you back tomorrow (fit and well to continue our walk).

Many thanks for your visit and also to all who comments.

47 comments:

  1. The views are wonderful. I can't wait to see more!

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    1. Hope you have your walking boots and hardd ha on Ginny? You are going to love this series.

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  2. What a treat.
    And, despite not being an octogenarian I would have required a helping hand. Or six.

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    1. Yes, even you may not be able to do this walk yourself, you will enjoy seeing all we saw on it.

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  3. Wonderful fascinating post, Margaret. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. I think you and Bill would love this walk and I hope all the 7 part series.

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    2. I think you and Bill would love this walk and I hope all the 7 part series.

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  4. Whizz -o! What a fantastic week you have planned for us Margaret. It looks great fun I'll be back tomorrow with my walking boots and hard hat :)
    Wren x

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    1. HI Jenny Glad you see you have all the right gear on and rearing to go.

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  5. Replies
    1. it gets even better so keep watching.

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  6. Replies
    1. I hope you will continue to look in on my blog to see the photographs I took on this spectacular walk.

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  7. Looks like it was a great walk, thanks for taking me along.

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    1. Glad to have you along Tom, you are really going to enjoy it.

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  8. A very interesting post Margaret and looking forward to reading about the rest of the walk - views look beautiful :)

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    1. Yes, a lot more to come both in history and video and photographs.

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  9. Hello Margaret, I love the group shot of everyone wearing their hard hats. The views are spectacular. Looks like a fun place to visit and for a walk. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

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  10. Yes Eileen, The Centre was very safety conscious and rightly so. Hard hats and proper footwear were essential. lots more to come. I know you and your husband would love this walk.

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  11. Sounds fascinating! Can't wait for more.

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    1. Hi FG yes it is as you will discover but we have to take it easy, no running on this 'walk'. Doesn't that sound Irish!

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  12. This looks like it will be an amazing adventure that you have organized and lots of folks enjoying this amazing view. Wish I was part of this group, but will look forward to your sharing this with all of us! Thanks for being so adventuresome and having your blog so we can enjoy all of your amazing experiences Margaret!

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    1. You are right a great adventure but one I am very pleased to share with others. I know you will enjoy what is to follow in the next 6 posts.

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  13. WoW, WoW, WoW...what a great entry and a beautiful place. but that hard hat would have really messed up my hair!!!!!

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    1. Shame on you for even thinking about your hair when you have such spectacular scenery Debbie!!

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  14. Steep paths can be very scary, especially when covered in loose gravels. Our grandsons take tumbles during sports and bounce right back up. Hubby or I need a cow hoist to get us up! Looks like an exciting walk.

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    1. Yep! You are right and in fact it was the only bit I did NOT like and felt that if they had a handrail, even a rope to hold onto on the way down and up, it would have been much better. The rest was fairly easy in comparison.

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  15. I'm not sure if I'm so excited because I know it's a 7 part series or because of all the history and context you included, but I'm happy to see more of this adventure :o) Thanks for taking us along ;o)

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    1. Well I don't suppose it matters why you are excited, just keep on the hard hat and boots and keeping walking with us.

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    1. Lots more to come Brigitt so keep looking in on my blog this week.

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  17. Wow that looks like a great time. Hope no one gets hurt.

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    1. Now you will have to look in again to see if the 15 that started the walk completed it!!!

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  18. Looking forward to more, Margaret.

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    1. I knew you would enjoy this series Bill.

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  19. I bet you had a great time on this trail too, i look forward to some more.

    peter

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  20. What beautiful country. I loved your recap of the path history. Can't wait to see more!

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    1. I am pleased that you not only enjoyed the views but the part of the history. More of both to follow.

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  21. Thank you very much for your interesting photos. Giving an arm. That's so nice. Have a good week!

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    1. yes, he is always willing to help the ladies.

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  22. What a wonderful adventure! I enjoyed the old photos and history as well as the places you went. I want to see the video and the kittewakes now. Can't wait.

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  23. Looks like you're all going potholing!

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    1. Yes it does look a bit like that. This is a first for me to go birding in a hard hat!

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  24. I've been fortunate to have been able to visit the Antrim Coast a few times and I know how beautiful it is. I look forward to seeing more of the Gobbins walk!

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    1. Perhaps if you could to N. Ireland again, you would be able to do the Gobbins walk yourself but glad you are enjoying this series.

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