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.