Carrick-a-Rede is a 1.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Ballintoy, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom that offers scenic views. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking and walking.
An exhilarating coastal path and rope bridge experience from the cliffs to the rocky island, with stunning views of Rathlin and the Scottish Isles, as well as a noisy seabird colony. Please note that National Trust entrance pricing applies for this walk. From the car park, the route to the rope bridge passes by an information hut (where a small pedestrian charge is levied) keep good care of your ticket, as you will need this as proof to cross the rope bridge. Along the coastal path to the bridge, you will notice flower-rich meadow grasslands on the cliff slopes and occasional grazing cattle. All along the coastal path, the views of Rathlin Island and the Scottish Isles are breathtaking the Mull of Kintyre is the closest part of Scotland and most visible, just beyond Rathlin. And immediately below the path, in crystal clear sea water there is often a good chance of spotting porpoises or dolphins (even a basking shark in summer is a possibility). As you start the steep descent to the island and rope bridge, the noisy seabird colony will become more and more audible by the step. Guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars are the main breeding bird species (bird guidebooks and binoculars are available for hire). You will know you are nearing the bridge, as there is usually a line of patient tourists waiting to crosssome nervously. Occasionally, if wind speed records exceed the recommended safety limits, the bridge has to be closed, and with a 30 metre chasm to cross the site wardens have the final say! Having negotiated the rope bridge safely, the island can be explored via marked paths (visitors are reminded to observe the signs and take responsibility for their own actions). On fully exploring the island those nervous visitors have to once again build up their confidence for the return leg. Again waiting times are usually in place to cross back over. The return to the car park is by way of the same route or a short circular detour which links back to the main path.
This path along the water was breathtaking. It's a fairly easy hike, very doable. It is mostly riddled with tourists but we'll worth the views overlooking the water and rope bridge.
A beautiful scenic walk along the Antrim Coast and an exciting crossing of the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Highly recommend if you're in the area--one of my favorite parts of my trip to Northern Ireland.