Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Top choice in County Antrim


©David Soanes Photography/Getty Images/Flickr RF

This 20m-long, 1m-wide bridge of wire rope spans the chasm between the sea cliffs and the little island of Carrick-a-Rede, swaying 30m above the rock-strewn water. Crossing the bridge is perfectly safe, but frightening if you don't have a head for heights, especially if it's breezy (in high winds the bridge is closed). From the island, views take in Rathlin Island and Fair Head to the east.

There's a small National Trust information centre and cafe at the car park.

The impetus for the crossing first came from fishermen, who would stretch their nets out from the tip of the island to intercept the passage of salmon migrating along the coast to their home rivers.

Now firmly on the tour-bus route, Carrick-a-Rede has become so popular that the National Trust has introduced ticketed one-hour time slots to visit the bridge. Book your ticket online in advance, especially during high season. Mornings tend to be quieter; the coaches arrive in the afternoon.