The first official stop on our bus tour was the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The bridge links the mainland to Carrick Island and is 23 meters in the air. Originally the bridge wasn’t much more than a few spaced slats and a single rope to hold onto. Thankfully it’s since been improved.
Fishermen used to use the bridge to check their nets, but now people walk across it. Why? To get to the other side (it had to be said). You get some nice views from the island – just don’t get too close to the edge.
Actually, the whole area is really nice.
You have to pay to cross the bridge, but our admission was included in our bus tour (one of the many reasons we chose that particular tour). Admission is £5.09 for an Adult (Pounds, since we’re in Northern Ireland – remember?), and I don’t think there’s a time limit for how long you can spend on the Island, but you have to be pretty quick crossing the bridge, especially when there are a lot of people behind you. It’s also a 1-lane bridge, so you’ve got to be considerate of those behind you and ahead of you.
We only had 1 hour at the bridge, and it’s a 20 minute walk from the visitor’s centre to the actual bridge. Kristen and I decided to power-walk to the bridge to get there first. We were pretty sure the bus wouldn’t leave without us, but we didn’t want to test that theory.
It was a good thing we decided to do that because we beat the rush. We were able to take our time crossing to the island, since there weren’t too many other people around. This also meant that we could take a lot of pictures of ourselves on the bridge.
(I look like a dork in most of the pictures I have, so I’m not posting them. Instead, having this picture of my boot – they’re Dr. Martins, and they’re awesome.)
We didn’t spend much time on the island, deciding to cross over and leisurely walk back to the bus. The area was getting more crowded and they could only allow so many people on the island at a time, so we were also being considerate or something. The rest of our bus group was waiting in line, along with other tourists (see Picture #3, then triple that line, and that’s how many people were looking to go across). I’d recommend going early in the morning (but as I was only there once at a specific time, what do I know?). Also, you will have to deal with stairs to get down to the bridge, but it’s worth it.
One thing they don’t mention is that the bridge is bouncy. Walking across it is like walking across a bouncy-castle. It’s fun and a little terrifying, which makes it more fun.
And, yeah, the rest of the area’s pretty darn nice as well.