One of Northern Ireland’s most exhilarating tourism attractions is enjoying a bumper summer season, with more than half of its visitors travelling from outside the region.
The Gobbins, near Islandmagee, is a spectacular coastal walk situated on the Causeway Coastal Route, voted the number one region in the world to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet.
More than 18,000 people have experienced The Gobbins so far this season – with tours often booked out as visitors from as far away as America, China, India, Australia and throughout Europe explore the area.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, recently visited The Gobbins to congratulate and thank staff for continuing to deliver a world-class tourism experience.
She said: “The Gobbins is a jewel in Northern Ireland’s tourism crown and I am delighted that it continues to go from strength to strength.
“The feedback from the thousands of visitors to The Gobbins this season already has been phenomenal and is testament to the hard work, knowledge and passion of all of our staff who welcome visitors from around the globe.
“There’s nothing quite like The Gobbins anywhere in Europe and tourists have been gripped by the dramatic coastal path, cliff-hugging walk and towering viewing platform, which offers panoramic views of the epic coastline.
“If you want to get up close and personal to nature’s raw beauty, The Gobbins is a must-visit for anybody planning a trip to Northern Ireland and our stunning Causeway Coastal Route.”
The Mayor added: “Our tourism and hospitality industry continues to be a real success story with visitors travelling from around the world to take in our renowned attractions.
“Growing the economy and developing our tourism potential in Mid and East Antrim are the top two strategic priorities for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
“The ongoing success of The Gobbins and our other key tourism sites has an invaluable knock-on effect for the local economy, boosting investment and creating jobs.
“This borough has huge tourism potential and Council continues to work in partnership with local communities and the tourism industry through the tourism clusters, ensuring that we all have the skills and support required to grow and maximise our tourism offering in the borough and across Northern Ireland.”
The Gobbins provides a unique visitor experience, taking walkers along paths carved out from basalt rocks, over bridges, including our iconic tubular bridge, and even under the sea in places.
It sits within an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) and is the only location in mainland Northern Ireland where puffins are found to be nesting. Lucky and eagle-eyed visitors also regularly spot dolphins among the huge array of animals which inhabit the coastline.
Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Anne Donaghy, said The Gobbins continues to play a key role within the borough’s tourism strategy and is a crucial contributor to the long-term growth of tourism within Mid and East Antrim and Northern Ireland.
She said: “Council is committed to a long-term development strategy in partnership with the Mid and East Antrim tourism sector and future investors, to grow the economic impact of tourism along the Causeway Coastal Route.
“Considering the significant cultural and heritage product on this section of the Causeway Coastal Route, such as Carrickfergus Castle, the Glens of Antrim and The Gobbins Cliff Path, we have a substantial tourism offering to appeal to international visitors and investors.
“The Gobbins’ position in Islandmagee makes it an ideal attraction for local visitors and independent travellers to Northern Ireland. We look forward to welcoming many more visitors to The Gobbins and the Mid and East Antrim area to see just how much we have to offer.”
The 1.2 mile-long cliff walk is one of the most ambitious engineering projects ever seen in Northern Ireland and was originally built in the early 20th century.
For more information, to keep up to date or book tickets, you can go to www.thegobbinscliffpath.com