Yes, the Gobbins Cliff Walk is one of the most dramatic cliff walks in Europe. And yes, it’s a handy 35-minute drive from Belfast.
The Gobbins is a strange one.
It’s a stone’s throw from Belfast City. And it’s even closer to the Causeway Coastal Route.
Yet, those that visit both of the above tend to miss it.
In the guide below, we’ll be telling you everything you need to know about the Gobbins Cliff Walk – Europe’s most dramatic walk.
The Gobbins Cliff Walk: The Story of Europe’s Most Dramatic Walk
The Gobbins Cliff Walk was originally aimed at Edwardian thrill-seekers that wanted to experience a chunk of Ireland’s most dramatic coastline up close.
It was the vision of Berkeley Deane Wise.
He was the Chief Engineer of the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway Company, who wanted to use the recently expanded railway line to attract visitors to this little corner of Ireland.
The original Gobbins path opened in 1902, and although it succeeded in immediately amazing and captivating visitors, it was abandoned in the 1960s.
It wasn’t until 2015 that it reopened after a hefty £7.5 million investment.
The Gobbins Cliff Walk Tour
Those that visit the Gobbins Cliff Path will be treated to a two and a half hour fully guided walking tour.
You’ll be taken on a trek along an often narrow and uneven path that wraps around some of Antrim’s beautifully craggy basalt cliffs, across spectacular bridges, up and down rugged staircases carved into the cliff face and into caves that were once home to smugglers and privateers.
Over the course of the tour, you’ll be treated to:
- An insight into the path’s past
- An interactive visitor exhibition
- Views of some of Ireland’s most rugged coastline
- Tales of local smugglers
- A gander at the native sea birds (and, at times, dolphins)
- Lots more
What to wear
Thos doing the tour need to dress approapriately.
You’re walking along the side of a cliff, after all.
Windproof/waterproof jackets, walking or hiking boots with ankle support and decent grip are recommended.
Fitness levels needed
A moderate level of fitness is needed to do the Gobbins walk.
This walk definitely isn’t for everyone as it’s strenuous in places.
If you have a medical condition or if you’re unsure about whether or not you’ll have the fitness level required, check with staff in advance.
Videos of the Gobbins
Still on the fence about whether or not to visit? Hit play on both of the videos below!
The Gobbins Visitor Centre
If you plan on visiting the Gobbins, take a minute to read the information below.
You’ll find info on everything from opening hours to essential visitor information.
The visitor Centre is open daily from 09.30 to 19:30, while the Café s open daily from 09.00 to 17:00.
Essential visitor information
It’s ESSENTIAL that you book the Gobbins Cliff Walk IN ADVANCE to avoid disappointment.
The tour has seen it’s popularity soar in recent years, so take a couple of minutes to book in before you visit.
Those that plan on doing the tour should bring suitable clothing.
You’ll be walking along a cliff – it’ll be cold and windy.
The Gobbins ticket prices
- Adults – £15.00
- Concessions – £12.00
- Family – £38.00
- Registered carers – Free
How to get to the Gobbins from Belfast
If you’re travelling by car or train, we’ve got you covered below.
There’s also a bus service, but this is extremely limited.
Getting there by car
Those of you leaving from Belfast can take the A2 Causeway Coastal Route that heads North from Belfast to Larne.
Spin through Carrickfergus (keep an eye out for the castle) and head for Islandmagee and then on to the Island Road Lower.
Keep your eyes peeled for the brown signposts for The Gobbins.
The drive shouldn’t take any more than 40.
Getting there by train
You can take a train from Belfast as far as the Ballycarry station.
From here, you’re a handy 1-mile walk to the Gobbins Visitor Centre.
Trains tend to run every hour from Monday to Saturday and every two hours on a Sunday.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Gobbins Cliff Path
I’ve tried to cover as many FAQs as possible below.
If you have a question that needs answering, give me a shout in the comments section.
How long does the Gobbins walk take?
The guided tour at the Gobbins takes 2.5 hours in total.
How long is the Gobbins path?
The path itself is a dramatic, 2-mile-long cliff path.
How many steps are in the Gobbins?
There are 50 flights of uneven steps that you’ll need to conquer if you visit the Gobbins. If you’re unsure about whether you’ll have the fitness to walk these, you’re advised to ask staff in advance of booking.