The Gobbins Cliff Walk: The Most Dramatic Walk In Europe Less

One of the most unique things to do in Northern Ireland

Gobbins Antrim
Photos by Cushla Monk + Paul Vance (shutterstock.com)

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.

What you’ll get from this guide

  • The history of the Gobbins
  • Info on the Gobbins tour (prices, opening hours, etc.)
  • A load of photos and videos
  • How to get there from Belfast

The Gobbins Cliff Walk: The Story of Europe’s Most Dramatic Walk

the gobbins antrim
Photo by Arthur Ward

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 gobbins cliff walk
The goblins cliff walk: Photo by Arthur Ward

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

the gobbins cliff path
Photo by Arthur Ward

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.

Opening hours

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

the gobbins walk
Photo by Art Ward

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.

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!

1 COMMENT

  1. hello i am hoping to come to the Emerald Isle either this fall or spring ( depending on Covid-19 situation 🙁 ). Anyway I have a couple of questions that I didn’t find listed.
    1. Of the 50 flights of uneven steps, how many flights have the most number of steps (per flight) and what is the number steps in these particular flights?
    2. If I am unable to do the actual walk am \I able to walk from the car park at the visitor centre down to the end of the walk to that octagon shaped walkway that hangs out over the cliff?

    thank you and hope to see you in the fall, take care and stay safe 🙂
    Cathi

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