Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge

One of the most visited and popular places in Northern Ireland

Travel Guide: Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge

The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a rope bridge near Ballintoy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. It spans 20 metres and is 30 metres above the rocks below. The bridge is mainly a tourist attraction and is owned and maintained by the National Trust.

Considered one of the world’s scariest bridges, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is not for the faint of heart. Spanning a chasm that is almost 100 feet deep and nearly 70 feet wide, this Northern Ireland bridge connects Carrick-a-Rede Island to the mainland and attracts a quarter of a million visitors every year. 

The original structure was built by fishermen more than 300 years ago, and as recently as the 1970s, the bridge had only one handrail and large gaps between the slats.

The current bridge is less than 10 years old and is made of wire and Douglas fir. There is no record of anyone falling off the bridge, but it is not uncommon for visitors to get cold feet after crossing once, requiring a boat to bring them back to the mainland. 

Aside from the treacherous structure, the surrounding area is designated an Area of Special Scientific Interest due to its unique flora and fauna.

Take on the challenge of the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, enjoy stunning views of the Scottish islands, spot soaring seabirds and basking sharks, and see the stars shine like never before.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Carrick-a-Rede Rope

Crossing Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a breathtaking and astonishing attraction located on the magnificent and mesmerizing coastline of Northern Ireland. Not only is it a remarkable sight, but it is also a crucial piece of history that can trace its roots back to over 200 years ago. When it was originally constructed, it was a groundbreaking achievement for skilled salmon fishermen who needed a bridge that would allow them to access the tiny island that lies off the coast of County Antrim. The bridge is suspended an impressive 30 meters (100 feet) above sea level, offering explorers of the bridge the feeling of an unparalleled thrilling adventure that is unforgettable.

While traversing the bridge, visitors are treated to unbeatable vistas of the surrounding Rathlin Island and the Scottish isles beyond, captivating your senses with their overwhelming beauty. Additionally, visitors are encouraged to discover the historic fishery on the island, adding even more to this already exhilarating experience. Once your excursion is complete, the Weighbridge Tea Room awaits you, where you can unwind with some delicious treats while enjoying the awe-inspiring views.

History of Carrick-a-Rede

Visiting the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge promises an unforgettable experience that truly captures the essence of Ireland’s breathtaking natural beauty and rich history. The bridge’s inception dates back to 1755 and boasts significant historical significance as a testament to the brilliant engineering feats of esteemed salmon fishermen. Suspended high above the Atlantic Ocean, the bridge spans almost 100ft in length and provides adventurers with the ultimate adrenaline-fueled experience.

While traversing the exhilarating crossing, be prepared to be mesmerized by the stunning scenery that surrounds you – from the rugged coastline of Northern Ireland to the awe-inspiring chasm that offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic. The name of the bridge is derived from the Gaelic phrase “Carraig-a-Rade,” which translates to “The Rock in the Road,” a reference to the rock that salmon migrating upstream would face along their journey.

Overall, a visit to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge is an absolute must-do activity for thrill-seekers and history buffs alike. It provides an opportunity to delve deep into the fascinating history of this iconic landmark while basking in the sheer beauty that Northern Ireland has to offer.

Top features

Coastal walk: A two-kilometre coastal walk with views of Rathlin, Scottish Isles and Carrick-a-Rede Island. Home to guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars.

Carrick-a-rede rope bridge: The first rope bridge was first erected by salmon fishermen in 1755. Suspended almost 100ft above the Atlantic Ocean, home to basking sharks, dolphins and porpoises.

Fisherman’s Cottage: Over 400-year-old listed Fisherman’s Cottage, on Carrick-a-Rede Island, used by local fishermen for shelter and storage of their equipment and tools.

Quarry: The limestone quarry at Larry Bane operated for over 100 years, from around 1870 until it ceased in the early 1960s.


Car park: Tickets to cross the bridge include onsite car parking. Visitors not wishing to cross the bridge can pay £10 for car parking only.

Dogs: Dogs on a lead are welcome on site, however, no dogs are permitted to cross the bridge.

Toilet: Toilets open during car park opening times.


Tickets to cross the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge should be pre-booked online and ticket price includes on-site car parking.

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Currency Used in Belfast?

Belfast is part of the United Kingdom so the pound sterling (GBP) is the legal currency. This is the same currency used throughout the rest of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland).

How many Days should I Spend in Derry?

For an authentic experience in Derry, it is suggested that at least 2 full days and 1 night be allocated to discover the city’s offerings. The duration of the visit is dependent on the visitor’s preferences and availability; however, we highly recommend the aforementioned timeline to ensure an in-depth exploration of the city. We highly recommend this 3-day itinerary from Belfast.

Rope Bridge Crossing

Frequently Asked Question

The carrick-a rede rope bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrick-a-Rede (from Irish: Carraig a’ Ráid, meaning ‘rock of the casting’). … It spans 20 metres (66 ft

Directions Carrick-a Rede rope bridge from Town:Train: Services from Belfast or Londonderry to Coleraine. Bus: Causeway Rambler (Ulsterbus No. 376) Bushmills to Carrick-a-Rede runs in the summer; or Ulsterbus No. 252 is a circular route via the Antrim Glens from Belfast.

How much does Carrick-a-Rede cost?
Rope Bridge Crossing
Ticket typeStandard
1 adult family£20.25

However, despite these fears, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a safe and secure structure with safety measures in place. The wooden planks are wide enough for two people to walk side by side, and the ropes are strong enough to support multiple visitors on the bridge at once.

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