I finally made it out to the Gobbins
last week and it was absolutely incredible! It had been on my bucket list since opening in Summer 2016, and it was everything I imagined it would be, and more!
We had a gorgeous sunny day -- about 17/18 degrees Celcius (or mid 60s Farenheit). Because the rocks absorb heat, it was warm along the path. Saying that, I brought my raincoat too... just in case.
We traveled up from Belfast, about 25 minutes by car, for the first walk of the morning. Important tip:
you need to book your tour in advance to ensure your place. It's only possible to access the coastal walk with a tour guide and group sizes are limited.
Before the tour I received an e-mail detailing everything I needed to bring for the trip, alongside health and safety regulations. Be sure you read this announcement so you can prepare adequately. It's required to wear high ankle hiking boots (or boots with great tread and ankle support) for the walk. I needed to purchase a new pair in advance, but it was well worth it!
The tour itself takes around 2.5-3 hours, but there are several stops along the route where you can take photos and listen to stories from the guide. The walk itself runs along the North Coast, overlooking the Irish sea and passing through bridges and caves. The walk is comfortable, but it's important to watch your step and hold onto the railings as the stones are rugged and uneven (as you would expect a natural coastal path to be).
We saw several sea birds during our walk, including the guillemot (aka Irish penguin), rock pipets, and gulls. Puffins are common to the area as well, but they burrow in the rocks and can be difficult to spot. Along this coast I've also seen porpoises and seals in the past, so I was keeping a close eye out for them as well!
On the way back to Belfast we stopped in The Rinkha for locally made ice cream (wow, very delicious) and also Carrickfergus for a small walk around the town. This part of Northern Ireland is exceptional, just beside the charming village of Whitehead and near the start of the Causeway Coastal Route.
Overall I would highly recommend The Gobbins
to anyone interested in coastal walks or outdoor adventure. It's a perfect experience for those staying in and around Belfast but looking to get out into nature. For anyone who wants to explore this area but does not feel comfortable making the walk, I would highly recommend a stop into The Gobbins
cafe and visitor centre . It's an exceptional (and very unique) part of the island!