Located on the north coast of Northern Ireland, the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge is a hidden treasure. Stretching roughly 66 feet, and nearly 100 feet above the jagged rocks below, the bridge connects the mainland with the tiny island of Carrickarede. It’s a beautiful, yet harrowing, bridge in an absolutely stunning landscape. In this guide, I am going to give you all of the information you need to make your visit to the bridge a success.
How to Get There
The Carrick-a-Rede Bridge is located on the north coast of Northern Ireland, about an hour and 15 minute drive north from Belfast. It is only a 10 minute drive from Ballycastle if you are looking for somewhere to grab lunch before or after visiting.
The bridge is also in pretty close proximity to the Giant’s Causeway (a short 25 minute drive), which is another feature of Northern Ireland that we will be writing about in the coming weeks. Both the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge and the Giant’s Causeway are stops that we absolutely recommend if you are in Northern Ireland.
What to Know Before You Visit
The Carrick-a-Rede Bridge opened to visitors in 2008, and since then has attracted roughly 250,000 visitors a year. So it does get a lot of traffic. The bridge is run by the Northern Ireland National Trust and is open to cross year-round, though that is subject to weather.
The bridge is open from 9:30am to 5:15pm daily, so make sure you plan your visit accordingly if you would like to see it. The prices to cross the bridge are listed below.
|Adult Group (min group size of 15)||£4.40|
|Child Group (min group size of 15)||£3.10|
Best Time to Visit
Northern Ireland is an amazing place to visit year-round, but like most other places in this world, certain times of the year are better than others. In order to assist you in determining which time of year would be best for you to make your visit, I have outlined several weather and tourism factors below to help you make an informed decision.
While Northern Ireland is blessed in that the temperature typically doesn’t get too hot or too cold for comfort, the temperature does fluctuate throughout the year. In fact, throughout much of the year the temperature seems to hover right on the threshold of being too cold to not have a jacket, but too warm to wear it. To give you a better idea of what kind of whether you can expect on your trip, I have included a chart below that outlines the average high and low temperatures throughout the year.
As you can see by the chart below, Northern Ireland tends to get quite a bit of rain throughout the year. This is especially true along the coastline. If you are looking to avoid the rain, I would suggest targeting the late spring months of April and May as they tend to see the lowest amount of rain during the year.
Number of Visitors (International Tourists)
Northern Ireland tends to get a fairly steady stream of tourists from the rest of the UK and elsewhere in Europe throughout the year, but it sees the number of tourists from North America and elsewhere around the world steadily grow throughout the spring into summer. The peak tourist months for Northern Ireland are undoubtedly the summer months of July and August. If you are looking to avoid the crowds, I would suggest you look at visiting sometime between November and March.
Where to Stay
There are quite a few tourist attractions bunched up into one small area on the Northern coast of Northern Ireland, so I would recommend staying somewhere in that area to be close to all of the sights. To assist you in finding the right accommodations for you, I have included a list of recommended hotels and other accommodations and different price points for you to review below.
|Causeway Tavern B & B ($)|
|Lisnagalt Lodge ($)|
|Maghernahar House B&B ($$)|
|Carnalbanagh House ($$)|
|The Royal Court Hotel ($$$)|
|The Armada Inn ($$$)|
|Crockatinney Cottages ($$$)|
|Bayview Hotel ($$$$)|
|The Bushmills Inn Hotel ($$$$)|
|California Lodge ($$$$$)|
Where to Eat
After you have spent an afternoon exploring the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge and the surrounding area, you are going to want to find a good place to eat. The following restaurants are the most recommended restaurants in the area on TripAdvisor.
|Tartine Restaurant||Irish, European, British||$$ – $$$|
|The French Rooms||European, Vegetarian Friendly||$$ – $$$|
|The Red Door Tea Room||Irish, Vegetarian Friendly||$$ – $$$|
|Causeway Hotel Restaurant||Irish, Bar, European||$$ – $$$|
|Roark’s Kitchen||Dessert, Irish, Cafe||$|
Other Things to See in the Area
In addition to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, there are a number of other popular tourist attractions in the area that you can see. If you are looking for some additional things to do, I have included a list of additional stops that I recommend below.
A Day at the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge
To give you a sense of what it is like to visit the bridge, we have put a short video together of our visit. As you will see in the video, the scenery at the bridge is absolutely out of this world.
The Carrick-a-Rede Bridge and the surrounding area couldn’t be more beautiful. Below are some of the pictures we were able to take during our visit.
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