You'll find everything you need to know including getting here, what to wear, what else you can do in the area and much more below. If you can't find what you're looking for, or have any other queries, please get in touch.
How do I get there?
The Gobbins experience is located in Islandmagee, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, on the Causeway Coastal Route. For more information on getting here and full directions, visit the Plan your Visit section.
The Gobbins Visitor Centre
Islandmagee BT40 3SL
Do I need to book in advance? How far in advance should I book?
Booking in advance is essential to guarantee your place on the tour. We are usually sold out on the day, or only have single places remaining. We recommend booking weekends and afternoons as early as possible as they are the first to sell out, in the summer or before school holidays you may need to book 2-3 weeks in advance. For weekdays we still recommend booking as far in advance as you can, availability becomes much less around 1 week prior.
What Should I wear?
Suitable outdoor clothing is required as you will be on the tour for approximately 2.5-3 hours. We would advise that a waterproof rain coat be brought, but remind guests that no back packs can be taken onto the path. Because the weather cannot be guaranteed, it is a good idea to bring either options for the path, or a dry change of clothes for after! Our Path Safety Officers walk the path before any guests, and can let us know what conditions are like on the day so please ask for recommendations at reception.
What footwear is permitted?
Sturdy walking boots (i.e. thick tread with ankle support) are best, but we will accept walking shoes until further notice. Due to Covid-19, we are trying to keep any potential contamination to a minimum and this includes the desire to rent fewer boots and allows us time to fully disinfect them between use. Because of this we have been allowed to permit guests with sturdy walking shoes, but trainers are still unsuitable. Trainers/runners/sneakers etc., by design, are quite soft and flexible on the sole, but we require hard tread on any footwear worn on the path. If you do require boots to hire, this can be arranged when you arrive 15-30 minutes before your tour for £5. They are properly disinfected after each use, and rested between uses.
How fit should I be?
A reasonable level of fitness is required. Experience has taught us that The Gobbins may be unsuitable for those with back and joint problems, heart conditions, breathing conditions, and those living with diabetes who have not medicated properly due to the exertion incurred on the walk. This differs for each individual, so we ask that all guests seriously consider the terrain and take the virtual tour on our website before deciding to book. If you carry an Epi-Pen, please inform your guide and ensure you carry this with you.
Additional consideration should be made in light of the recent Coronavirus Pandemic. We ask that if you have a new or persistent cough, a fever, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has recently tested positive for Covid-19 that you do not attend the walk. If you have already booked, please contact a member of the Guest Relations Team to organise a refund or reschedule. Further information on what has changed since the new coronavirus restrictions have come into place can be found in our Terms and Conditions.
How long will it take and what does it consist of?
The Gobbins takes between 2.5 and 3 hours to complete, and this depends on the fitness level of the group. It is a strenuous 3 mile walk with a steep access path to the lower cliff path which includes gradients of up to 1:4 in places. The path is narrow with many hand carved steps that wind up and down along the bottom of the cliff. It is the equivalent of climbing and descending 50 flights of steps.
I've read your information and I'm scared of heights?
We have had a number of people with a fear of heights complete the path, but people's fears are very unique. You are usually no more than 7 meters above sea level (this depends on the tide), and there is always a handrail to hold on to. Our bridges are made of sturdy GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic), though they are see through which may trigger anxiety. You will feel one bridge sway, and that is the one and only suspension bridge located at the very end of the path. Please watch the virtual tour so you can make a reasoned decision.
I’m scared of birds
The Gobbins holds an active bird colony, and April through August we host multiple bird colonies including kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots, and puffins- some nest only metres from the path and they are very used to our tours so they fly quite close. Because of how close they fly, the path may not be suitable for you.
Only one part of the tour will be a concern, the tunnel. The tunnel is approximately 22 meters in length, and steps lead you into and out of it. In the heart of the tunnel you are below sea level, but a walkway keeps the water on either side of you and your feet dry. The tunnel is artificially lit with motion sensors but it is dim. There are overhanging rocks, and guests are required to wear hard hats which are provided at the centre and are to worn for the duration of the time on the path. If you feel uneasy about the tunnel, let your guide know and they can get you to the front of the group so you are first in and first out. If you become overly anxious at any time and for any reason, let your guide know. If you have sever claustrophobia or it may be increased by any of the aforementioned, The Gobbins may not be suitable for you.
What happens if a member of our group is unable to do the walk?
Anyone who feels they cannot undertake the guided walk can stay at our Visitors Centre, they may view the Exhibitions Centre, and have a drink or some lunch at The Gobbins Café located within the centre. There are also local walks and attractions nearby and best reached by car, our Guest Relations Team can provide information on these local attractions. If this occurs once you are already on the path, one of our Path Safety Officers will work with your tour guide to assist the guest off the path and back to the centre. Always speak to your guide if this may become a possibility for a member of your group.
Can we walk the path unguided?
The walk can only be accessed with an accompanying guide for health and safety reasons. Should rock fall occur, our guides are highly trained and have radio communication with the Centre. Anyone found on the path without a guide will be asked to leave by one of our Path Safety Officers.
Can I cancel my booking?
For a full refund, you must notify the Guest Relations Team in writing with at least 72 hours’ notice. Exceptions are being made for those who exhibit Covid-19 symptoms, if there have been recent governmental travel restrictions that mean they cannot travel, or if they are notified that they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and need to complete the 14 days quarantine. We cannot hold bookings after their tour date, but can reschedule them to a later date.
Do tours still go in the rain?
Our tours operate in all weather conditions until they turn severe. If there are strong easterly winds mixing with high tide, or thunder and lightning in the area, please call the visitors centre to check on the status of your tour. Strong winds and heavy rain will not cancel tours and tours cannot be refunded unless cancelled by us on the day. Guests undertaking in the walk must understand that they may get wet. If we cancel tours, we will endeavour to contact you as soon as we can to organise a refund or reschedule. We use the www.yr.no weather site for Portmuck Bay which gives the best weather predictions for this area.
What languages are available?
Live commentary is in English. We have had to suspend the use of our French and Spanish language guides are there is no efficient way to sanitise the ear pieces.
What do I do with my personal belongings?
Free lockers are available behind reception for any valuables, and you take the key with you on tour. Guests are reminded that if any belongings fall over the safety rails, we are unable to cross them even if the item is still in sight. Only bring what is necessary for the enjoyment of the tour and make sure you have a secure, zip pocket to store them in while walking.
What else is there to do?
For all local attractions, please visit www.shapedbyseaandstone.com. Here you will find accommodation, activities, and itineraries. Please be sure to call ahead, as some businesses may be operating under different opening hours due to restrictions.