HISTORIC TIMELINE

William Dargan constructs the first commuter railway line in Ireland between Dublin and Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire).

William Dargan

© Mary Evans Picture Library

The Belfast and
Ballymena Railway
Company (BBRC),
which commissions
The Gobbins path, is
founded.

The railway companies
organised excursion
trips to beauty spots like
Whitehead, where they
developed attractions to
lure visitors.

With the arrival of the steam train in the 19th century it became possible to move large amounts of people and goods in relatively short times.

Above
Boyne Viaduct, Drogheda (1878) by Henry Roper-Curzon (1822-1892)
Presented by Mrs Montgomery Bealieu House, 1948. Drogheda Municipal Art Collection, Highlanes Gallery

Construction begins on the Boyne Viaduct, an engineering marvel that completes the railway connection between Belfast and Dublin.

Berkeley Deane Wise, the
visionary engineer who
creates The Gobbins path,
is born in Wexford.

Below
The house where Wise was born in New Ross, Co Wexford.
Courtesy of Berkeley Forest House

BBRC, now the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway Company, extends the railway line to Larne, making it Ireland's major port for Scottish visitors.

Above
Company seal of the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway Company.
From The Northern Counties Railway by J R L Currie (drawings by J D C
Charlton and E N Calvert-Harrison)

BERKELEY DEANE WISE

The man who masterminded The Gobbins path

Following his apprenticeship on the challenging Bray Head Line on the coast south of Dublin, Berkeley Deane Wise becomes an assistant engineer with the Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway Company at just 22 years old.

Above
The coastal line near Bray Head claimed two lives when this viaduct collapsed in 1867 - just a few years before Wise began designing bridges and tunnels on the same stretch.
From The Illustrated London News, 24 August 1867

Berkeley Deane Wise is appointed Chief Engineer of the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway (BNCR) and is soon designing new railway stations at Larne, Portrush, Carrickfergus and elsewhere.

Below
Railway Station at Portrush designed by Wise, around 1900.
Photograph © National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Folk & Transport Museum



Wise completes a scenic path with bridges at Blackhead. Was this the inspiration for his more ambitious path at The Gobbins?

Wise's dream is about
to be realised:

Work starts on
the first path
at The Gob

Above
Poster advertising The Gobbins from 1954.
Courtesy of the Hawkins family, The Rinkha



Wise's path is promoted as having, 'No parallel in Europe as a marine cliff walk'. Thousands of visitors testify to its unique appeal.

The Gobbins path is opened for the first time




Above
Postcard of Man O'War.
Courtesy of PJ O'Donnell

Book your place today!

One of Northern Ireland's greatest adventures...

Welcome to The Gobbins….

A spectacular location where you can truly escape everyday life and experience nature at its most elemental. During your amazing 2.5 hour fully guided walking tour you may even taste the sea salt on your lips, feel the Irish Sea wind, marvel at tales of local smugglers, witness the native sea birds and keep your eyes open for some dolphins swimming off the rugged coastline. The Gobbins experience will take you along a narrow path hugging the dramatic cliff face; across spectacular bridges amid the crashing waves of the North Channel; traversing hidden Tunnels under the Irish Sea; up and down rugged staircases carved into the cliff face and into caves that were once home to smugglers and privateers.

The Gobbins visitor centre is the start of your adventure and where you will meet your guide for your adventure, please remember to bring along your booking confirmation. The centre hosts a fabulous interactive exhibition telling the history of The Gobbins Path, its flora and fauna, and the story of how the path was reborn. Guests with young children or with reduced mobility are welcome to browse our gift shop, enjoy a coffee in The Gobbins Cafe, or enjoy the outdoor children’s play and picnic area. You may also avail of the free car parking located at the Visitor Centre. We understand that The Gobbins Path may not be suitable for everyone and details are contained on our booking page.

The Gobbins Path was masterminded by the Irish railway engineer, Berkley Dean Wise as an incredible tourist attraction. The path originally opened in 1902 and was later abandoned in the 1960’s until an investment of over £7.5 million brought about its rebirth in 2015.

 

The Gobbins Experience

The Gobbins Path is an arduous trek that is often narrow and uneven, accessed by a very steep pathway. Due to the nature of the rugged coastal location suitable outdoor clothing and walking boots or shoes are essential. Without exception, all guests must wear a safety helmet whilst experiencing The Gobbins. To enjoy The Gobbins a good level of fitness is needed. You must be fit enough to climb 50 flights of stairs and walk a very steep 1 in 5 gradient.



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Historic Image Archive

Nearby Attractions & Activities

Geology Uncovered

The Gobbins Biodiversity

Historic Timeline

Engineering Works

Photos of The Gobbins

Gobbins Visitor Centre - 360° Interactive Virtual Tour

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