NEARBYATTRACTIONS

We've put together a list of nearby attractions within The Gobbins area. We are confident that you, your family and friends will have a memorable time with us. Thank you for visiting and enjoy!

From the Gobbins team.

LARNE LOUGH

Sandwiched between the coast of County Antrim and Islandmagee, Larne Lough , as well as a sheltered anchorage is also a wetland of international significance, providing shelter, breeding sites and food, for a wide variety of bird species. The Lough is an Area of Special Scientific Interest and a RAMSAR site (The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance). Larne Lough provides an ideal location for studying marine orientated wildlife.

Opening Times

Open All Year

Cost

Free

Address

Larne Lough, Larne, BT40

Contact Details

Larne Visitor Information Centre: Tel: 0300 124 5000 e: lticreception@midandeastantrim.gov.uk Address: Larne Visitor Information Centre, Narrow Gauge Road, Larne BT40 1XB

KILCOAN GARDENS

The gardens are situated within the peninsula of Islandmagee, with beautiful views over Larne Lough and include a cottage garden, orchard, vegetable area and herb garden. The recently established cut flower field includes eight raised beds full of annuals and five large perennial beds all of which contain plants suitable for cut flower production. There are also several established perennial beds, a willow arch and a newly planted prairie border. Organically run, the gardens are full of a diverse range of wildlife including many different birds and insects, with several wildflower meadows and a small pond. The gardens are open 12pm-5pm on Wednesday to Sunday (April to September) for garden visits and they run courses and events throughout the year.

Opening Times

April- September Wednesday - Sundays      

Address

240 Middle Road, Islandmagee BT40 3TG

Contact Details

Cherry Townsend Tel: 07703 519 564 Website: www.kilcoangardens.com Email: cherry@kilcoangardens.com
THE RINKHA ICE CREAM PARLOUR,

THE RINKHA ICE CREAM PARLOUR

In 1921, Mr and Mrs. WJ Hawkins (Snr) owned a small general store in Islandmagee called The Gobbins Stores. It was here that the soon-to-be famous Rinkha home-made ice cream recipe was conceived. In those days wooden churns were used and turned by hand – and it was very hard work! WJ Snr was a progressive man and in 1935 he also decided to build a dancehall – an ambitious project in an area as sparsely populated as Islandmagee! Undeterred WJ Snr asked the local community to help name this new Islandmagee landmark and the choice was made when historian Dixon Donaldson suggested… ‘The Rinkha’ – an Irish interpretation meaning place of dance/place of mirth. Today the Rinkha remains a popular local, family-owned general shop, with ice cream parlour, café and toy store.

Opening Times

Spring/Summer Monday to Saturday 8am - 9pm (10pm from June) Sunday 9am - 9pm (10pm from June)

Autumn/Winter Monday to Saturday 8am - 8pm Sunday 9am - 8pm


Cost

N/A

Address

55 Middle Road, Islandmagee, Co. Antrim, BT40 3SW

Contact Details

Tel: +44 (0) 28 9335 3229 e:info@therinkha.com
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The Gobbins path will be open for the summer season, Council Confirms.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has announced that the internationally-unique coastal path at The Gobbins will re-open at the end of June, just in time for peak visitor season.

The Gobbins closed unexpectedly last year, when extreme weather conditions caused higher levels of rock fall along the path. Council brought forward its programme of planned maintenance in the interests of visitor and staff safety, which it says are paramount.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim , Councillor Audrey Wales MBE outlined what has been happening in Islandmagee over recent months: “We were very disappointed last year to miss our first peak season due to the unavoidable closure. Our visitor figures had already well exceeded our targets for the period and out feedback worldwide had been, and continues to be, extremely positive.

“The Gobbins is an outstanding natural and sometimes unpredictable attraction and the only guided adventure walk of its kind in Europe. Over recent months we have been working to dislodge loose rock through scaling and the majority of that work is complete. We have been looking at options for the areas around the ends of the bridges, to ensure that they aren’t damaged during the scaling process and we will now move to complete that element of the maintenance work.

“Council had budgeted around £2 million for its maintenance work, which included work to restore the access path following Storm Frank in 2015. We have spent about a quarter of the budget to date, so the next phase to get The Gobbins open represents a significant investment in growing local economy in Mid and East Antrim through creation of sustainable jobs and tourism. Mid and East Antrim has a fantastic range of tourist attractions, from Carrickfergus Castle to Slemish mountain and we have been committed, together with our partners in Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland, to promoting all our assets on a world stage.

“The Gobbins is so special within Europe. It sits within an area of Special Scientific Interest on account of its wildlife and habitats. It is one of the only mainland sites in Ireland where puffins nest and as such we will always be restricted by the bird nesting season. We will be unable to open a small section at the end of the 2 km path in time for June because of the environmental sensitivities within this area and the associated Planning restrictions, but we will work on those areas during the off-peak season later in the year. Seasonal opening will be a feature of The Gobbins going forward and will be necessary in order for Council to carry out its annual cliff maintenance work off-peak.

“We’re very excited to have a re-opening date confirmed. Booking lines will be open again early in May and we look forward to bringing people back to The Gobbins and to Mid and East Antrim for an exhilarating and exciting raw experience with nature” she said.

 

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