public://2021-03/the-path-now.jpg

A Guide to the Gobbins Cliff Path

Scroll page down Scroll to next section
Bridge 1 now

Bridge 1

One of three new bridges built in the 2016 redevelopment. It spans an inlet where the waves crash among a field of glacial boulders.

Suggest a name for the bridge

Bridge 2 now

Bridge 2

The second of the three new bridges. It connects two headlands either side of a narrow crevasse, where nesting birds roost among spleenwort and kidney vetch.

Suggest a name for the bridge

sandy cave now

Sandy Cave

The shelter of a sea stack allowed sand to accumulate in this a narrow inlet and cave – a favourite picnic spot for early tourists.

Tubular bridge now

The Tubular Bridge

The Tubular Bridge's unusual design made it the symbol of the cliff path. It features in more 20th century postcards – and 21st century social media posts – than any of The Gobbins' other features.

man-o-war now

Man O' War

The Gobbins was formed by volcanic eruptions, but the Man O'War is one that didn't quite make it to the surface. It solidified underground and the sea has since washed the surrounding rock away. It reminded early visitors of a battleship from the age of sail.

the gallery now

The Gallery

This elevated pathway edges around The Gobbins' sheerest cliff and was recognised as a remarkable engineering achievement in its day.

the aquarium now

The Aquarium

The elevated path at the Aquarium carries you over rockpools encrusted with molluscs, sponges and red seaweed, shoals of tiny fish darting between them.

the tunnel now

The Tunnel

This eerie passage is carved through a basalt outcrop and takes you below sea level. You can hear the boom of the sea reverberating through the walls.

spleenwort cave now

Spleenwort Cave

Tendrils of delicate, bright green leaves fill the crevices of this mysterious cave. These Sea Spleenwort ferns were a favourite of 19th century collectors.

otter cave now

Otter Cave

A landslip cascading into the sea now covers the entrance to Otter Cave. Early visitors found deer, ox, sheep, dog, rabbit and bird skeletons deep inside. They speculated that hungry (and fierce!) sea otters had left them there.

bridge 3 now

Bridge 3

The last of the three new bridges carries you around the last headland and into a wide cove overlooked by sheer cliffs.

Suggest a name for the bridge

the swinging bridge now

The Swinging Bridge

This suspension bridge is slung across a deep inlet that has carved out a cave in the cliff. The modern bridge is much more rigid than the original. It was made of high-tension cables and local youngsters used to alarm visitors by jumping up and down to make it shake.

Gordons Leap

The inlet the Swinging Bridge crosses has an enigmatic name that locals are still debating. It is named after a murder victim from the 17th century, a local councillor, or one of the original path’s builders?

clifftop viewpoint now

Clifftop Viewpoint

Venture out to the viewpoint to take in views of the Seven Sisters caves, the submerged Kraken Cave and Heddles Port.

Want to learn more about the Gobbins story?

Take me back in time