My experience at the Gobbins didn’t start out too well. The day before, I got an email that I want too happy about. My booking had been pushed back three hours due to technical difficulties or whatever. That put my schedule out a bit, I decided not to ruin my experience because I understand that these things happen.
I arrived at my scheduled departure anyway and I asked the staff if the email I received was true. They confirmed this and yes I was a bit disappointed, but it wasn’t the end of the world for me. I get it. But, here’s the cool part… the staff at The Gobbins are locals and local knowledge is great when you’ve got three hours to wander around. One of the staff drew, what I consider, the Picasso of maps! Take a look! It roughly listed all the cool stuff and great landscape outlooks on the Island Magee.
I am more of a Google Maps kind of girl, but this map was so epic, there was no way I was not going to use it.
I headed off to the suggested lookouts and could see Scotland. I passed the blue and white house for a great line of sight of the Game of Thrones green screen and makeshift set. Yes, that painted white cliff you see on the left is the ice wall. And that straight thing on the right is a green screen.
I went back to the car park and had a bit of a snooze in my trusty van, Fang Face and at 3:30 went up to check in.
The staff asked me, “do you have any boots?” “Nope. This is everything I own.” My trusty Converse All-Stars would have to sit this one out. They were not suitable for The Gobbins. I slid on their boots, put on my helmet and listened to the quick briefing. Our guide for this adventure was Donal. Yes, he told a few moderately bad jokes, but a few good ones slid out, too!
A van dropped us off on the side of the road. We walked down the steep hill and one by one, we entered the gated area of The Gobbins. Donal stepped us back in time when women wore petticoats and 1,000 people visited The Gobbins in a day. These days, they get about 250 visitors.
I could see why they suggested that we needed hiking boots as the path was quite uneven. There was a lot of stepping up and down and the stairs were all different heights. There was even a cave that we walked though that demonstrated some cool engineering.
The Gobbins has been reimagined meaning, the bridges have been brought into the modern age because… nobody likes death. You can, however, see a lot of the remnants of the original structure.
Was it worth it? Yes. Would I go back? Yes. Why did I like it so much? I was able to travel though time thanks to Donal’s stories. But, there was more than that. As Donal explained, The Gobbins has a plan to expand the walk. I loved the fact that they had ideas to keep this lovely walk going and I loved that I could come back and see how it’s changed. I also loved that everyone was local. They all care a lot about the area and it shows – from the hand drawn map to my guide’s local knowledge. You can find more info here on The Gobbins.
Have you been somewhere in the world that really stuck and you loved? Please share in the comments.
An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!