Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (2008) Ballintoy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a rope suspension bridge near Ballintoy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland and is one of the area’s main tourist attractions along with the Giant’s Causeway just 10 miles away.
It spans a 20m (66 ft) wide chasm between the mainland and Carrick-a-Rede island, a seasonal salmon netting location for generations. The bridge once consisted of a single rope handrail and widely spaced slats over which fishermen would carry their catch. This was later replaced by two-handrail version connected to the walkway by ropes at intervals of approximately a metre.
As fish stocks declined the bridge was used less and less by fishermen and it is now mainly a tourist attraction owned and managed by the National Trust. It is open all year round and a fee is payable to cross over.
Further revisions of the bridge design were carried out in 2000 and 2004 and the current bridge was installed in 2008. All the rope elements are now made of wire and the deck is of Douglas fir. It is now impossible to fall through the floor or sides of the bridge but the 30m (98 ft) drop to the rocks below make crossing it a daunting experience for some.