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NITB Welcomes Gobbins Restoration


The Chairman and board of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board took to the sea last week to get a ‘fish eye’ view of the historic Gobbins Cliff Path in County Antrim.

The spectacular cliff path at Islandmagee in east Antrim, once more popular than the Giant's Causeway, is to be restored to its former glory.

The restoration, complete with visitor centre, café and playground, will create a unique coastal attraction and further improve the visitor experience in the Causeway Coast and Glens region, one of nine key tourism destinations in Northern Ireland.

Schedule to open next year, the new path will include reconstructed versions of a tubular bridge and a 25-metre suspension bridge, feats of engineering that were once part of the route.

Professionally guided tours that detail local history, heritage and culture will also be on offer and it is anticipated the attraction will create new jobs and attract additional visitors into the area annually.

NITB is supporting Larne Borough Council in the project with Tourism Development Scheme funding of £176,000 to construct an additional cliff top path and cliff top view point to add to the overall visitor experience and increase dwell time within the area.

From the view point, visitors will be able to see the cliff path and engineering structures in addition to stunning vistas of Belfast Lough and the Causeway Coastal Route.

The NITB board was in the Causeway Coast and Glen area to engage with local tourism stakeholders as part of a series of board meetings taking place at some of Northern Ireland's key tourism attractions in 2013.

After inspecting the developments at the Gobbins, the board held a meeting in Glenarm Castle and met with local tourism stakeholders and industry representatives at the Londonderry Arms in Carnlough.

Speaking at the conclusion of the visit, NITB Chairman Howard Hastings said: "The Board was unanimous in describing the Gobbins Coastal Path as breathtaking – it's easy to see why the Victorians once flocked to it in their thousands.

“The full restoration of this spectacular facility is tantalisingly close. When open it will not only be another must-see attraction for the world-class Causeway Coast and Glens destination. It will be a major tourism asset to Northern Ireland and a strengthening factor for the local economy."

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