Things to see and do at Carrick-a-Rede

A group of people from the Ballintoy Rockhound Club enjoying exploring the walls of Larrybane Quarry in search of fossils

We've got lots for you to experience. Take on the challenge of our rope bridge and dig out binoculars to spy on seabirds and basking sharks.

Top things to look out for

  • Salmon fishery - salmon was fished here for almost 400 years. Look out for the lifting gear for raising boats and salmon fishing nets on the island and catch glimpses of the past. Tours of the Fisherman's Cottage are available upon request.
  • Seabirds - guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars all share living space on the island and the adjoining mainland. The oystercatcher is a very common sighting along the whole North Coast.
  • In the water - basking sharks, dolphins and porpoises are seen on a regular basis. Maybe you'll be lucky enough to spot all three.
  • Rathlin Island - The West Lighthouse on Rathlin Island is only 4½ miles (7km) from Carrick-a-Rede. Thousands of puffins are breeding there every year.

Brave the bridge

Suspended almost 100 ft (30 m) above sea level, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge was first erected by salmon fishermen over 200 years ago and is now a major tourist attraction on the North Coast - we have about 250,000 visitors striding across it every year. Crossing the bridge is a thrilling experience and brave explorers will be rewarded with stunning views.

Weighbridge tea-room

Enjoy a hot drink and a yummy cake as a reward for crossing the bridge whilst taking in the lovely views across to Rathlin and the Scottish islands. 


At least three different types of orchids can be found around the sites as well as other wildflowers. Larrybane was a working chalk quarry until the mid-1970s, and is now the access point for a scenic walk to the Rope Bridge.

50 Things

Have you completed your 50 things to do before you're 11¾ scrapbook yet? Why not make a start with birdwatching at Carrick-a-Rede?