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Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a rope suspension bridge near, Ballintoy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny Carrick Island. The site is owned and maintained by the National Trust, spans twenty metres and is thirty metres above the rocks below. Today the bridge is mainly a tourist attraction, with 227,000 visitors in 2007. The bridge is now taken down every year in late October or early November, depending on weather conditions, having been put up in March.
Carrick-a-rede means 'rock in the road'. It is thought salmon fishermen have been erecting bridges to the island for over 350 years. It has taken many forms over the years. In the 1970s it featured only a single handrail and large gaps between the slats. A version of the bridge, tested up to ten tonnes, was built with the help of local climbers and abseilers in 2000. The previous design was engineered in 2004 and offers visitors and fishermen alike a much safer passage to the island. The current wire rope and Douglas fir bridge was made by Heyn Construction in Belfast and erected early in 2008 at a cost of over £16,000. Although no one has fallen off the bridge, there have been many instances where visitors, unable to face the walk back across the bridge, have had to be taken off the island by boat.
It is no longer used by fishermen during the salmon season, which used to last from June until September, as there are now very few salmon left. In the 1960s, almost three hundred fish were caught per day, but by 2002, only three hundred were caught over the entire season. The salmon return via the area to spawn in the River Bann and the River Bush.
The area is exceptional in natural beauty with stunning views of Rathlin Island and Scotland. The site and surrounding area is an Area of Special Scientific Interest, with unique geology, flora and fauna. Underneath large caves are visible, which once served as home for boat builders and as shelter during stormy weather.
12 night 4 centre tour of Ireland
I apologize that it has taken so long to get back to you reference your enquiry about our vacation in Ireland from 13 August - 1 September 2014. You may recall that you had arranged the 12 day self guided tour accommodation for us etc etc. I sent you a report after our return but I will repeat that here. Please feel free to extract what you wish for advertisement purposes or whatever. I have also enclosed a few photos that you requested.
We had a simply wonderful vacation in your beautiful country and wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed the experience. The visit has made us want to do it all again in a few years. I want to thank you for the splendid accommodation arrangements you made for us over the twelve day tour. The variety gave us a good exposure to the cross section of places to stay and something we can make good use of in the future. The two major highlights of the vacation were the drive around the “Ring of Kerry” and Connemara including ‘The Bog Road”. We continually marvelled at the incredible scenery. Mother nature has blessed Ireland with some of the most fantastic landscapes using a palette of fresh and inviting colours. The warm and friendly reception from all we met was most pleasing and made us feel right at home.
Well, Stephanie, again thank you for your efforts in making our vacation a most memorable experience.
Douglas Lynch, Ontario, Canada