Belfast Telegraph

Extra tours laid on as troubled Gobbins path proves a hit with public

By Noel McAdam

The number of tours available on The Gobbins - a nerve-racking Co Antrim cliffside walk - will double for the rest of the summer to meet with public demand.

Instead of tours of the historic walkway on the hour, they will now begin every 30 minutes, opening up the prospect of an extra 2,000 trips.

After a troubled start that saw the attraction closed for months, the Islandmagee path appears to be benefiting from a better-than-expected summer.

Operations and development manager Alister Bell said: "We have been lucky enough to get some fantastic summer days this year, and our tour guides and guest relations staff have been enjoying welcoming visitors from all over the world.

"Visitors appear to be simply stunned by the breathtaking beauty, stairways and bridges. The extra tours begin from next Monday."

Mr Bell denied that more frequent trips will cause logistical problems on the narrow seaside path.

"With the various passing points on the bridges and the management by the guides on the path, hold-ups should not happen," he said. Seasonal opening is to be a feature of The Gobbins attraction to allow for vital annual off-peak maintenance work.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has spent more than £500,000 so far repairing and restoring the spectacular site.

The path shuts down on September 3 and will not open again until spring next year.

But the new move by the council will allow for an additional 500 visits a week.

Visitors over the summer have included people from America, Australia, Germany, France and Spain.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Paul Reid said: "The extra tours have been arranged to meet the incredible demand from international visitors travelling to the coastal adventure site.

"The interest in the attraction has been phenomenal.

"Since reopening in June, our team of more than 40 guides has already welcomed more than 2,500 international and local visitors, and the rest of the summer looks set to be even busier."

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