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Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge open all year

By David McNeill

Even in the mildest weather, it isn't for the faint-hearted.

But now the world-famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge near Ballintoy, Co Antrim, is open all year, adding to the thrill - or terror - of crossing it.

The 20-metre-long bridge, which links the mainland to the tiny Carrick Island, is 30 metres above the crashing waves and attracts up to 250,000 visitors every year.

That is now bound to increase with the National Trust encouraging people to 'bundle up and venture out' to its many Northern Ireland venues this winter.

The trust's interim director for Northern Ireland, Billy Reid, said: "Winter is a great time of year for walking and exploring our places to visit. Think of Mount Stewart's stunning gardens, for instance, or Florence Court in the shadow of Benaughlin Mountain."

He added: "The Carrick-a-Rede bridge is now a challenge which is open to visitors all-year round."

Other venues under the control of the trust, which has been protecting Northern Ireland's heritage since 1936, include Mussenden Temple, The Argory, Castle Ward, Rowallane Gardens, Divis and the Black Mountain, Shaw's Bridge and the Giant's Ring and the Giant's Causeway.

For more information, visit www.walkni.com

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