The Gobbins

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For intrepid adventurers who consider a train journey or stroll along the Antrim coast too boring, the opportunity to be suspended in mid-air over the wild Irish Sea has almost arrived.

The public re-opening of the famous Gobbins path has now been confirmed for next Wednesday, allowing visitors to feel the sea air on their necks as they capture some spectacular views.

Originally built in 1902 along the base of the Gobbins Cliff at Islandmagee, the path attracted more visitors than the Giant’s Causeway in its heyday.

It was designed in Victorian times as a commercial venture to attract passengers to use their rail link between Belfast and Whitehead.

Closed to the public in 1954 after falling into disrepair, the finishing touches are this week being put to a massive renovation project costing around £7.5m.

Source – The Irish News

The Gobbins
The Gobbins

Being a Belfast photographer means I often get access to things and places that are not yet open to the general public.  Some times my clients need images of things and places to promote to the public before they actually open.  The Gobbins is one of Northern Irelands oldest tourist attractions but sadly lay waste for decades after it fell in to the sea due to lack of maintenance back in 1954.  ThankfullyMcLaughlin and Harvey Ltd won the contract to restore this very unique attraction and via request from one of my clients I got to visit two weeks ago to take some photographs.

First of all as some one who’s not from the Islandmagee area I underestimated how steep the path down to The Gobbins was! I brought a full camera bag and a few other accessories because I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I didn’t want to be caught short and not have the correct gear.

It was a pretty tight fit with the camera bag that I did bring.  The actual entrance that you and the public will go through is a bit of a squeeze!  Once through I was treated to an awesome view.  A complete 100% unrestricted view of the beautiful Irish Sea and in the distance you could see Scotland.  It was such a lovely sight as there were several trawlers out working whilst I was there.

I wasn’t able to get all the way round The Gobbins path as they were just finishing up the final touches but the path that I got to walk was pretty cool.  I only ended up using one D750 body with a 16-35mm F4 lens attached.  I had to pay very close attention to make sure that the images weren’t distorted at 16mm as the images would be used for public promotion.  A couple of times I needed a little more reach so I ended up having to switch over to my ageing 24-70mm F2.8.

Sorry about the watermarks.  I dont normally use them but the attraction is yet to open and not many people have been down to take photos of it yet.


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