Photography, Road Trips

The rope bridge to Carrick-a-Rede Island

It’s a wobbly, undulating bridge of rope and wire binding planks of Douglas fir, 100 feet in the air, connecting the Northern Ireland mainland to the island of Carrick-a-Rede. Similar bridges have crossed this span for more than three centuries.

At Carrick-a-Rede Bridge

Margaret and I found the bridge to be sturdy and its swaying to be gentle. We had no troubles crossing it. Yet every year several people are spooked enough by it that they can’t cross back over and must be removed from the island by boat.

At Carrick-a-Rede Bridge

The bridge and island haven’t always been a tourist attraction. Rather, fishermen originally set salmon nets off the island and used earlier iterations of the rope bridge to reach their catch. The current bridge dates to 2008. Salmon stopped swimming through here a long time ago, and so the National Trust took over the site and made it a tourist attraction. We were glad they did: the views are stunning!

At Carrick-a-Rede Bridge

This was the first place we visited on our trip. Little did we know it would set a precedent: we would see lots of cliffs and ocean as we followed the Irish coast in the coming days.

At Carrick-a-Rede Bridge

Our day began with typical early-September Irish weather: overcast and spitting rain. But shortly the clouds parted.

At Carrick-a-Rede Bridge

It’s a maxim of photography that changing light changes the subject. But we were consistently startled by how much of an effect the changing light had in Ireland over anywhere in Indiana, where we’re from.

At Carrick-a-Rede Bridge

Just check out these two photographs, made maybe 15 minutes apart, of the same subject before and after the clouds parted.

At Carrick-a-Rede Bridge

The sunshine made colors pop everywhere we turned.

At Carrick-a-Rede Bridge

We stayed on the island longer than we intended simply because we wanted to re-photograph in the light everything we had just photographed under dense clouds.

At Carrick-a-Rede Bridge

Carrick-a-Rede is considered one of the best places in Ireland for stargazing, so it’s too bad we couldn’t come back and experience that kind of light.

At Carrick-a-Rede Bridge

But onward we went from here, to Giant’s Causeway, to see more cliffs and more ocean. We never tired of either.

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8 thoughts on “The rope bridge to Carrick-a-Rede Island

    • I was repeatedly astounded in Ireland by how old things could be! In Indiana, anything before about 1830 is pretty darned old. In Ireland, a thing doesn’t seem to be considered old unless it’s age is in the hundreds of years!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Really great snaps there Jim – captured the essence of the place very nicely. And the light was kind to you – well, it kinda came to you and you had the patience to wait. As you say, the light is constantly changing in this part of the world. Looking forward to the Causeway post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The great thing about our trip is that we set the agenda so that we had time for patience when we wanted to choose it! Causeway post currently queued for Friday, assuming I can get the rest of the words written.

      Like

  2. Mix a few clouds with some wind and you could be up for some real great light for sure around the coastline of this part of the world. Ireland seems to be no exception at all :)
    Great snaps from a very nice place, indeed.

    Like

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