Spanning a chasm eighty feet deep is the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, it's construction once consisted of a single rope hand rail and widely spaced slats which the fishermen would traverse across with boxes of salmon caught off the island. this was one of several seasonal salmon netting locations around the coast, others were at Kenbane, Portmoon and Black Rock. On the main road above Carrick a Rede you will see the old Ice House on the right hand side of the road as you climb up the hill, this is where ice gathered in winter would be stred to pack with the fish before it was shipped to Belfast.
The single handrail bridge was subsequently replaced by a two hand rails attached to the footwalk by ropes spaced around a metre apart. The current 'caged' bridge was installed by the National Trust during Easter of 2000 as a further health and safety measure. Today it is impossible to fall off the bridge unless you climb over the rails, though it is still an exhilarating walk across.
The area is exceptional in is natural beauty, to the left as you come down the steep hill is Larrybane headland which once stretched out towards Sheep Island and had a promontory fort on the top dating to 800AD, underneath are large caves which once served as home to boat builders and a safe resting place from winter storms.
During the 1950's blasting, quarrying and shipping of limestone removed most of Larrybane Head, it is well worth a walk down to the old quarry area as some incredible views can be enjoyed from here.It is also wonderful to see nature and wildlife reclaiming the old site, orchids and butterflies are plentiful in summer here.
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