Northern Ireland

The Gobbins: New £7.5m coastal path forced to close due to storm damage

The Gobbins coastal path reopened to the public last summer after six decades of closure Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The Gobbins coastal path reopened to the public last summer after six decades of closure and a major renovation programme

A coastal tourist attraction, which reopened to the public five months ago after a £7.5m revamp, has been forced to close because of storm damage.

The Gobbins is a dramatic cliff face walk in Islandmagee, County Antrim.

The pathway had been damaged by storms and record rainfall, according to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Its bridge structures have not been damaged and the council plans to restore access and reopen the coastal pathway "as soon as possible".

However, no date has yet been set for when the public can expect to use the path again.

"Mid and East Antrim Borough Council wishes to ensure that all experiences at The Gobbins are safe and enjoyable and the health and safety of our visitors is of paramount importance," a council spokesperson said.

"We are working to have the path reopened as soon as possible and apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Image caption The bridge structures have not been damaged by the severe weather but are inaccessible at present because of damage to the main pathway

The Gobbins Visitor Centre and exhibition remains open to the public while the repairs are being carried out.

The original Edwardian structure first opened in 1902 but fell into disrepair and closed to the public in the 1950s.

In August last year, it was unveiled as the council's newest tourist attraction.

The path is carved into black basalt cliffs and is connected by a network of walkways and bridges, including a new tubular bridge which is an almost identical replica of the original Edwardian structure.

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