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Questions on Carrick a Rede Bridge and Giant's Causeway

First question: Where are the tickets taken at Carrick a Rede bridge? The tickets are timed, and I'm not sure where we're supposed to be at the assigned time -- at the parking lot or at the actual bridge? Given that there is a decent distance to walk between the parking area and the bridge itself, if the ticket is taken at the bridge, we'll need to make sure we arrive at the parking area earlier.

Second question: which is more strenuous, visiting Carrick a Rede or Giant's Causeway? (We want to do the more tiring hike first!)

Third question: Given that Giant's Causeway gets busy with tour buses, if we visit Carrick a Rede first, is it fine to visit Giant's Causeway right around lunchtime, or should we plan to wait till later in the day to avoid tour groups?

Fourth question: If some of my group have a fear of heights and don't want to cross the Carrick a Rede bridge, do they still need tickets, or are the tickets only needed for those actually doing the crossing to the island?

Thanks for your help!

Posted by
7542 posts

Giants Causeway can be as strenuous as you want to make it. There is a shuttle bus (maybe a pound?) that you can take from the visitor center down the hill to the causeway formations. It also runs back up the hill.:) You can choose to take it both ways, walk one way, walk both ways, etc.

At the formations you can climb around on them as actively as you like or stay near the edges and enjoy looking at them.

The pinch point for tourists at Giants Causeway is the visitor's center. We just skipped it. People tend to spread out on the walk to the formations and even though there were quite a few people, it did not feel overwhelming.

Posted by
5591 posts

At the Giant’s Causeway we walked down from the parking lot, skipping the visitor center. After walking around we took the shuttle back up. As Carol said, it cost £1. When we were there years ago there was no timed entry. Believe we bought the ticket right at the bridge. My wife has a fear of heights and even she crossed it. We didn’t find either site to be very strenuous.

Posted by
442 posts

First question - tickets are taken at the gate area at the bridge. It is about a 20 minute brisk walk from the parking lot to the gate area and bridge.

Second question - neither are strenuous. Both involve some walking over uneven terrain. You can climb the rocks at the Giant Causeway - I did not.

Third question - I recommend contacting the sites for information regarding busy time periods. Tour bus groups are not accepted for the bridge. The causeway can get busy.

Fourth question - Everyone can go to the site of the bridge - no ticket required. I have a fear heights, cliffs and bridges but I crossed it with no problem. It was scarier walking down the steps to the bridge than the actual crossing.

See link for photo details about the bridge (DO NOT USE IT TO PURCHASE TICKETS) -

Use the National Trust site for updated information and for purchasing tickets -

Posted by
1473 posts

If worried about the bridge, try and cross by yourself with no-one else on it. Some peolle love to bounce and make it swing which can be really scary if you don't like suspension bridges. Husband sood at the end of the bridge and stopped anyone else going on it until I was safely over!

We found late afternoon/early evening the best time to visit Giant's Causeway as everyone was heading back home then. Also try and plan a visit for low tide as more of the stones are exposed. It just isn't as impressive at high tide.

Posted by
125 posts

Yes - as stated above, contact by email the National Trust. I have had several questions that they responded to. Tour groups are NOT allowed on the Carrick a Rede bridge. You must arrive by car. But they are very helpful and will answer your questions. As I understand it, they have their own parking lot.

Posted by
1 posts

We are planning to follow the recommended day from Portrush (driving) - Causeway, Distillery, Rope Bridge and then Castle, arriving to the Causeway around 9am.

My question is does any have a recommendation on what time to reserve the Rope Bridge for, given this?

Posted by
1473 posts

What order are you planning on doing the different things gpgraedel ? Carrick a Rede seems to be the only place you have to prebook a ticket.

Have you thought about starting there and booking a ticket as soon as it opens at 9.30? That saves a lot of angst in planning how long to spend at the different places. Then head back to Giant's Causeway, Bushmills and Dunluce Castle.