So, Where Are Paddy and Plunkett This Week?

Paddy and Plunkett's Mystery Destination! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
We left them here last week… but what on earth is that in the background?

(If anyone guessed correctly, I’ll be super impressed!)

This unusal-looking bridge is part of the newly revamped and reopened Gobbins Cliff Path, which is about half an hour’s journey outside Belfast, on the County Antrim coast! The original Gobbins path opened in 1902, as the expansion of Northern Ireland’s railways helped to open up parts of the province which had been difficult to reach before. The Gobbins was a genuine old-school tourist attraction, purpose-built by the Chief Engineer of the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway Company to encourage people to visit this part of the country, and to show off the area’s spectacular coastline!
Paddy at The Gobbins Visitor Centre - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

However, the Depression in the 1930s and the growing popularity of cars meant that the railway company could no longer afford to maintain the system of bridges and walkways that made up the path. And when the Second World War broke out, finding people to look after The Gobbins was hardly a priority! It started to fall into disrepair, and a partial reopening of the path in the early 1950s was scuppered by a landfall shortly afterwards. The Gobbins closed in 1954, and was fully abandoned seven years later. Since then, there have been a couple of attempts to reopen the attraction, but nothing came of them… until now! Thanks to a combined effort (and some all-important funds) from the local council, the EU and the Ulster Garden Villages charity, a full restoration started in 2014… And now it’s open for business!

Hey, it looks like the boys are ready to start the tour!
Paddy at the Entrance to The Gobbins - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesHere we go! It was a bit breezy, so they had to hitch a ride with some of the human visitors…
Plunkett at The Gobbins - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy on one of the Bridges at The Gobbins - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

…But not the whole way! Here’s Plunkett posing with the restored Tubular Bridge, the most distinctive part of the path.

Plunkett at the Tubular Bridge, The Gobbins - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
And again, at Sandy Cave. Apparently, this spot was popular with Victorian picnic parties… and smugglers! My Secret Seven-reading 8-year-old self would have loved this place!
Plunkett at the Sandy Cave, The Gobbins - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
The path carries on for nearly a mile and a half, and includes five bridges and a narrow cave tunnel! Check out some of the highlights…

But even walking on little short Beastie legs, the tour was over all too soon… Time to get the train home, lads!

Paddy and Plunkett wait for the Train - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
We’ll see Paddy and Plunkett again soon, I’m sure… And if you’re in the neighbourhood, why not take a trip to The Gobbins yourself? You can find out more about booking here.

See you next time!

10 thoughts on “So, Where Are Paddy and Plunkett This Week?

  1. What an adventurous duo, and an amazing trip,
    I did smile at your caption to the Sandy Cave, I’ve been reading The Famous Five purely as research to attain it’s suitability for Moo you understand

      1. You will be happy in the knowledge that I find the first 3 Famous Five books adequate for Moo, but I’ll have to read any future material as I don’t want the poor lamb traumatised by any salacious writings LOL

  2. So cute. And the last picture just made my day πŸ™‚

    Is it just me or your beasties are getting cuter post after post πŸ˜›

    Have a lovely weekend, Helen.

    LOve and light <3

    Anand πŸ™‚

    1. Heehee, thanks! I’m normally notified of changes in Beastie cuteness levels… Looks like a full scientific investigation might be in order πŸ˜€ And I’m guessing the weekend is already well under way where you are, so enjoy!

    1. Ooooh, I’m looking forward to seeing your Ireland photos! And I’m sure your son would enjoy The Gobbins next time you’re over. It’s probably a good idea to book as far in advance as you can though, their advertising campaign has apparently worked a little too well… πŸ˜ƒ

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