Never a group to shirk a new challenge, Armagh’s Irish language walking group ‘Siúil’ will this weekend take on ‘The Gobbins’ – the towering giant cliffs that cling to the edge of Islandmagee on the stunning Causeway Coastal Route. Facing proudly into the Irish Sea, The Gobbins derive their name from the Irish word ‘Gobán’ meaning “tip/point of land” or “headland”. The recently upgraded modern cliff path at The Gobbins is a white-knuckle walk designed to thrill those with a sense of adventure and delight.
A steep descent to the beginning of the cliff path will be rewarded by the feeling of walking on water as the intrepid ramblers begin to experience the sensation of being on the perimeter of Ireland’s north east coast. Walkers will see and hear the waves crashing against the cliffs as they have done for thousands of millennia. The Armachians will be escorted on their journey by a guide who will provide an insight into the ever-changing flora and fauna along the narrow winding cliff edge path which rises and dips and follows the curves of curious geology. Bridges, tunnels, caves, steps, unique rock formations and stunning views will punctuate the walk, presenting themselves in a different light for the return journey.
Ancient tales and folklore surround The Gobbins – tales that would have made the short journey back and forth across ‘Srúth na Maoile’ – the original Gaelic name for the Irish Sea. The coast of Scotland, less than thirty miles east, is easily visible from The Gobbins on a clear day and walkers will appreciate how the two nations were once united under the ancient kingdom of Dál Riata.
This is the latest in a monthly series of walks organised by Irish language collective, CAIRDE Teo. In addition to hillwalking, the group also offers adults the chance to participate in activities such as boat-building, kayaking, horse riding and sailing. To find out more about their autumn/winter programme, visit them on Facebook or Twitter or call into their premises in Armagh City Shopping Centre during office hours.