Open four days a year

We had the privilege of visiting the fisherman's cottage at Carrick-a-rede (known for its rope bridge) on the penultimate opening day this year. We had marked our National Trust newsletter to remind us to set aside the 13th or 14th of June as we had seen the cottage on our misty day visit and were curious to what was inside. We weren't disappointed as the National Trust set an old fashioned scene complete with two story tellers who brought the history to life.

There is always a welcome from the people of Northern Ireland and the staff here made sure everyone enjoyed their visit as they recounted the 400 years of maritime heritage in a lively, thought provoking way. The lady in the photo works as a volunteer for the National Trust and did the brave task of directing groups of people into the tiny cottage with a roaring fire. Congratulations to all of the staff including the man who invited the people who had just crossed the rope bridge.

The cottage was dark inside with sunlight spilling through the door on the day we visited. My iPhone coped well in the darkness and we managed to take enough shots to show a little of the heritage of the tools of the trade. The inside is divided into two rooms with the nets and tools in the places they were left when the cottage was closed. The fishermen caught salmon daily catches of 300 fish. The rope bridge was crossed and re-crossed fifty ties a day by men, women and children. (the day we visited twice was enough for me with a sway to make me dizzy on both sides of the bridge) The bridge was actually constructed to get the fish to land quicker as the fishermen had come in with their boats.

Along came dad wouldn't be the same if we didn't add adventure to our photo trips. I thought crossing the rope bridge was dangerous enough but little did I know I would be tested even further when dad lay down (yes, at the cliff edge) to get the photo the tourists wouldn't venture to take of the cottage as it is nestled in the rocks. I was told that it was my turn and to make sure my camera was strapped round my neck! It was a long way down for a very cold swim, paddling at Rough Island was tame compared to this.

A blog will follow of the actual rope bridge but today we wanted to share a tale of the unexpected in more ways than one.

Ropey Bridge

Rough Island