The Giant’s Causeway – Northern Ireland

I have been meaning to write about my previous trips to The Giant’s Causeway for a while now, so I’m using the lockdown now to write about it.

It’s been 5 years since I was at The Giant’s Causeway, on two occasions on my honeymoon in Northern Ireland. My experience visiting the causeway was one of my favourite experiences of Northern Ireland.

Meet the giants causeway

Giant’s Causeway is near the cities of Belfast, Derry/Londonderry which is in a good distance for a day trip. It is situated along the Antrim coastline, along which the famous Causeway Coast is found, with other nearby tourist attractions of Carrick-a-rede Bridge and Dunlace Castle.

Giant’s Causeway is a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site, with approximately 40,000 basalt columns. These hexagonal-shaped stones date back to a volcanic age almost 60 million years.

The most memorable part of this visit for me was taking in the Irish Stories of the causeway. For the Irish, this site does not just comprise of oddly shaped stones, but it forms the site for the Irish Legend, Finn McCool, a giant who lived in this area and dared to pick a fight with Benadonner, the Scottish giant. The story of the two giants on either side of the sea is an interesting tale you can discover when you are at the causeway.

The causeway itself is the result of volcanic activity from 60 million years back:

  • On a chalk rock landscape, volcanic eruptions created layers of basalt rock to the landscape
  • There was a dormant period where the top layer of basalt was worn down and plants started to grow back
  • A river formed in the area creating a valley
  • In the valley there was a volcanic eruption which filled up the valley
  • The pool of larva cooled and cracked in even patterns, forming the hexagonal-shapes
  • With glacial activity and weathering from the waves, the upper layers of rock were worn down and the basalt columns exposed

What to do at the causeway

When you pick up your tickets at the Causeway, you have the option of going on one of the guided tours, or picking up one of the hand-held audio devices which you can use while touring at your own pace, learning about the causeway and the stories of the Finn McCool.

There is a visitors centre where you can use the interactive displays to learn more about the causeway, a café shop to grab a coffee and a snack; and a shop where you can purchase something to remember your trip by.

You can take a short stroll through the causeway or even choose to go on an invigorating hike.

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