The causeway of the giants is also called the Giant’s Path or the Giants’ Bridge. The coast in this place seems to be made of Lego. The faceted basalt pillars look fantastic, but this amazing landmark only became truly popular after the shore was filmed in the TV series Game of Thrones. This mysterious monument of nature, along with the Causeway Coast, has been declared a natural reserve. Further we will tell you how to visit the amazing geological formation that Northern Ireland is famous for.
How to visit the Giant’s Causeway?
44 Causeway Road, Bushmills, County Antrim
Official website: giantscausewayofficialguide.com
Hiking trails are open from sunrise to sunset, but the information center and parking are open from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.
For adults — £13
For kids — £6,5
Parking is £5
Don’t worry about transport, transfers, entrance tickets and accommodation if you book a day tour in a comfortable bus. Check out the offer at this link.
How to get to the Giant’s Road?
The Giant’s Causeway is located in Antrim County, 100 km from Belfast. The nearest town of Bushmills is three kilometers away.
The most convenient way is to go through Belfast. From the capital of Northern Ireland take the train to Coleraine. Next, transfer to the local bus 172 or 402 and get to Bushmills. Travel time is approximately 2.5 hours.
If there are no train tickets available, you can go to Colerain by intercity bus from Europa Buscentre. From Coleraine to Bushmills you can also travel by local bus. The trip will take three hours.
You can go to the Giant’s Causeway by car without any transfers (you can rent a car at this link). Keep to the M2 and A26 highways. Travel time is a bit over an hour. Make sure you’ve booked a parking space in advance (via this link).
» READ MORE – Traveling in Ireland by car: itinerary
Where to stay?
You can choose local hotels in Bushmills by their rating and reviews. The leader among them is Holiday Inn Express Belfast City, located in the crowded Queen’s Quarter. Castlereagh House offers a budget room with wi-fi. Average prices for double rooms with everything you need for a comfortable stay range from £ 59-117.Choose a hotel in Bushmills
Legend tells that in ancient times, the Irish giant Finn McCool built a stone bridge to keep his feet dry when fighting a giant from Scotland. However, the opponent, the one-eyed Goll McMorn, caught him sleeping.
Finn’s wife Uma, saving her husband, deceived the monster, claiming him as her sleeping baby son. In addition, she fed the giant with cakes, in which she baked some iron utensils. While the guest was breaking his teeth because of the treat, Uma gave her alleged son a taste of the normal cake. The giant Goll quickly realized that if the baby had such strong teeth, then his father should be invincible in battle. And the giant fled, scattering the columns. Thus, according to legend, the Bridge of Giants was made.
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How was the Giant’s causeway made?
Geologists believe that in the Paleogene era, 50–60 million years ago, volcanoes were active on this stretch of coast. During the eruptions, the basalt melted, spilling into the plateau. Next was the cooling process, which caused a horizontal compression of the substance. From the plateau it cracked into polyhedrons, which, in the process of weathering, turned into columns.
The monolithic formation includes approximately 40,000 faceted basalt pillars. Most of the columns are hexagons, but some are octagonal. In some places the causeway reaches a height of 12 meters.
The vertical pillars look so incredible that there are other less scientific versions of their origin. One of the popular ones says that this is a petrified forest.
» READ MORE – Cliffs of Moher in Ireland: how to reach and what to see
Must see sights at Giant’s Causeway
The total length of the tourist route is about 3 km, but if you wish, you can wind along the trails almost endlessly. Usually tourists follow the lower road along the coastline in order to slowly survey all the beauties of a causeway. In some places, the columns are low and resemble paving stones. But you have to climb higher to inspect a large rocky structure resembling the pipes of a musical organ.
We recommend going here for at least one day, but if you are in a hurry or the weather leaves much to be desired, then you can see the main things in 40 minutes with the help of a local audio guide. There are six significant points:
- The Grand Causeway. Closer to the sea there is a stone road 20-30 meters wide. Here you can jump from one pillar to another.
- Giant’s Boot on the European dimensional grid would be 93.5 or 2 meters size in the insole.
- The Wishing Chair has already been beautifully polished by hundreds of hands. You should make a wish as well!
- The Giant’s Camel is an impressively massive basalt rock. Only this camel could carry the giant Finn.
- The paths on the rocks run along the very top. They offer incredible views of the entire coast.
- Make sure to check out the tourist center. It contains all the information about the routes, their duration and difficulty. As well as a cozy cafe and gift shop.
These are not all the basalt sculptures that nature has formed. In the park you can also find the Giant’s Cannons, the Giant’s Loom, the Giant’s expressive Eyes, as well as his final resting place, the Giant’s Coffin.
Beach season on a Giant’s Causeway
Vacationers are greeted by quiet bays, cavernous islets and pointed headlands on the causeway. Waves crash against the columns, creating an original background that is unique to this place.
The best months for swimming are from July to September. During this period, the beaches are open for diving and surfing, also cultural events and festivals are organized. It’s getting dark after 11pm, which makes it possible to take long walks along the coast.
By the way, even during the cold season, which lasts from October to May, the number of tourists doesn’t get smaller. At this time there is a chance to learn about life and traditions of the Irish better. It is quite possible to combine Christmas holidays with a trip to the country of giants, to this most mysterious «pavement».
What else to see on the Causeway cost?
To arrange a romantic getaway, it is worth visiting the ruins of Dunluce Castle. The castle rises on a rock and seems impregnable. As a matter of curiosity, the building is the prototype for Pike from Game of Thrones and the Cail Paravel from The Chronicles of Narnia.
Not far from the Giant’s Causeway there is an interesting rope bridge Carrick-a-Rede, stretched between the rocks over the strait. Tickling your nerves there will cost £9.
Experienced travelers recommend visiting Old Bushmills. This is the oldest distillery in the world. The production of bonded whiskey began there in 1608. The establishment, by the way, is depicted on the 10-pound note. During the tour, they demonstrate the entire bewing process and offer to try the drink to check its merits.
» READ MORE – Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery
Our planet is amazing. Now you know that the island of Ireland has a real pearl. If you like natural parks, make sure to come for a walk along the Giant’s Causeway. You will remember it as bright as a trip to the moon.
Have a great journey!