Hexagonal basalt columns at Giants Causeway, Ireland. Hexagonal basalt columns at Giants Causeway, Ireland.

A Quick Guide to the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Okay, so you are quite confused about planning the upcoming holidays and only browsing the locations in Northern Ireland. No need to waste your time anymore, as I’m here to help you out.

This UNESCO Heritage Site can make your trip fabulous or average, depending on the time you prep yourself to take a trip. I’m talking about the Giant’s Causeway. Do you know that the place comprises countless basalt columns formed millions of years ago due to fierce volcanic eruptions that shifted the landscape permanently? As the lava solidified upon cooling, it created a rupture pattern of geometric hexagonal columns.

So, I offer you some insightful and interesting information that will surely make you fall in love with the place. Do check the map below to get its exact location.

The Giant’s Causeway is located at the far end of the Northern Coast in North Ireland and takes the segment of the broader United Kingdom. It is placed precisely inside the town of Antrim, along the Causeway Coast. The closest town is Bushmills, which is a few kilometers away. 

Even Belfast is about 90 kilometers, and Derry is about 70 kilometers from the Causeway. The Visitor Centre is a pretty popular spot to access the Causeway and is situated just a few paces away from the coast. You can take a short walk from here to reach the spot. 

So, Let’s Begin Our Journey to Giants Causeway

Bordered by the untamed North Atlantic Ocean and a terrain of picturesque cliffs, the Giant’s Caus is a geological astonishment and an abode to abundant history and legend. 

Seriously! Giants Causeway is so mesmerizing that I could easily spend hours there watching the waves crash against the shore and listening to their enchanting music.

Pragya, Icy Whiz Team

Starting from your road trip to reach the Giant’s Causeway up there is a breathtaking experience. There is a 120-mile stretch to click some spectacular scenery on the Nothern Ireland’s coast between Belfast city and Limavady. 

Also, this route offers some fantastic activities to see and do before you get to the Causeway, as there are a couple of things newly installed to get some stunning vantage points.

Once you reach the Causeway, there is a remarkable newly constructed multi-million-pound interpretative center that probes into the geology part and other stuff. Hey, wait! The best part lies outside once you get down and tramp over the basalt column and click some obligatory photographs!

These tightly packed basalt columns tower at various heights. Some are found at the cliff’s foot, with the rest disappearing deep into the sea. In general, you can find 40000 primarily hexagonal stone columns. However, there are findings stating that there are four, five, seven, and eight-sided stones discovered in the place. And the most towering columns are nearly 40 feet high, and the cooled solid lava is 90 feet thick in some places of the cliffs. Many Irish locals consider the Giant’s Causeway the 8th Wonder of the World.

With that said, here’s everything you must know about this Northern Ireland attraction, including when to visit, how to reach there, where to dwell, and some understanding of its history. I’ll come to those one by one.

You Get Various Options to Reach There

Being a popular tourist hub, you don’t have to worry as there are numerous transport links and infrastructure offered by the United Kingdom. There are several ways to reach the place, from public transport, private Giant’s Causeway tour, and driving. If you are short of time and wish to maximize exploring Northern Ireland, then taking a group tour is the best option. If you want some detailed information about the various modes to take you to the Causeway, scroll down!

The Giant's Causeway in County Antrim
  • Foot– If you wish to create your style of vacation, take a 53 km walk along the Causeway Coast to reach your destination. This coast runs between Port Stewart and Bally Castle.  And don’t forget to check this link on planning a walk to the Causeway!
  • Taking a Drive– This is the standard mode to reach the Causeway. And driving on Ireland’s northern roads is relatively easy. Just stick to this rule, keep to the left, having a speed limit of a mile per hour. If you don’t possess a vehicle of your own, you can hire one from here!
  • Train– You can find trains starting from Belfast or Londonderry to Coleraine regularly. Now you must stop at Coleraine and take the Ultserbus Service 172 to reach the Causeway. For more information, check the Northern Oreland Translink here!
  • Bike– Sounds quite absurd, right? But you can take a trip on your two-wheeler from the National Cycle Network, Route 93. This route takes you to the coast from Newry to Ballycastle through Belfast and Bangor.
  • Bus- Bus services with a variety of options are available to reach the Causeway. But you must note that out of so many options, some are seasonal. So, ensure to take- Ulsterbus Service 172, Goldline Service 221, Causeway Rambler Service 402, Open Top Causeway Coast Service 177, Antrim Coaster Service 252 to reach the spot.

Let Me Provide You with Some More Details About It

The Giant's Causeway in County Antrim

I shall start with some good news. So, visiting the Giant’s Caus is absolutely free! However, if you wish to visit it via. the Causeway Visitor Centre, access the onsite parking, guided tours, and use the audio guide, it’s:

  •  £13.00 for adults
  • £6.50 (under five is free) for children
  • £32.50 for families

If you are a National Trust member, tickets here are free. You can also opt for a fantastic Giant’s Caus Clifftop Experience for £35.00 through guided trails to get some unique views of the coastal belt below! But if you are NOT WILLING to access via the center, you can access the car park just below the visitor’s center for around £3. I recommend you enquire about the parking away from the Centre to the staff to get to park your vehicle.

Planning your visit for summer when the weather is quite windy and when you can capture some great pictures with the ocean in front of you. However, this is also the time when crowds generally tend to increase. So, if you wish to avoid them choose the shoulder months like early fall or late spring.

Finally, if you wish to sightsee by day, arrive early or late to avoid the 11 am to 3 pm crowds. You can stay beside the Causeway to be the first in the morning or sunset. The opening times of the Causeway are from 09:00 am to 17:00 pm with the car park open throughout the day.

And here are some tips before you visit the Causeway

  • Have a waterproof jacket handy and dress in layers as the cliff sits just on top of the Atlantic Ocean and is always tossed by the winds.
  • Wear comfy and non-slippery shoes to trample the irregular and wet surface of the terrain. 
  • Keep watch of the sea in front of you as there are chances for a highly roaring wave to hit the shore. Follow the indications provided by the operators to have a safe visit. 
  • Walk on the marked trails to preserve nature and avoid unnecessary mishaps. 

Have You Ever Thought the Reasons Behind Its Popularity? I’ll Tell You That

Apart from gazing and getting yourself enthralled over the landscape, there are some other attractions you can pursue to keep yourself entertained throughout the day. Some of them include visiting the;

  • Dunluce Castle
  • Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
  • Bushmills Distillery
  • The Dark Hedges
  • The Camel
  • The Granny
  • Organ
  • Walking Trails

Another excellent option if you’re taking a tour is to opt for a Game of Thrones tour. Before stepping on the Causeway shores, this tour takes you along the Antrim Coast. You will stop at places like the Nine Glens of Antrim, Carrickfergus Castle, the coastal town of Ballycastle, and HBO’s Game of Thrones filming (Magharmorne Quarry), which is the location of Castle Black.

The Amazing Giants Causeway - Northern Ireland Attractions

Apart from offering an exemplary visitor experience through its historically and culturally rich Centre, the real reason why it became a UNESCO Heritage Site (1986) is due to the following reasons;

  • Rich Wildlife in the Causeway Coast– It includes seabirds like petrel, fulmar, shag, cormorant, and more to the rare plant species found under the unique rock formations like the hare’s-foot trefoil and sea spleenwort.
  • The Grand Causeway– This is the prime area where tourists can tread their foot on. It is a lengthy stretch of basalt rocks formed during the 60 million years ago volcanic eruptions. 
  • Chimney Stacks– Being a wonder to behold, these basalt stacks have up to 8 sides and tower to great heights.
  • The Wishing Chair– A must-visit place for any tourist on the shores of the Causeway. This is the ultimate naturally formed throne that is neatly arranged on a particular column. Want to get the feel of a king? Then try sitting on it. 

Now don’t marvel over these places just by reading about them. You can add it to your to-do list at the Causeway to the activity list we just went through earlier!

The Giant's Causeway in County Antrim

Typically, you can find a Causeway tour taking you up to 3 hours based on the tour company you have chosen, what is included in the itinerary, and additional stops. I know you are quite excited to take the next trip to Ireland solo or with your family and create some fantastic moments for your soul and journal. Happy Trails!

Last Updated on May 4, 2024 by Pragya



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