The Giant’s Causeway is a group of basalt columns, formed about 60 million years ago during a series of volcanic eruptions in the area. There are approximately 40,000 columns spread over three distinct promontories known as the Grand, Middle and Little Causeways.
Most of the columns are five- or six-sided and remarkably even in size, giving the appearance of a huge array of flagstones. This remarkable regularity of shape is due to the fact that the lava which formed the columns erupted into the sea and was cooled very quickly.
Irish folklore provides another explanation for the origin of the Giant’s Causeway and this also explains the name. Legend has it that the Causeway was built by the Irish giant Finn McCool, so that he could walk across the Irish Sea to the Scottish island of Staffa to confront his rival, Scottish giant Benandonner.
Today the area of County Antrim coastline where the Giant’s Causeway is situated is owned by The National Trust. There is a visitor centre which has toilets with baby changing facilities and a tea room serving light lunches and snacks. Access to the Causeway is free.
The area has many steep slopes and uneven paths making access difficult for those with mobility problems. Children should be carefully supervised.
As well as visiting the basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway it is possible to walk over 12 miles of cliffs following the Causeway Coast as far as the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge. Along the way there are opportunities to see rare wild flowers and wildlife.
44a Causeway Road
028 2073 1582