Visit the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Walk the tops of the columns that form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea built by Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool).

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  • Difficulty

    Easy
  • Exp Required

    None
  • Price Range

    $0 and $10 to $50
  • Uniqueness

    9
  • Complexity

    Simple
  • Min Number

    1
  • Age Range

    Child, Pre-teen, Teen, Adult, and Senior
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Description

Visit the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

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According to legend, the columns are the remains of a causeway built by a giant. The story goes that the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool), from the Fenian Cycle of Gaelic mythology, was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Fionn accepted the challenge and built the causeway across the North Channel so that the two giants could meet. In one version of the story, Fionn defeats Benandonner. In another, Fionn hides from Benandonner when he realises that his foe is much bigger than he is. Fionn’s wife, Oonagh, disguises Fionn as a baby and tucks him in a cradle. When Benandonner sees the size of the ‘baby’, he reckons that its father, Fionn, must be a giant among giants. He flees back to Scotland in fright, destroying the causeway behind him so that Fionn would be unable to chase him down. Across the sea, there are identical basalt columns (a part of the same ancient lava flow) at Fingal’s Cave on the Scottish isle of Staffa, and it is possible that the story was influenced by this.

The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. It is located in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland, about three miles (4.8 km) northeast of the town of Bushmills.
It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986, and a national nature reserve in 1987 by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. In a 2005 poll of Radio Times readers, the Giant’s Causeway was named as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven or eight sides. The tallest are about 12 metres (39 ft) high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 metres (92 ft) thick in places.
Much of the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site is today owned and managed by the National Trust and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland. Access to the Giant’s Causeway is free of charge: it is not necessary to go via the visitors centre, which charges a fee. The remainder of the site is owned by the Crown Estate and a number of private landowners.

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Outdoor Jack

I live in Melbourne. I love the outdoors.

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Location:

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Price

$0.00

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Time of the day

24 Hours, Day, Night, Morning, Afternoon, Evening

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Duration

30 to 120 hours

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Season

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, All

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Children

NO

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Family

YES

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Adults

YES

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Indoor

NO

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Outdoor

YES

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At Home

NO

Resources & Materials

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Tips & Tricks

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Dress with layers

You will experience a wide variety of temperatures and weather. Prepare by bringing different layers that you can add and remove to stay comfortable.

Before

Things to do before you get started.

Bring food and drink for a snack while you are there. Make sure your camera has power and room for a ton of photos.

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After

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Enjoy the local community and stop for a bite to eat in the city of Bushmills

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