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Explore Northern Irelands Only World Heritage Site

The Giants Causeway Guide

“You are standing on, or are about to visit, one of my favourite places. The jewel in the crown of the fabulous coast of Antrim. A site of World Heritage and therefore ranked alongside Mount Everest and the Giant Redwoods of California for it’s importance to humankind. Volcanic activity helped Finn Mc Cool forge this wonder of the World some 60 Million years ago. It is today the habitat of rare plants and animals. Please treat their home with the pride and the care it deserves.”

– David Bellamy

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Welcome

Welcome to one of the most amazing places on the planet; The Giant’s Causeway. The Giants Causeway comprises around 40,000 thousands of mostly hexagonal basalt columns descending gently into the sea. Depending on who you believe, the stones were formed either by an underwater volcano’s geological actions or by a giant named Finn McCool, who lived and battled along the north Antrim Coast.

The Giant’s Causeway Official Guide pride itself on offering a place to find fun and educational guided tours for you, your family, and friends. We delight in sharing this natural wonder with visitors to Northern Ireland. 

Make your trip a memorable one by spending a day on a tour of The Giant’s Causeway from Portrush, Belfast or even Dublin. You will enjoy a comprehensive visit to Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage site and visit nearby famous attractions. There’s no need to read about the rich history; instead, let our tour guide provide the facts and figures while you focus on taking in its beauty.

Travel along the iconic Giant’s Causeway Coast Route in comfort, and let yourself be enchanted by the gorgeous locations on the Antrim Coast, the lush beauty of the Irish landscape, and of course, the Giant’s Causeway itself. Take away the hassle of checking maps, stopping to ask for directions, and we will ensure you see the best spots and get plenty of time to explore the Giant’s Causeway.

Giant's Causeway Tour with Guided Cliff Walk

From £57 Per Person

It is breathtakingly beautiful and is by far the best way to experience this popular coastline – far away from the crowds

Giant's Causeway, Belfast Titanic Experience And Dark Hedges Tour

From £162 Per Person

Travel from Dublin or Belfast on a Giant’s Causeway tour that includes  stops at the Dark Hedges and Titanic Belfast

Tour of Giants Causeway and Bushmills Distillery

From £480 Per Group

A private tour that’s unique to suit your requirements 

Important Notice

Is the Giant's Causeway Open?

In line with NI Executive guidance, the Giant’s Causeway visitor centre and the Giant’s Causeway Hotel will be closed until Further notice to restrict coronavirus spread. The outdoor spaces around the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre and the Giant’s Causeway stones will remain open for local walkers to enjoy. We urge people to follow government guidance and stay local

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The giant's causeway

The coastline of County Antrim in Northern Ireland is renowned for its scenic beauty, possibly the worlds best driving routes, the Causeway Coast Route, clinging to its edge. The Giant’s Causeway, sitting at the northern end, takes centrepiece as the crown’s unique jewel, known as the 8th Wonder of the World to many here in Ireland and beyond. The famous jagged promontory of around 40,000 neatly packed columns of hexagonal volcanic basalt columns created some 6 million years ago by a basaltic lava flow.

The Giant’s Causeway is a place where myth and science meet. Were the spectacular basalt columns formed through the rapid cooling of lava from an underwater volcano, or, as some may say, created by the legendary mythical Irish Giant Finn MacCool?

For centuries countless visitors have explored the Giant’s Causeway and marvelled at its unique rock formations. Situated on one of Worlds most spectacular coastlines, its unique rock formations have, for nearly sixty million years, stood as a natural rampart against the unbridled ferocity of the North Atlantic storms. The rugged symmetry of the columns never fails to intrigue and inspire our visitors. To stroll on the Giant’s Causeway is to voyage back in time.

Find out more about the causeway

getting to The giant's causeway

The Giant’s Causeway lies about an hours drive north-west of Belfast and three hours drive north of Dublin. We recommend that you take the fabled Causeway Coast Route drive to get here. The closest towns are Bushmills, with its world-famous distillery, the holiday destination of Portrush and County Town of Coleraine. You can get to the Causeway by Rail, Bus or Coach, each having an excellent scenic route.

Once you arrive at the car park and have been through the visitor centre, you have two options to visit the stones. You can get the bus run by the National Trust, or you can walk.

The walk is about half a miles or a kilometre from the Visitor Centre along the coast, heading eastward, and the area is well marked out with signs and information plaques.

The walk is reasonably straightforward, with a consistent slope down to the causeway level on a tarmac path, with plenty of places to stop. The walk takes you around the first headland, where you’ll get your first glimpse of the Giant’s Causeway in the distance. You will also be able to take in the stunning landscape, cliffs array of ancient volcanic artefacts.

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Giants Causeway Mini bus awaiting passenger outside the Causeway Hotel
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Walks at the Giant's Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway has several fun walks, allowing you to spend hours soaking up the mystery, mythology and geology of these ancient volcanic surroundings. 

Our favourite is the Red Trail, a 2-mile walk east from the Visitors Centre along the cliff’s top and then descending a (fairly steep) staircase carved into the cliffs, bringing you out beyond the Giant’s Causeway to the coastal path and the Blue path. You experience and fantastic bird’s eye view of the coast from here, and it is a breath-taking experience and worth the effort for the giant view alone!

Blue Trail: The Blue Trail is the main route from the National Trust visitor centre, past the cliffs and the Giant’s Causeway.

Yellow Trail: The Yellow Trail follows the World Heritage Site’s perimeter, starting at Runkerry Head and ending at Hamilton’s Seat. The Yellow Trail joins the Green and Red Trails in parts.

Green Trail: This trail is perfect for taking the kids along, its wheelchair and buggy-friendly. It’s also fenced off from the clifftops, so little ones can roam free in plain sight.

The Giant’s Causeway is not as unique as you’d think. There are similar sites worldwide that are home to impressive hexagonal columns like those found on the North Antrim Coast. The nearest is just across the water on a Scottish Island Called Staffa Flow, where Fingals Cave is lined with large basalt columns. You can see similar structures in Isreal, Iceland, Mexico and Russia….but obviously, none are as fantastic as The Giant’s Causeway

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Despite the Giant’s Causeway being formed over 60 million years ago, the 40000 or so basalt columns of the Giants Causeway only came to be known by the broader public from around 1690 when it was “discovered” by the Bishop of Down and Conor, William King. Here you can discover more about the Giants Causeway history and how it became a world heritage site.

When the world was moulded and fashioned out of formless chaos, this must have been the bit over—a remnant of chaos!” William Thackeray Tweet Thackeray’s

The Giant’s Causeway has some of the most amazing geological experience of not only the Causeway Coast but in Northern Ireland. Visitors of this popular tourist spot have more than just the stones to view, with many natural phenomena such as the Giant’s Boot, the wishing chair and the Giants Organ.

The coastal walk to the stones takes in many of these offering the opportunity to get the obligatory a selfie on the giant’s boot

The Giant’s Causeway, near Bushmills, has been drawing thousands of tourists from near and far with its mystery and rare geological formations; however, according to legend, the columns are the remains of a causeway built by a giant Finn McCool. The story goes that the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool), from the Fenian Cycle of Gaelic mythology, was challenged by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Fionn accepted the challenge and built the causeway across the North Channel to meet the two giants. The legend of Causeway Giant’s Finn McCool and Benandonner battle is told on the big screen in the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, which the National Trust runs.

The Giant’s Causeway isn’t just home to incredible rock formations. The Giants Causeway and the Causeway Coast are a haven for sea birds such as fulmar, petrel, cormorant, shag, redshank guillemot and razorbill. Simultaneously, the weathered rock formations host several rare and unusual plants, including sea spleenwort, hare’s foot trefoil, vernal squill, sea fescue and frog orchid.

The Giant’s Causeway is one of Northern Ireland, if not the worlds, most photographed places. With stunning sunrises, sunsets and incredible images of the solar system. Check out some of the fantastic pictures we’ve found on our Instagram and more

In 2012 the new architecturally designed bespoke Giant’s Causeway Visitor centre opened, replacing the original building built in 1986 when UNESCO added the Giant’s Causeway to its coveted list of exceptional interest and universal sites value.

The new centre is the gateway to the famous Giant’s Causeway, semi-hidden in the hillside. It offers various ways to learn more about myths, legends, social history, wildlife and conservation. There are large screens for shows and a shop (selling souvenirs and local crafts), and a cafe that supply books, pamphlets, tourist information and multi-lingual audio guides.

The National Trust runs the Causeway Visitor Centre, so it’s free to enter with a National Trust Membership.

Location

44 Causeway Rd, Bushmills, Northern Ireland

BT57 8SU

Opening Hours
March, April, May & October 9am to 6pm
June, July, August & September 9am to 7pm
November to February 9am to 5pm
Closed 24, 25 & 26th December


*Last admission to Visitor Centre is one hour before closing

National Trust Contact Details

Phone: 028 2073 1855
Email: giantscauseway@nationaltrust.org.uk