La Calzada Del Gigante – Formada con la imaginacion

Sunrise at Giant s causeway

Las historias

La Calzada del Gigante está envuelta en mitos e historias fabulosas. Según ellas, la calzada fue construida con rocas de la costa por el poderoso gigante Finn McCool, que nos legó un enclave ricoen leyendas.

La gente de aquí cree que, entre los hexágonos (esas fantásticas formaciones rocosas azotadas por el mar), se esconde verdadera magia. Quizá usted no la note al principio, pero cuando contemple las piedras de cerca, descubra sus leyendas y deje volar la imaginación… la notará.

La ciencia

No es de extrañar que este paraje haya sido declarado Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la UNESCO. La Calzada del Gigante es una maravilla geológica con más de 40.000 columnas de basalto, producto de una intensa actividad geológica y volcánica.

La Calzada nos permite asomarnos al pasado más ancestral de la Tierra. Un épico legado que debemos al enfriamiento de sucesivos flujos de lava hace 60 millones de años.

El Centro de Visitantes

El Centro de Visitantes de la Calzada del Gigante se alza suavemente, fundiéndose con el paisaje. Sus paredes de cristal, columnas de basalto y modernos interiores lo convierten en un centro realmente innovador. El edificio, diseñado para conseguir la máxima eficiencia energética, dispone de zonas de exposición y un tejado cubierto de césped que ofrece vistas de 360 grados de la costa irlandesa. Aquí la ciencia y la leyenda cobran vida. Explore los espacios interactivos, vea a Finn McCool en la pantalla grande y descubra los secretos de este paisaje fascinante.

Descubra

  • Las legendarias formaciones geológicas: la Bota del Gigante, la Silla de los Deseos, el Camello, la Abuela del Gigante y el Órgano.
  • El nuevo y espectacular Centro de Visitantes
  • Su zona de exposición, donde cobran vida las leyendas de la zona
  • La maravillosa flora y fauna. Un lugar ideal para la observación de aves
  • Una de las costas de acantilados más bellas de Europa
  • La tienda de regalos, con su encantadora artesanía local
  • Los deliciosos productos de la región

Recorrido exterior con audioguía

Nuestra cómoda audioguía le acompañará en un maravilloso viaje por la Calzada del Gigante. Gracias a este dispositivo de fácil manejo descubrirá las fabulosas historias que se esconden tras el paisaje y podrá comprender mejor este prodigio de la naturaleza.


Fantásticas rutas a pie

En la Calzada del Gigante hay cuatro rutas espectaculares para hacer a pie. Tras una reciente renovación, se han clasificado por colores según su dificultad. Todas ofrecen magníficas vistas de las bahías y de los abruptos acantilados azotados por el viento y las olas. Hay una ruta para cada visitante, desde el que desea pasear con cochecito hasta el que prefiere una enérgica caminata por
la costa.

Ropa adecuada

El clima de la costa norte puede cambiar de repente, así que le recomendamos que venga preparado. Lleve ropa y calzado adecuado, capaz de soportar desde el tiempo más suave al más inclemente.

Tarifas

Las siguientes tarifas incluyen acceso al nuevo Centro de Visitantes, el uso de nuestra audioguía, un folleto orientativo y aparcamiento.

Adulto: £8,50 Niño: £4,25 Familiar: £21*

*(2 Adultos + hasta 3 niños menores de 17 años. Menores de 5 años, gratis)

El autocar lanzadera del Centro de Visitantes a la Calzada del Gigante tiene un coste adicional.

Inscríbase

Hágase miembro del National Trust y disfrute de acceso gratuito al Centro de Visitantes de la Calzada del Gigante y a más de 300 lugares de interés. Inscríbase en la Calzada del Gigante o regístrese online en nuestra página web: nationaltrust.org.uk

Compre con antelación y ahorre

Visite la web nationaltrust.org.uk/giantscauseway para comprar sus entradas con antelación y ahorre £1 en las entradas para adulto, 75p en las entradas para niño y £2,50 en la entrada familiar.

Sea ecológico y ahorre

Si accede aquí en transporte público, en bicicleta o a pie, ahorrará £1,50 en la tarifa para adultos, £1 en la tarifa para niños y £3 en la tarifa familiar. Un ahorro ecológico directamente aplicado en el punto de entrada. Este descuento ecológico también está disponible en el Park & Ride del pueblo de Bushmills (de marzo a octubre).

Acerca del National Trust

El National Trust es la mayor organización europea sin ánimo de lucro dedicada a la conservación del patrimonio. El dinero de su entrada nos ayuda a conservar la Calzada del Gigante y otros lugares especiales para beneficio de todos y para siempre. Gracias.

Organización sin ánimo de lucro. No Registro: 205846

Cómo llegar

Servicios para el visitante

• Exposición interactiva

• Audioguía para recorrido exterior

• Tienda con artículos de artesanía local

• Comida y refrescos de la región en el Centro de Visitantes • AutocarlanzaderaalaCalzada

– con coste adicional (gratis para miembros del National Trust) • Aseos, aseos accesibles, cambiador accesible

• Cambiador de bebés

• InformaciónTurística

• Cambio de divisas

• Aparcamiento (3 párquings)

• Servicio Park and Ride desde el pueblo de Bushmills

Calzada del Gigante

Horarios

Enero:

Febrero, marzo:

Abril, mayo, junio: Julio, agosto: Septiembre:

Octubre:

Noviembre, diciembre: Cerrado:

9.00 – 5.00

9.00 – 6.00

9.00 – 7.00

9.00 – 9.00

9.00 – 7.00

9.00 – 6.00

9.00 – 5.00

24, 25 y 26 de diciembre

Carretera

A 3 kilómetros de Bushmills. 18 kilómetros de Coleraine, 21 kilómetros de Ballycastle.

En minutos – Desde Belfast 1 hora 25 minutos, desde Londonderry 1 hora 10 minutos, desde Dublín 3 horas 45 minutos.

Aparcamiento Park & Ride

De marzo a octubre puede aparcar su coche en Bushmills y un servicio de autocar le llevará al Centro de Visitantes cada

20 minutos aproximadamente.

Localizaciones en el mapa y navegador por satélite

Centro de Visitantes C944439; Sat Nav BT57 8SU Park & Ride C94104 41034; Sat Nav BT57 8SE

Autobús

Servicios regulares (algunos solo en temporada alta). Ulsterbus Service 172; Goldline Service 221; Causeway Rambler Service 402; Open top Causeway Coast Service 177;

Antrim Coaster Service 252.

Para más detalles consulte translink.co.uk

Tren

Use el servicio regular desde Belfast o Londonderry a Coleraine y desde allí tome el autobús: Ulsterbus Service 172.

Bicicleta

NCN93, visite cycleni.com o sustrans.org.uk

La última admisión al Centro de Visitantes es una hora antes de la hora de cierre. Durante la primavera y el verano, nuestros horarios más concurridos son entre 11.00 y 3.00. Le recomendamos que venga temprano o nos visite por la tarde.

Facebook: facebook.com/giantscausewaynationaltrust

Twitter: @GCausewayNT

La Experiencia para el Visitante “Gigante de la Calzada” costó £18,5 millones. De ese total, el National Trust aportó £6,25 millones, el Ministerio de Empresa, Comercio e Inversiones de Irlanda del Norte, a través del Consorcio de Turismo, aportó £9,25 millones, de los cuales £6,125 millones procedieron del Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional bajo el Programa de Competitividad Sostenible Europea para Irlanda del Norte. La Lotería Nacional contribuyó con £3 millones.

Grobla Olbrzyma – Ksztalt Wyobrazni

Tourists walking on the gianst causeway at sunset

Opowieści

Giant’s Causeway (czyli “Grobla Olbrzyma”) obrosła mitami i legendą. Wykuł ją jakoby z linii brzegowej mocarny olbrzym, Finn McCool,

po którym pozostała mnogość ludowych opowieści.

Miejscowi wierzą, że wśród sześciokątnych bazaltowych kolumn, mitycznych figur ciosanych w skale i wzburzonego morza kryje się prawdziwa magia. Nie zawsze da się ją od razu dostrzec, ale kiedy stanie się na tych kamieniach, zagłębi się w legendy i puści wodze wyobraźni, wystarczy poczekać…a bardzo szybko da odczuć się

jej obecność.

Nauka

Trudno się dziwić, że to miejsce trafiło na Listę Światowego Dziedzictwa UNESCO. Giant’s Causeway to geologiczny cud – ponad 40.000 spasowanych ze sobą bazaltowych kolumn to rezultat intensywnej aktywności wulkanicznej i geologicznej.

Giant’s Causeway pozwala zajrzeć w najdawniejszą przeszłość Ziemi. To niezwykła podróż poprzez liczący 60 milionów lat spadek po stygnących i kurczących się kolejnych wyciekach lawy.

Centrum Obsługi Turysty

Wtapiające się w krajobraz, z przeszklonymi ścianami, kolumnami z bazaltu i nowoczesnym wnętrzem, Centrum Obsługi Turysty Giant’s Causeway jest naprawdę rewolucyjne. Energooszczędny budynek mieści kilka ekspozycji, a kryty darnią dach pozwala podziwiać 360-stopniową panoramę wybrzeża Causeway. To tu ożywa zarówno nauka jak i legenda. Zatrzymajcie się Państwo przy interaktywnych wystawach, obejrzyjcie Finna McCoola na dużym ekranie i zagłębijcie się w tajemnice tego pełnego inspiracji krajobrazu.

Warto zobaczyć

  • Legendarne formacje skalne — Buta Olbrzyma, Fotel Życzeń, Wielbłąda, Babcię Olbrzyma i Organy
  • Ekscytujące i innowacyjne Centrum Obsługi Turysty
  • Lokalne legendy zilustrowane fascynującymi eksponatami
  • Fantastyczne ptaki, kwiaty i dzikie stworzenia
  • Jeden z najpiękniejszych w Europie klifowych krajobrazów
    nadmorskich skał
  • Sklep pamiątkarski z miejscowymi wyrobami rękodzieła
  • a także warto sprobówać pysznych lokalnych przysmaków
    i przekąsek

Audioprzewodnik

Nasz prosty w obsłudze, kieszonkowy audioprzewodnik pozwoli Państwu odbyć własną, odkrywczą podróż po Grobli Olbrzyma – Giant’s Causeway. Przewodnik zawiera wpisane w krajobraz legendy i oferuje unikalne spojrzenie na ten cud natury.

Wspaniałe szlaki piesze

Wokół Giant’s Causeway wytyczono cztery piękne trasy piesze. Ostatnio zostały one ulepszone i oznakowane kolorami. Każda z nich otwiera zapierające dech w piersiach widoki na złomiska klifów oraz zatoki targane przez wiatr i fale. Mamy tu szlaki dla każdego
– od przechadzki z dziecinnym wózkiem, po stawiające poważne wyzwania skalne ścieżki.

Klimat i odzież

Bądźcie Państwo przygotowani na raptowne zmiany pogody na Północnym Wybrzeżu. Załóżcie więc odpowiednie wycieczkowe ubranie i wygodne buty, dobre na słońce i słotę.

Wstęp

Bilet obejmuje wstęp do Centrum Obsługi Turysty, audioprzewodnik, ulotkę orientacyjną i parking.

Dorośli: £8.50, Dzieci: £4.25, Rodziny: £21*

*(2 dorosłych + do 3 dzieci i młodzieży poniżej 17 lat. Dla dzieci do 5 lat wstęp wolny)

Za autobus wahadłowy z Centrum Obsługi Turysty do Grobli Olbrzyma Giant’s Causeway naliczana jest dodatkowa opłata.

Zostań członkiem

Wszystkim członkom National Trust, przysługuje wstęp za darmo do Centrum Obsługi Turysty Giant’s Causeway oraz ponad 300 innych godnych zwiedzenia atrakcji turystycznych. Członkostwo można zarejestrować na miejscu, lub na stronie internetowej nationaltrust.org.uk

Taniej przy zakupie z wyprzedzeniem

Na stronie internetowej nationaltrust.org.uk/giantscauseway można zakupić bilety z wyprzedzeniem i zaoszczędzić 1 funta na wstępie dla dorosłych, 75 pensów na bilecie dla dziecka i 2,50 funta na bilecie rodzinnym.

Zielono znaczy ze zniżką

Jeśli przyjedziecie Państwo transportem publicznym, na rowerze, lub przyjdziecie pieszo, otrzymacie zniżkę £1,50 od biletu dla osoby dorosłej, £1 od dziecinnego i £3 od biletu rodzinnego. Zielone zniżki otrzymuje się w kasie. Zniżkę otrzymuje się również w punkcie parkowania i dojazdu transportem publicznym (Park and Ride)

w Bushmills (od marca do października).

Czym jest National Trust

National Trust to największa w Europie organizacja dobroczynna skupiona na zachowaniu dziedzictwa naturalnego i kulturowego. Wniesiona przez Państwa opłata za wstęp pozwoli nam dbać o Giant’s Causeway i inne specjalne miejsca i obiekty – na zawsze i dla wszystkich. Dziękujemy.

Zarejestrowana organizacja dobroczynna nr: 205846

Dojazd

Udogodnienia na miejscu

• Interaktywna wystawa

• Audioprzewodnik

• Sklep pamiątkarski z wyrobami miejscowego rękodzieła

• Lokalna żywność, potrawy i napoje w Centrum Obsługi Turysty • Autobus wahadłowy do Causeway dostępny dla wózków

inwalidzkich – za dodatkową opłatą (za darmo dla członków

National Trust)

• Toalety, toaleta dla niepełnosprawnych z przebieralnią • Pokój do przewijania niemowląt

• Informacja turystyczna

• Wymiana walut

• Parking (3 pola parkingowe)

• Autobus “Park and Ride” z Bushmills

Godziny otwarcia

Styczeń:

Luty, marzec:

Kwiecień, maj, czerwiec: Lipiec, sierpień: Wrzesień:

Październik:

Listopad, grudzień: Nieczynne:

09.00 – 17.00 09.00 – 18.00 09.00 – 19.00 09.00 – 21.00 09.00 – 19.00 09.00 – 18.00 09.00 – 17.00

24, 25, 26 grudnia

Legenda:

Parkingi

Giant’s Causeway

Autobus

“Park and Ride”

Centrum Obsługi Turysty

Trasa piesza

Zabytkowa Kolejka z Bushmills

Dojazd drogą

2 mil (3 km) z Bushmills. 11 mil (16.5 km) z Coleraine, 13 mil (niecałe 20 km) z Ballycastle.

Czas dojazdu – Belfast – 1 godz. 25 minut, Londonderry – 1 godz. 10 minut, Dublin – 3 godz. 45 minut.

Autobus “Park and Ride”

Autobus kursuje co ok. 20 minut z miejscowości Bushmills, od marca do października.

Współrzędne na mapie i w nawigacji satelitarnej

Centrum Obsługi Turysty: C944439; Sat Nav BT57 8SU Autobus “Park and Ride”: C94104 41034; Sat Nav BT57 8SE

Autobus

Regularny serwis, częściowo obsługiwany sezonowo.

Ulsterbus Service – linia 172; Goldline Service – linia 221; Causeway Rambler Service – linia 402; Open top Causeway Coast Service – linia 177; Antrim Coaster Service – linia 252.

Dalsze szczegóły na stronie internetowej translink.co.uk

Pociąg

Regularne połączenia z Belfastu, lub Londonderry do Coleraine, następnie przesiadka na autobus – Ulsterbus Service – linia 172.

Rower

NCN93, visit cycleni.com, lub sustrans.org.uk

Ostatni goście wpuszczani są na teren Centrum Obsługi Turysty na godzinę przed czasem zamknięcia. Wiosną i latem najbardziej ruchliwy okres przypada między 11.00 a 15.00, prosimy więc o wcześniejszy przyjazd, lub zaplanowanie odwiedzin wieczorem.

Facebook:

facebook.com/giantscausewaynationaltrust

Twitter:

@GCausewayNT

Organizacja zwiedzania Giant’s Causeway kosztowała 18,5 miliona funtów. Z tego National Trust pokrył £6,25 mln, Ministerstwo Przedsiębiorczości, Handlu i Inwestycji przyznało £9,25 mln poprzez Zarząd Turystyki Irlandii Płn – z czego £6.125 mln pochodziło z Funduszu Rozwoju Regionalnego UE (w ramach Europejskiego Programu Zrównoważonej Konkurencyjności), a £3 mln przyznał Fundusz Dziedzictwa Loterii Publicznej (Heritage Lottery Fund).

Il Selciato Del Gigante – Forgiato Dall’ Immaginazione

Sunrise at Giant s causeway

Le storie

Il Selciato del Gigante è avvolto da un’atmosfera mitica e leggendaria. Fu il potente gigante Finn McCool a scolpirlo nelle rocce della costa, lasciando dietro di sé la sua antica dimora, ricca di folklore.

La gente del posto pensa che sugli esagoni, le leggendarie formazioni rocciose che si protendono tra le onde del mare, aleggi un’atmosfera intrisa di magia. Potreste non percepirla subito.

Ma una volta giunti qui, salite sulle pietre, lasciate andare la

vostra immaginazione e… aspettate. Non passerà molto prima di percepire tutta la magia del Selciato del Gigante.

La scienza

Non c’è da stupirsi che questo luogo sia stato denominato Patrimonio dell’Umanità dall’UNESCO. Il Selciato del Gigante, infatti, è una meraviglia geologica. Con il suo reticolo di più di 40.000 colonne di basalto, è il risultato di un’intensa attività vulcanica e geologica.

Il Selciato vi offrirà la possibilità di gettare uno sguardo sul passato più remoto del nostro pianeta. Un’eredità che affonda le proprie epiche radici in 60 milioni di anni di storia, scolpita da fiumi di lava successivi, che si sono raffreddati e poi ritirati.

Il Centro Visitatori

Innalzandosi e armonizzandosi perfettamente nel paesaggio con le sue pareti di vetro, le colonne in basalto e gli interni all’avanguardia, il Centro Visitatori del Selciato del Gigante è una struttura

davvero innovativa. L’edificio, che risponde ai criteri di efficienza energetica, vanta diversi spazi espositivi e un tetto ricoperto da un manto erboso con viste a 360 gradi sulla costa. È qui che il valore scientifico del Selciato e le storie che lo avvolgono prendono vita. Esplorate i suoi spazi interattivi, guardate Finn McCool sul grande schermo e scoprite tutti i segreti di questo emozionante paesaggio.

Da non perdere

  • Le leggendarie formazioni rocciose – lo Stivale del Gigante, la Sedia dei desideri, il Cammello, la Nonna del Gigante e l’Organo
  • Uno strabiliante Centro Visitatori tutto nuovo
  • Le storie del posto rivelate da straordinarie mostre
  • Bird watching, flora e fauna spettacolari
  • Alcune delle scogliere più suggestive d’Europa
  • Negozio con oggetti di artigianato locale
  • Deliziosi prodotti e snack locali

Tour audio


La nostra audioguida maneggevole e facile da usare, vi accompagnerà alla scoperta del Selciato del Gigante in un tour personalizzato.

La guida vi svelerà tutte le storie di questo magnifico paesaggio, offrendovi uno sguardo unico sulle meraviglie del Selciato.


Sentieri meravigliosi


Sono quattro gli spettacolari percorsi che potete seguire al Selciato del Gigante. Risistemati di recente, sono segnalati da colori diversi e offrono viste mozzafiato sulle scogliere frastagliate e sulle baie solcate dal vento e dalle onde. Ci sono percorsi adatti a tutti:
dal sentiero percorribile con le carrozzine al percorso per gli amanti del trekking.

Cosa indossare

Le condizioni meteorologiche della Costa settentrionale possono mutare da un momento all’altro. Per cui vi suggeriamo di indossare abiti e scarpe adatti per un clima che può variare da mite a ventoso.

Ingresso

Il biglietto di ingresso comprende l’accesso al nuovo Centro Visitatori, l’uso dell’audioguida, l’opuscolo di orientamento e il parcheggio.

Adulti: £8.50 Bambini: £4.25 Famiglie: £21*

*(2 adulti + fino a 3 bambini sotto i 17 anni; bambini al di sotto dei 5 anni, ingresso gratuito)

Servizio navetta dal Centro Visitatori al Selciato del Gigante: a pagamento (non incluso nel biglietto d’ingresso)

Iscrivetevi

Diventate membri del National Trust. Potrete accedere gratuitamente al Centro Visitatori del Selciato del Gigante, nonché ad altri 300 luoghi di interesse, tutti da scoprire. Iscrivetevi oggi qui oppure on line all’indirizzo nationaltrust.org.uk

Ingressi ridotti in pre-vendita

Collegatevi al sito nationaltrust.org.uk/giantscauseway per acquistare in pre-vendita i biglietti di ingresso. Sconto di £1 per l’ingresso adulti, di 75p per l’ingresso bambini e di £2.50 per l’ingresso famiglie.

Sconti per gli amici dell’ambiente

Se arrivate al Selciato con i mezzi pubblici, in bicicletta o a piedi, potrete usufruire di uno sconto di £1.50 per l’ingresso adulti, di

£1 per l’ingresso bambini e di £3 per l’ingresso famiglie. Lo sconto viene applicato all’ingresso. Lo sconto per gli amici dell’ambiente è disponibile anche presso il parcheggio di interscambio con servizio “Park and Ride” del villaggio di Bushmills

(da marzo a ottobre).

Il National Trust

Il National Trust è la più grande organizzazione di beneficienza europea per la conservazione dei beni naturali/culturali. Il prezzo del biglietto d’ingresso ci aiuta a prenderci cura del Selciato del Gigante e di altri posti speciali, per tutti. Grazie.

Ente di beneficienza registrato, numero: 205846

Come arrivare

Strutture di accoglienza

• Mostra interattiva

• Audioguida

• Negozio con oggetti di artigianato locale

• Prodotti alimentari e snack locali nel Centro Visitatori • Navetta per il Selciato accessibile alle sedie a rotelle –

a pagamento, non compresa nel biglietto di ingresso

(soci del National Trust, gratuita)

• Toilette, toilette per disabili, spogliatoio

• Fasciatoio/spogliatoio

• Informazioni turistiche

• Ufficio cambio valuta

• 3 parcheggi auto

• Parcheggio di interscambio con servizio “Park and Ride” dal

Legenda

I parcheggi auto del Selciato del Gigante

Parcheggio di interscambio

(servizio “Park and ride”)

Centro Visitatori

Strada percorribile a piedi

Ferrovia turistica di Bushmills

In auto

Poco più di 3 km da Bushmills. Poco meno di 7 km da Coleraine. Circa 8 km da Ballycastle.

Tempi di percorrenza in auto – Da Belfast 1 ora e 25 minuti; da Londonderry 1 ora e 10 minuti; da Dublino 3 ore e 45 minuti.

Parcheggio di interscambio

(servizio “Park and ride”)

Disponibile dal villaggio di Bushmills, da marzo a ottobre. Il servizio è operativo ogni 20 minuti circa.

Coordinate per cartine e navigatori satellitari

Centro visitatori C944439; Navigatori satellitari BT57 8SU Parcheggio di interscambio C94104 41034;

Navigatori satellitari BT57 8SE

In autobus

Linee autobus con servizio regolare. Alcune linee sono stagionali. Ulsterbus Service 172; Goldline Service 221; Causeway Rambler Service 402; Open top Causeway Coast Service 177 (autobus scoperto); Antrim Coaster Service 252.

Per ulteriori informazioni: translink.co.uk

In treno

Linee ferroviarie con servizio regolare da Belfast o Londonderry a Coleraine, poi cambio con linea di autobus – Ulsterbus Service 172.

In bicicletta

NCN93, visitare i siti cycleni.com o sustrans.org.uk

villaggio di Bushmills

Orari di apertura

Gennaio:

Febbraio e marzo: Aprile, maggio, giugno: Luglio, agosto: Settembre:

Ottobre:

Novembre e dicembre: Chiusura:

dalle 9.00 alle 17.00 dalle 9.00 alle 18.00 dalle 9.00 alle 19.00 dalle 9.00 alle 21.00 dalle 9.00 alle 19.00 dalle 9.00 alle 18.00 dalle 9.00 alle 17.00 24, 25, 26 dicembre

L’ingresso al Centro Visitatori è consentito fino ad un’ora prima dell’orario di chiusura indicato. In primavera e in estate, si registra la maggiore affluenza tra le 11.00 e le 15.00. Vi suggeriamo di arrivare presto o di programmare una visita nel tardo pomeriggio/sera.

Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/giantscausewaynationaltrust

Follow us on Twitter: @GCausewayNT

Lo sviluppo delle strutture, dei percorsi e dei servizi che ruotano intorno al Selciato del Gigante ha richiesto un investimento di 18,5 milioni di sterline. Il National Trust ha contribuito con 6,25 milioni;

il Ministero per le Imprese, il Commercio e gli Investimenti, tramite l’Ente per il turismo nord-irlandese, ha messo a disposizione 9,25 milioni, di cui 6,125 sono stati stanziati dal Fondo europeo per lo sviluppo regionale nell’ambito del Programma per la competitività sostenibile europea per l’Irlanda del Nord, mentre il Fondo della lotteria per il patrimonio nazionale ha stanziato 3 milioni di sterline.

Giant’s Causeway – Von der Fantasie geformt

Tourists walking on the gianst causeway at sunset

Die Geschichten

Der Giant’s Causeway ist von Sagen und Mythen umwoben. Aus der Küste gehauen vom mächtigen Riesen Finn McCool, der eine faszinierende Landschaft voller Geschichten hinterließ. Die Leute hier sind überzeugt, dass zwischen den hexagonalen Säulen, den geheimnisvollen Felsformationen und der stürmischen See echte Magie herrscht. Es ist nicht immer sofort zu erkennen. Doch besuchen Sie diesen Ort, stellen Sie sich auf die Steine, lassen Sie Ihrer Fantasie freien Lauf – und warten Sie ab! Dann dauert es nicht lange, bis auch Sie es spüren.

Die Wissenschaft

Es überrascht nicht, dass dieser Ort von der UNESCO zur Welterbestätte erklärt wurde. Der Giant’s Causeway ist ein geologisches Wunder mit mehr als 40.000 ineinandergreifenden Basaltsäulen – das Ergebnis intensiver vulkanischer und geologischer Aktivität. Der Causeway bietet einen Einblick in die Urzeit unserer Erde. Er ist die grandiose Hinterlassenschaft von Lavaströmen, die hier vor 60 Millionen Jahren abkühlten und schrumpften.

Besucherzentrum

Das Besucherzentrum am Giant’s Causeway fügt sich nahtlos in die Landschaft ein; mit Glaswänden, Basaltsäulen und hochmodernem Interieur ist das Gebäude absolut innovativ. Das energieeffiziente Zentrum beherbergt mehrere Ausstellungsräume, und das Grasdach bietet einen Rundumblick auf die Causeway-Küste. Hier werden Wissenschaft und Legenden zum Leben erweckt. Erkunden Sie die interaktiven Exponate, lernen Sie Finn McCool auf der Leinwand kennen und entschlüsseln Sie die Geheimnisse dieser faszinierenden Landschaft.

Lassen Sie sich nichts entgehen:

• Legendäre Felsformationen — der Stiefel des Riesen, der Wunschstuhl, das Kamel, die Großmutter des Riesen und die Orgel

• Atemberaubendes neues Besucherzentrum

• Faszinierende Exponate mit spannenden Geschichten

• Breite Vielfalt an Vögeln, Blumen, Tieren

• Überwältigende Klippen, die zu den schönsten Europas zählen

• Shop mit ortstypischem Kunsthandwerk

• Köstlichkeiten aus der Region und Erfrischungen

Audioführungen im Freien

Unser benutzerfreundliches Audio-Handgerät führt Sie auf Ihre ganz persönliche Entdeckungsreise um den Giant’s Causeway. Die Führung erzählt die Geschichten der Landschaft und bietet einzigartige Einblicke in das Wunder des Causeway.

Wunderbare Wanderwege

Am Giant’s Causeway gibt es vier fantastische Wanderrouten. Die Wege wurden vor Kurzem saniert, sind farblich gekennzeichnet und bieten atemberaubende Aussichten auf zerklüftete Klippenund Buchten, die von Wind und Wellen gepeitscht werden. Wir bieten Routen für alle Bedürfnisse: vom kinderwagenfreundlichen Spazierweg bis zur anspruchsvollen Küstenroute.

Wetterfeste Kleidung

Das Wetter an der irischen Nordküste ist sehr wechselhaft – seien Sie also vorbereitet: Kleidung und Schuhe sollten für milde bis wilde Witterungsbedingungen geeignet sein.

Eintritt

Der Eintrittspreis beinhaltet Zugang zum neuen Besucherzentrum,

Audioführung im Freien, Orientierungsplan und Parkgebühren.

Erwachsene: £8,50 Kinder: £4,25 Familie: £21*

*(2 Erwachsene + bis zu 3 Kinder unter 17 Jahren, freier Eintritt für

Kinder unter 5 Jahren)

Für den Shuttlebus vom Besucherzentrum zum Giant’s Causeway

entfällt eine weitere Gebühr.

Mitgliedschaft

Werden Sie Mitglied im National Trust – Sie erhalten freien Eintritt zum Besucherzentrum am Giant’s Causeway und zu mehr als 300 weiteren Sehenswürdigkeiten. Werden Sie heute hier Mitglied oder melden Sie sich online unter nationaltrust.org.uk an.

Im Voraus kaufen und sparen

Besuchen Sie nationaltrust.org.uk/giantscauseway und kaufen Sie Ihre Eintrittskarten im Voraus. Sie sparen £1 pro Erwachsenem, £0,75 pro Kind und £2,50 pro Familie.

Grün reisen und sparen

Wenn Sie mit öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln, per Fahrrad oder zu Fuß eintreffen, sparen Sie £1,50 pro Erwachsenem, £1 pro Kind und £3 pro Familie. Der grüne Rabatt wird an der Eintrittskasse gewährt. Der grüne Preisnachlass steht auch am Park & Ride Parkplatz in Bushmills zur Verfügung (März bis Oktober).

Über den National Trust

Der National Trust ist die größte gemeinnützige Natur- und Kulturschutzorganisation Europas. Ihre Eintrittsgebühr hilft uns, den Giant’s Causeway und andere Sehenswürdigkeiten zu bewahren – für immer, für jeden. Vielen Dank.Als gemeinnützige Organisation eingetragen unter der Nummer: 205846

Anreise

Pkw

Ca. 3 km von Bushmills, 17 km von Coleraine,

20 km von Ballycastle.

Fahrzeit: Belfast 1 Stunde 25 Minuten,

Londonderry 1 Stunde 10 Minuten, Dublin 3 Stunden 45 Minuten.

Park & Ride

Ab der Ortschaft Bushmills, März bis Oktober,

etwa alle 20 Minuten.

Karten- und GPS-Daten

Besucherzentrum C944439, GPS: BT57 8SU

Park & Ride C94104 41034, GPS: BT57 8SE

Bus

Es stehen regelmäßige Verbindungen zur Verfügung, einige sind

Saisonabhängig

.

Ulsterbus Service 172, Goldline Service 221, Causeway Rambler

Service 402, Offener Causeway Coast Service 177,

Antrim Coaster Service 252.

Weitere Informationen finden Sie unter translink.co.uk

Eisenbahn

Regelmäßige Verbindungen von Belfast oder Londonderry nach

Coleraine, dann Busverbindung: Ulsterbus Service 172.

Fahrrad

NCN93, besuchen Sie cycleni.com oder sustrans.org.uk

Einrichtungen vor Ort

• Interaktive Ausstellung

• Audioführung im Freien

• Geschenkeladen mit ortstypischem Kunsthandwerk

• Lebensmittel aus der Region und Erfrischungen im Besucherzentrum

• Rollstuhlgerechter Shuttlebus zum Causeway – zusätzliche Gebühr (für National-Trust-Mitglieder gratis)

• Toiletten, behindertengerechte Toilette, barrierefreie „Toiletten für alle“-Einrichtung

• Wickelraum für Kleinkinder

• Touristik-Information

• Geldwechselschalter

• Parkmöglichkeiten (3 Parkplätze)

• Park & Ride Service vom Ort Bushmills

Öffnungszeiten

Januar: 09.00–17.00 Uhr

Februar/März: 09.00–18.00 Uhr

April/Mai/Juni: 09.00–19.00 Uhr

Juli/August: 09.00–21.00 Uhr

September: 09.00–19.00 Uhr

Oktober: 09.00–18.00 Uhr

November/Dezember: 09.00–17.00 Uhr

Geschlossen: 24., 25., 26. Dezember

Der letzte Einlass zum Besucherzentrum ist eine Stunde vor der

jeweils angegebenen Schließzeit. Im Frühling und Sommer ist das

Besucheraufkommen von 11–15 Uhr am größten – kommen Sie also

frühzeitig oder am Abend.

Klicken Sie „Gefällt mir“ auf Facebook: facebook.com/giantscausewaynationaltrust

Folgen Sie uns auf Twitter: @GCausewayNT

Das Giant’s Causeway Besuchererlebnis kostete £18,5 Millionen. Von diesem Finanzierungspaket stellte der National Trust £6,25 Mio. zur Verfügung, das britische Handelsministerium über das nordirische Fremdenverkehrsamt £9,25 Mio., wovon £6,125 Mio. vom europäischen Regionalentwicklungsfonds im Rahmen des europäischen Programms für nachhaltigen Wettbewerb für Nordirland bereitgestellt wurden. Der Heritage Lottery Fund spendete £3 Mio.

Places To Stay Near The Giants Causeway

The Ballygally Castle Near Larne

Places To Stay Near The Giants Causeway

There is accommodation for every budget, from boutique guesthouses with panorama and luxury hotels to rustically styled glamping and campsites.

The Causeway Coastal route in Northern Ireland offers an abundance of exciting things to do, historical sites, geological wonders such as the Giant’s Causeway – UNESCO World Heritage Site, cosying cafés, vibrant bars and mouthwatering restaurants. You could easily spend days exploring every nook and cranny along this beautiful coast.

But if you’re short on time, why not make the most of the weekends? With plenty of accommodation options to choose from, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice. So whether you fancy glamping under canvas or staying in luxury lodges, you can guarantee you’ll get the best deal along this stunning coastal route.

Here are our favourite places to stay near the Giant’s Causeway:

See Best Prices

You can’t stay much closer to Giant’s Causeway than at the Causeway Hotel. The Causeway Hotel is located right near Giant’s Causeway Visitors Centre and just a short walk to the head of the footpath that winds its way down to the hexagonal rocks.

Both the Causeway Hotel and the Giants Causeway Visitor Centre are run by the National Trust for Northern Ireland North Coast

The Giants Causeway hotel itself is a little piece of history, too. Now a Grade II-listed building, it was first constructed in 1836 and was the first and still one of the best hotels near where visitors to this stretch of coastline could stay.

Rooms facing the Atlantic best have panoramic views across the north coast past Dunluce Castle and Portrush toward Portstewart Strand for their sunset coastal sea views.

The hotel offers free parking, which is handy when it’s normally $8.50 per day to park in the visitor Centre, free wifi and is only a stone’s throw from the main event making the Causeway Hotel the perfect location for visiting the Giants Causeway or just Northern Ireland in general.

Check Availability

Just a short trip down the road from the Giants Causeway hotel is one of the most well-known hotels in Northern Ireland. The Bushmills Inn is a historic building which has been updated into an upmarket boutique hotel. The current owners have created rooms that retain their original features from its days as coaching inn in the 17th century.

The name Bushmills may well precede it, thanks to the town’s well-known Bushmills whiskey distillery, just a short walk up the road. Try a tipple at the classy wood-panelled bar of the Bushmills Inn, Rooms range from a hayloft snug double room to larger rooms with four-poster beds. The inn even has its cinema.

Blackrock House, Portrush

Check Availability

Price: From £145 per night (3-night minimum stay)

In the bustling city of Portrush, BlackRock House provides boutique bed & breakfast accommodations that fuse modern style with laid-back coastal life. This is the perfect relaxing retreat after a busy day, boasting panoramas of the golden beaches across the wild Atlantic ocean. Hearty breakfast is served to refuel you for a busy day tomorrow, while the cosy lounge is the perfect place to curl up with a good read when you return home. And as for your private balcony in summer, it’s the ideal spot for sunset drinks!

Check Availability

The Carrick sits in the beautiful seaside town of Portrush, on the stunning North coast of Northern Ireland. The Edwardian townhouse dating back to 1905 has been sympathetically renovated to the highest standard to create this Luxurious B&B. With many of the building’s original features maintained while incorporating every possible modern convenience, we guarantee you a wonderful stay and the perfect spot to explore everything the North coast offers, including The Giant’s Causeway and nearby Game of Thrones film locations. Only 1.2 miles from Royal Portrush Golf Club, home of the 148th Open Championship. Bookings can be made directly with the property or via the website.

Check Availability

Price: From £120 per room per night

This beautiful 18-bedroom Victorian terrace was built in 1920. It features stunning sea views and has been extensively refurbished to create an elegant, sophisticated, glamorous atmosphere. It’s located in the centre of Portrush, so it’s also home to one of the best restaurants- open for breakfast, lunches and dinners.

The Salthouse, Ballycastle

Check Availability

Price: From £160 per night

This five-star hotel offers 24 stylishly decorated rooms and suites, a relaxing spa and laid-back bar, and a fine dining restaurant.

Located in its private grounds in the heart of the beautiful Antrim coast, The Salthouse overlooks the rugged cliffs of Ballycastle, the picturesque town of Fairhead, and beyond.

Check Availability

Price: From £169 per night

The Bayview Hotel is located in the picturesque village of Portballintrae. It has an open fire and an expansive view from the balcony. Its Porthole Bar and Restaurant is ideal for relaxing after an adventure along the Causeway Coast.

Check Availability

Price: From £150 per night

Located in the seaside town of Portstewart, this boutique guesthouse offers comfortable accommodation for guests who want to enjoy the sights and sounds of the area. It also serves up a delicious meal at its award-winning restaurant. Overlooking the “Prom” towards Portstewart Strand beach, this is the perfect base to explore Portstewart after your trip to the Giants Causeway

Check Availability

Price: From £119 per night

Perched on the edge of the famed Causeway Coastal Route lies Ballygally Castel, an impressive 17th-century fortress overlooking Ballygally bay. Said to be haunted by a ghostly presence, the accommodation is home to a spooky Ghost Room and Dungeon. Other parts of the building offer beautifully appointed guest suites with stunning ocean vistas. The Garden Restaurant overlook the gardens and serves excellent food.

Carnside Guest House

Prices From

Carnside Guest House is on an elevated site with spectacular views of the Giant’s Causeway (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Portrush and Donegal. 10-minute walk to Giant’s Causeway and three restaurants.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Dunluce Castle and Bushmills Distillery are nearby. This area is a walkers paradise, and Carnside is an ideal base for a three-day walking holiday or for those wishing to have a relaxing holiday.

Ballyvoy Camping Barn

Price: £25 per person per night

This is the perfect place for those who are on a tight budget. This cute little Barn in the tiny hamlet of Ballyvoy is much better than staying in a regular hostel. Each room has a comfortable bunk bed and ensuite bathrooms, while a large kitchen/dining room is the perfect place to hang out with friends.

Or, you could just head across the street to Hunter’s Restaurant, where they serve delicious food at affordable prices. And Barnish Cafe is right next door, so you can grab something to eat after your hike.

Captain’s Cottage

Price: £140 per night

It’s on the Causeway Coastal road, from Larne to the Giant’s Causeway. It’s a lovely place to stay if you want peace and tranquillity. You can take walks in either direction, visit the Giant’s Causeway and the nearby town of Ballycastle, or even go surfing!

The cottage has two bedrooms – one double and one single. It converts into a king-size bed.

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Places To Eat Near The Giants Causeway

The patio at the bushmill sin with food on plates

THE CAUSEWAY HOTEL

The Causeway Hotel over looking the Causeway Coast at sunset

The restaurant located next to the Giants Causeway Visitor Centre, overlooking the Causeway Coast, serving contemporary dishes, and local food from northern Ireland’s local produce from farm shops.

The Causeway Hotel gave off an inviting atmosphere and made us want to linger for longer than usual. It felt very fancy fine dining and made me feel very spoilt for Sunday lunch or traditional afternoon tea

The decor fits in beautifully with the history of the building, which dates back to 1842 – including tall window panes, antique brass light fixtures, ornate mantles, high-backed chairs, and delicate chandeliers dangling from the ceiling. The rooms we stayed in felt like they belonged in a castle but still exuded that sense of home.

The kids’ menu with a fun title, “Little Giants.” If you’re familiar with me, you’ll realise I’m a big fan of these small details. It’s such an adorable name for a children’s menu when visiting the Giant’s Causeway.

When we ordered for our kids, they were offered some colouring books and felt pens to keep them entertained until their food came.

It was so lovely! The whole place had such a cosy feeling – the beautifully soft leather sofas and wonderfully purple high-backed armchair were inviting. I think you could chill out here for a bit after a long hike from the Giant’s Causeway without any doubts.

Website – https://thecausewayhotel.com/

Phone Number – +44 (28) 2073 1210

THE SMUGGLERS INN

The front of the Smugglers Inn Near the Giants Causeway

The Smuggler’s Inn is situated in an idyllic countryside setting only two kilometres from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Giant’s Causeways and Causeway headland and two kilometres from Bushmill’s distillery.

Our inn is within easy reach of the historic town of Dunluce castle and several local golf courses, including Portballintraig (Bushfoot), Royal Portrush and Port Stewart.

Whether you’re staying for a short break or extended holiday, we offer comfortable accommodation and friendly service. We provide a range of facilities, including wireless internet access, TV, DVD player, games room, children’s play area and secure off-road vehicle storage. You can also enjoy a meal in one of our restaurants or take advantage of our bar menu.

MINI MAEGDEN, BUSHMILLS

An old caravban that sells the most amazing toasties outside the Giants Causeway

It’s hard to beat a good grilled cheese sandwich at any time, but if you’re looking for a particularly delicious one, look no further than Maegden. Served from a 1950’s caravan pitched up in a field a stone’s throw from the Giant’s Causeway and one of the best places to eat after your walk down to the stones. Using

Maegden (pronounced May-den) produce absolute perfection when it comes to toasties sandwiches/grilled cheese that is made with love and flavoured with some of the best local produce from Northern Ireland, the two girls produce absolute perfection when it comes to toasties.

There’s plenty of seating and site parking at Maegden for you to relax and take time out on the causeway coast. It opens every day from March to October between 11:00 and 17:30 but closes on Tuesday afternoons.

We recommend leaving space between the last bite of a toastie and the first sip[ of Bushmills whiskey on the distillery tour

Dogs accepted as well, with facilities catering dogs and other pets

Website – http://www.cheesemaegden.com/

THE BILBERRY MILL CAFE, BUSHMILLS

The Bilberry Mill Cafe in Bushmills High street, just across from the park and ride to the Giants Causeway, is one of our Favourite places to eat. They have a great selection of tasty treats with traditional and contemporary dishes.

On a damp day, its a great place to get a cuppa and a bite to eat before heading to the Causeway and on sunny days, you can enjoy the sun on your face outside in their pavement seating area and watch the world go by.

You’ll be glad to know dogs accepted here, and you will find the restaurant owners full of Irish hospitality for your whole family.

Website – https://www.facebook.com/bushmillsdiamond/

Phone – 028 2073 2560

THE BUSHMILLS INN

Dunner on a table outside the Bushmills Inn

Visitors will enjoy the Irish charm at Bushmills Inn. Still, they might also want something different than oak-panelled walls and peated wood fireplaces. Next door is the light and airiness of the French Room restaurant.

Undoubtedly one of Northern Ireland’s best places to eat for food lovers, stop on the causeway coastal route. With a mix of fine dining, Sunday lunch, afternoon tea and sample some of Northern Ireland’s and the causeway coastal route fine food and local produce

The French Huguenot community has left its mark on the area by contributing to the local economy. It would be lovely to visit again for a cup of tea or coffee and some cake.

Website – https://www.bushmillsinn.com/

Phone – tel: 028 2073 3000

BROUGHGAMMON FARM, BUSHMILLS

Poele enjoying the cafe at Broughammon farm

On the way along the causeway coastal route to Ballycastle, the Glens of Antrim, stop by Broughgammon Farm outside Ballycastle. The owners, Becky and Charlie Cole, run their farm shop and cafe, a hidden gem that sells locally sourced meats and local produce. And they have a blog where they share tips about seasonal living on their county Antrim land.

Make sure to visit their goat herd in their barn, where they had lots of fun and mischief, chewing my hands and looking at me with curious gazes. It was great for all the family.

Artisanal farmers like Becky and Charlie in northern Ireland sell their products at local marketplaces, farm stores, and delis along the causeway coast.

They offer cookery courses and classes for people who want to learn about farming, cooking, and growing vegetables.

Website – https://www.broughgammon.com/

Phone – tel:%20+44%207976270465

BABUSHKA, PORTRUSH

Babushka Cafe on the Harbour at Portrush
Babushkah Phot: Paul Lyndsay/Alamy

Set on the dock in Portrush Harbor, smack dab in the middle of the harbour, in an old Lifeboat Station, is the perfect place to rest your feet after a day spent exploring the Causeway Coast. This isn’t your average coffee shop offering good food in northern ireland.

This café takes what they do seriously and puts it in a location where people can enjoy it without going far. With Koppi being the roast of choice here for owner Georges Nelson and his staff, its the best option in port if you want something delicious and fresh with a spot of Irish hospitality.

They also serve breakfast and lunch, so you can grab a bite before or after your walk around the area. As you can see from the picture its not very big so gets filled up fast, especially on cooler days. However, the on the sunny side you get a great seat out of the wind.

You can also find facilities catering dogs outside

Website – https://www.babushkakitchencafe.co.uk/

RAMORE, PORTRUSH

There’ll be one for everyone at the Ramore Group’s harbour event. Six different restaurants and bars catering to different tastes, but most importantly: Bringing loads of people to the County Antrim seaside village.

The Wine Bar

With a lively atmosphere and contemporary menu, The Wine bar is one of the highlights of any social savvy crowd, as testament by the long queues to get a shared table and the extensive menu. Many a selfie will be had on a night while “Ramoring” in Northern Ireland on the Causeway coast

The Harbour Bar

The Harbour Bar is one of the oldest bars in town, serving delicious pints and showcasing an impressive gin collection upstairs.

The Harbour Bistro

The Harbour Bistro downstairs has an excellent modern feel with indie tunes playing and a wood-fired oven turning out mouthwatering pizzas.

Neptune & Prawn

Neptune & Prawn serves Asian-influenced dishes with a twist and caters to kids with play areas and family meals.

The Mermaid

The Mermaid is a relaxed all-rounder offering everything from breakfast to dinner, with a great range of menus and prices.

The Tourist

The Tourist is their fast food option with burgers, pizzas and Mexican street food. And if you fancy something a little bit special, head to the wine bar. Full details of each venue can be found online.

Website – https://www.ramorerestaurant.com/

CENTRAL BAR, BALLYCASTLE

You really can’t beat a trip to the Central Bar in Belfast. With warm Northern Irish hospitality, the menu is always popular. Using locally sourced food, you can expect a traditional steak from the local butcher, fresh fish and chips and a stylish cocktail bar on hand.

So whether you’re after a fun night out or just an informal bite to eat, the Central Bar should tickle your fancy!

Website –

MORTON’S FISH AND CHIP BAR

This Ballycastle institution, situated on the harbour, is renowned for the best fish and chips on the Causeway Coast if not Northern Ireland.

The family own their own fishing boats and also have a fishmonger selling the fresh fish next door so you can be sure that the fish is ultra-fresh and cooked to order.

Locals travel miles to buy fish and chips here and sit eating it with a view of the harbour.

URSA MINOR BAKEHOUSE, BALLYCASTLE

There is only ever so much space in any given area, so it was inevitable that the North Coast would end up with a baker specialising in baked goods.

In Ballycastle, there is only so much room for a cafe serving delicious food and warm drinks. Here, it is no secret that a slice of freshly baked bread is the best thing to eat.

But it is also not a secret that Ursa Minor is the best place to get such a loaf. With a menu full of tasty treats, it is clear that Ursa Minor is a place where people come to enjoy themselves.

And suppose you are lucky enough to find yourself in Ballycastle. In that case, you can take advantage of the excellent service and tasty food at Ursa Minor.

HARRY’S SHACK, PORTSTEWART

It was a surprise to see Harry’s Shack on the beautiful North Coast of County Antrim, but not a shocker. I’d heard so many good things about Harry’s Shack that I had been determined to go there and managed to squeeze it into a trip to Mussenden Temples and the Giants Causeway.

One of the places to eat, The Shack is an outdoor restaurant overlooking the sea where you can enjoy delicious seafood dishes with organic ingredients. I was shocked by the food quality at the Shack because I had expected mediocre fare.

Harry’s Shack is a place I would go back to, and it’s also one of the better places to eat near the Giant’s Causeway. It manages to be family-friendly and pleasing to serious eaters of all ages.

A rustic seaside style with simple dishes cooked very well and an extensive wine list..also car parking on the beach was fun.

One of the best restaurants around with live music on a Saturday night its one of the idyllic places to watch the sun go down on the causeway coast in Northern Ireland and

Finn McCool, Myths & Legends of the Causeway

Giants-Causeway-Guide-Finn-McCool-with-his-irish-wolfhounds-screenshot-from-Youtube-Eploring-Series

Exploring the Legend of Finn McCool: Irish Myth and the Giant’s Might

Was Finn McCool merely an epic yarn spun by ancient bards, or was he a tangible piece of Ireland’s storied history? This article cuts through the mythology to explore the man, the legends, and the lasting lore surrounding the Giant’s Causeway. Join us as we unravel the stories of Finn McCool, piecing together his place in Irish folklore and questioning his existence against the backdrop of history.

Key Takeaways

  • Finn McCool, or Fionn mac Cumhaill, is an iconic figure in Irish mythology. He embodies the heroic spirit of Ireland, and stories emphasise his strength, intellect, and leadership of the warrior band called the Fianna.
  • Under Finn McCool’s leadership, the Fianna were revered for their martial prowess and strict code of conduct. They demanded exceptional knowledge of poetry and history, physical agility, and a sole loyalty oath upon initiation.
  • The legend of Finn MacCool includes the famous tale of the Giant’s Causeway, where his wit defeats the Scottish giant Benandonner, and the Salmon of Knowledge, which grants him profound wisdom, enhancing his mythic stature and influence on Ireland’s culture.

The Enigma of Finn MacCool

Illustration of Finn McCool in the Irish countryside
Illustration of Finn McCool in the Irish Countryside

Within the rich tapestry of Irish mythology, few figures stand as tall, literally and figuratively, as Finn McCool, also known as Finn Mac Cool. Known for his legendary strength and intellect, Finn MacCool is a cornerstone of Irish folklore, and his name is synonymous with the heroic spirit of Ireland. From the rugged coastlines battered by the Irish Sea to the whispers of the Scottish island lore, the name of Finn McCool—or Fionn mac Cumhaill, Finn mac cumail, Finn mac cumhaill, and finn mac cumhal, as he is known in the native tongue—conjures images of a warrior of immense physical and mental prowess, a leader whose tales are integral to the ancient Finn Cycle.

The Origins of a Legend

Giants-Causeway-Guide-Finn-McCool-with-his-irish-wolfhounds-screenshot-from-Youtube-Eploring-Series

The legend of Finn Mac Cool is steeped in the cultural lineage of the Emerald Isle. His name, Fionn mac Cumhaill, is a beacon of ‘sureness’ and ‘certainty’, a symbol as sturdy as the young male deer it also represents. His roots stretch deep into the ancient soil of Ireland, tied to the tribe of U Thairsig, which grounds his legendary status in the fabric of Irish society and familial connections.

From this fertile ground of heritage, the legend of Finn Mac Cool sprouted, intertwining with the Irish myths and legends of other bardic romances that have shaped Irish folklore.

The Heroic Deeds of Young Finn

Fionn Mac Cumhaill journey to becoming a figure of myth began in his formative years. Under the tutelage of the wise druid Finnegas, young Finn acquired the teachings that would forge his path to greatness. His life was marked by boyish exploits and extraordinary events, such as the haunting transformation of his grandmother into a stone figure—an image immortalised on the windswept landscape of the Giant’s Causeway.

These early adventures laid the foundation for the young warrior’s legend, a prelude to the epic tales that would define him as the leader of the Fianna.

The Fianna: Finn McCool’s Band of Warriors

Illustration of Finn McCool leading the Fianna warriors
Illustration of Finn McCool leading Fianna Warriors

The Fianna, a band of elite warriors, embodied ancient Ireland’s martial valour, and Finn McCool stood at their helm. Renowned for their combat skills, they were also keepers of knowledge, mastering the arts of:

  • poetry
  • music
  • genealogy
  • history

Organised into cathas, or battalions, the Fianna were a force to be reckoned with, their numbers swelling from 9,000 during peacetime to an imposing 21,000 in times of conflict.

More than mere soldiers, they were the ‘soldiers of destiny’, their mythical importance and revered status woven into the very fabric of the Fenian Cycle.

The Criteria for Joining the Fianna

To join the ranks of the Fianna was to achieve an honour reserved for the few who could surpass the rigorous tests of intellect and might. Mastery of twelve books of poetry was the gatekeeper to this elite group, ensuring that each member was well-versed in the history and genealogies of Ireland.

Physical prowess was tested through a gauntlet of challenges, from evading spears to navigating forests without disturbing the natural si: this licence was a testament to the agility and quickness expected of a Fianna warrior. Combat skills were scrutinised, with candidates proving their steadiness of hand and bravery against multiple foes.

The final initiation was a symbolic severance of familial ties and a solemn oath to the Fianna, marking the transformation from aspirant to guardian of the High King.

The Code of the Fianna

The Fianna were bound by their combat skills and a code of honour that dictated their moral and societal conduct. Upon admission, each member took a solemn oath of loyalty, pledging to uphold the values that defined their order. This code was the cornerstone of Fianna’s reputation, influencing their decisions and ensuring their actions aligned with the highest standards of justice.

As their leader, Finn McCool was the paragon of these virtues—his every disembodied of the Fianna’s code, cementing his legacy in the annals of Irish mythology.

The Giant’s Causeway and the Battle of Wits

Illustration of the Giant's Causeway and the Scottish giant Benandonner
An Illustration of the Giants Causeway and the Scottish Giant Bennandonner

One of Finn McCool’s most renowned tales is the creation of the Giant’s Causeway, an enduring symbol of his cunning and might. This extraordinary formation was said to be a path engineered by Finn himself to confront the fearsome Scottish giant Benandonner across the tumultuous Irish Sea.

However, upon witnessing the staggering size of his adversary, Finn’s might gave way to wit as he hatched a plan to evade confrontation. With the help of his quick-thinking wife Oonagh, Finn disguised himself as a baby, tricking Benandonner into believing that a child of such size could only be sired by a giant far superior to himself, prompting the Scottish giant to flee in terror.

Geological Wonder Meets Myth

While the legend depicts a footpath built by a giant, science reveals a tale of its own. About 60 million years ago, the Giant’s Causeway was forged by the fiery wrath of volcanic activity, a time when Ireland was geologically connected to the North American continent. The striking hexagonal basalt columns that characterise the causeway resulted from cooling lava, which fractured as it flowed into a river valley, creating the natural wonder we see today.

Acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is a testament to the planet’s dynamic history and a canvas for the legends of Finn McCool.

The Salmon of Knowledge and Finn’s Wisdom

Illustration of Finn McCool gaining wisdom from the Salmon of Knowledge
An Illustration of Finn Maccumhail gaining wisdom from the Salmon of Knowledge

The Salmon of Knowledge is a cornerstone of Finn McCool’s mythos, a creature whose wisdom would become integral to Finn’s legend. According to the tales, the salmon gain profound knowledge from the hazelnuts of a sacred well, a source of wisdom shrouded in mystery and protected by nine hazeltrees.

Under Finnegas’ guidance, young Finn was tasked with cooking the salmon but inadvertently tasted its fat, thus absorbing the salmon’s wisdom. Recognising the transformation in Finn’s gaze, Finnegas granted the rest of the fish to his pupil, granting him the knowledge to lead the Fianna and protect the realm. This gift of wisdom, invoked by the bite of a thumb, became Finn’s beacon throughout his life, a source of insight in times of need.

The Love Stories of Finn McCool

Illustration of Finn McCool with Sadhbh, his tragic love
Illustration of Fionn Mac Cumhail with Sadhbh, his tragic love

Finn McCool’s exploits were not confined to the battlefield; his heart was the stage for epic sagas. His pursuit of love led him to Gráinne, the High King’s daughter, whose beauty and spirit matched his stature. However, the engagement festivities took a dramatic turn when Gráinne’s eyes met those of Diarmuid, the young warrior she had once sought, prompting a scandalous elopement and igniting Finn’s vengeful pursuit. This tumultuous love triangle is immortalised in the landscapes and legends of Ireland, a testament to the depth and complexity of Finn’s character.

Yet, before Gráinne, there was Sadhbh, a woman whose love story with Finn would be marked by magic and sorrow.

Tragic Transformations and Lost Loves

Finn’s encounter with Sadhbh is a poignant narrative of love and loss. Transformed into a deer by the spiteful druid Fear Doirich, Sadhbh regained her human form on Finn’s lands, sealing their bond. Yet, their happiness was fleeting as Fear Doirich’s magic ensnared Sadhbh once more, turning her back into a deer and forever severing their union.

Amidst this tragedy, their love bore fruit; Oisín, Finn’s son, emerged from this tale of enchantment, rescued from his fawn form by Finn’s hounds to join his father’s side. Local folklore, such as the figures etched into Keadeen Mountain, ensures that the story of Finn and Sadhbh remains woven into the cultural fabric of Ireland.

The Legacy of Finn McCool in Modern Culture

The legend of Finn McCool transcends the annals of ancient Ireland, finding a vibrant afterlife in the cultural expressions of today. Modern literature has amplified his mythic stature, often depicting him as a literal giant, a symbol of unrivalled wisdom and strength. His influence dances across stages worldwide, with performances like the Irish Riverdance narrating stories inspired by his legendary feats, demonstrating his enduring impact on dance culture.

From the panels of contemporary comics to the lyrics of musicals, Finn McCool’s adaptability to various forms of media is a testament to the timeless appeal of his legend, making him a true Finn Mac icon.

From Ancient Tales to Modern Retellings

The enduring allure of Finn McCool’s story is evident in its retellings across a spectrum of modern creative works. The Fianna Cycle, which chronicles his exploits, has inspired authors like James Stephens, whose 1920 rendition brought new life to the tales of the Fiannaocht.

Artists such as Emilie Gill have also contributed to this legacy, illustrating modern adaptations like ‘The Tall Tale of the Giant’s Causeway’, allowing new generations to connect with the legend through the visual arts.

The Death and Immortality of a Hero

The end of Finn McCool’s earthly journey is shrouded in mystery and contradiction. Some believe he rests eternally, slumbering in a cave alongside the Fianna, awaiting the moment when Ireland’s need is most significant, and the call of the Dord Fiann will awaken him to defend his homeland once more. Yet another narrative recounts his mortal fate, one where he met his tragic end at the Battle of Gabhra, beheaded while lamenting the fall of his grandson and the uncertain destiny of the Fianna.

These varied accounts of his death, found in historical annals and folk legends, reflect the complexity of his character and the enduring nature of his myth.

Sheemore and Other Claimed Resting Places

While some tales speak of an eternal vigil, others point to final resting places, such as the hill of Sheemore in East Leitrim. Steeped in mythology, this hill is revered in local folklore as the last abode of the legendary Finn McCool and Goll Mac Morna. This site echoes the valour of Ireland’s greatest heroes.

The Real Versus the Mythical: Finn McCool’s Historical Roots

The figure of Finn McCool vacillates between myth and reality. Historical records suggest that he may have been a real warrior chieftain in 3rd-century AD medieval Ireland, a leader who inspired the stories that have flourished for centuries. Debates continue to swirl, much like the mists of the Irish countryside, about the veracity of his existence, drawing parallels with other legendary figures such as King Arthur and Robin Hood.

Archaeological investigations, like those at Sheebeg near Carrick on Shannon, have unearthed skeletons positioned towards the Hill of Tara, fueling speculation about their connection to the legendary Finn McCool.

Summary

In the whispers of the wind across the moors, in the tales told by the fireside, Finn McCool’s legend lives on, a timeless narrative etched into the bedrock of Irish culture. Through his original leadership, cunning, and heart, we have travelled across a panorama of mythology that captures the essence of a hero whose story is as boundless as the sea. Let the legend of Finn McCool inspire us to seek the extraordinary in our own lives, for in his tales, we find the courage and wisdom that define the human spirit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Finn McCool Scottish or Irish?

Finn McCool is Irish, as he is a mythological Irish giant who had a conflict with a Scottish giant. This links Finn McCool to Ireland.

Who was Finn McCool?

Finn McCool, also known as Fionn mac Cumhaill, is a legendary Irish hero celebrated for his wisdom and strength. He plays a central role in Irish mythology, particularly within the Fenian Cycle, and is known for his adventures, battles, and leadership of the warrior band known as the Fianna.

What is the significance of the Giant’s Causeway in Finn McCool’s legend?

The Giant’s Causeway is significant in Finn McCool’s legend as it is believed to be the path created by Finn McCool to confront his rival in Scotland, representing his strength and resourcefulness.

How did Finn McCool gain his wisdom?

Finn McCool gains wisdom from the Salmon of Knowledge, which he accidentally tasted while cooking for his mentor, the druid Finnegas. This bestowed upon him all the world’s knowledge, which he could access by biting his thumb.

Are there any modern adaptations of Finn McCool’s story?

Yes, Finn McCool’s story has been adapted into various modern media, including literature, visual arts, dance, music, and comics, such as James Stephens’ retelling of the Fiannaocht and Emilie Gill’s illustrations for ‘The Tall Tale of the Giant’s Causeway’.

Geology Of The Giants Causeway

Sunrise at Giant s causeway

“When the world was moulded and fashioned out of formless chaos, this must have been the bit over—a remnant of chaos!”

Thackeray’s quote describing the Giants Causeway is not far from the truth. Although the original chaos was on a much larger scale and a very very long time ago.

The causeways 40000 plus columns are so regular that they even look man-made. However, this is far from the truth. The individual columns – the remains of a deep lava flow – are predominantly 5 sided (pentagonal) or 6 sided (Hexagonal); they are so tightly packed that they form a pavement hence causeway) like structure.

The Giants Causeway Guide Hexagonal and pentagonal stones of the causeway in Northern
The Giants Causeway Guide Hexagonal and pentagonal stones of the causeway in Northern @ AdobeStock/nyiragongo

Of the three causeways that protrude out into the North Atlantic, none of them actually, despite the legends, continue underwater to Scotland; the causeways stop quite abruptly a short distance offshore, where the sea bed is mostly covered in sand, shell and gravel.

So how did this landscape of the Causeway come to be? The Late (100-66Ma) Between 66 and 100 million years ago, the Cretaceous period, was a time of significant global tectonic change, seeing the breakup of the supercontinents Gondwana and Laurasia, and the opening of the Atlantic Ocean.

Geological Time Scale Highlighting the Creatatious Period
Geological Time Scale Highlighting the Creatatious Period @ Geological Society of America

It was in this time, during the Upper Santonian age, roughly 85 million years ago, that the maximum period of transgression occurred; sea levels were at an all-time high due to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 and therefore higher global temperatures and warmer oceans. 

Deposits from these warm oceans include the Upper Cretaceous Chalks that can be seen all along the coast and in particular at Whiterocks Beach near Portrush.

Giants Causeway Official Guide Whiterocks beach with chalk cliffs and Dunluce Castle in the back ground
Giants Causeway Official Guide Whiterocks beach with chalk cliffs and Dunluce Castle in the back ground @AdobeStock/Babett

Chalk is considered to be a very fine-grained, pure limestone composed of billions of microscopic nannoplankton called coccolithophores. 

These marine algae bloomed in the warm oceans, and subsequently, their remains rained down onto the ocean floor between 100 and 500m depth, accumulating as a white ooze and solidifying as chalk. The deposits can reach hundreds of metres in thickness, forming the spectacular white cliffs we see can see in the image above.

Chalk is a soft, highly porous type of pure limestone. The chalks of the north coast are incredibly refined, with less than 0.5% insoluble residues. However, they are also notoriously hard and dense compared to other Cretaceous chalks. 

Close examination of the cliff faces reveals thin, laterally continuous crinkled lines that connect to flint nodules. These lines are caused by pressure dissolution of the limestone. 

The carbonate material is dissolved into the solution due to increasing overburden, but insoluble material such as silica is left behind, accumulating in thin bands and migrating to form flint nodules that are capable of engulfing and preserving the body and trace fossils Uplift throughout the Jurassic to early Cretaceous period exposed the chalks at the surface and formed the white cliffs we see today.

The Giants Causeway Guide Whiterocks Beach with White Chalk Cliffs
The Giants Causeway Guide Whiterocks Beach with White Chalk Cliffs @AdobeStock/Babett

What caused this chalk to become so condensed? Walking down Whiterocks beach, the homogenous white cliffs are interrupted briefly by a much darker igneous rock. This intrusion, known as a volcanic plug, gives us the first indication of the genesis of the Antrim basalts.

As the North Atlantic began to open at the end of the Cretaceous, magma began to erupt through the chalk firstly in the form of isolated cinder cone volcanoes. 

The explosive volcanism brecciated the chalk in many places, and forcibly injected magma blocks into the surrounding rocks, which can be seen as dark coloured boulders within the white cliffs. Over time these vents solidified to produce the volcanic plugs, upon one of which sits the spectacular Dunluce Castle.

Giants Causeway Guide Black flint stones on the beach
Giants Causeway Guide Black flint stones on the beach @ AdobeStock/Behill

As rifting continued, extensive fissures opened up in the earth’s crust resembling those seen in Iceland or Hawaii today, allowing basaltic lava to pour out on top of the chalk. 

Three successive pulses of rifting resulted in three distinct phases of volcanic activity; the lower, middle and upper basalts, separated by periods of calm.

The Giant’s Causeway is comprised of the middle basalts. During each phase, successive lava flows erupted onto the surface and pooled in natural hollows in the landscape. Flows range from 7 to 18m in thickness.

The renowned hexagonal pillars of the Giant’s Causeway are formed from the cooling of these immense pools of lava. As the lava cools, it loses heat to the atmosphere at the top, and to the colder country rock through the base of the pool. These cooling fronts move towards each other to the centre of the pool as the lava cools and solidifies.

As it does, the resulting basalt uniformly contracts laterally and cracks into mostly five- and six-sided columns. 

These cracks extend upwards and downwards, perpendicular to the cooling fronts, at roughly equal speeds. In an ideal situation, these cracks would eventually join each other at the centre of the flow, creating continuous columns separated by slightly offset cracks at the centre.

However, the main causeway lavas are divided into an upper colonnade, a central entablature and a thick basal colonnade. This is thought to be caused by water seeping into cracks as they were forming, accelerating cooling and disrupting large colonnade formation in the upper and middle sections. 

The most spectacular example of this junction is at the aptly named “Organ”.

The Gianst Causeway Guide The Giants Organ to the East of the Causeway
The Giants Causeway Guide The Giants Organ to the East of the Causeway @ Geograph

Following the outpouring and cooling of each of these lava flows, a period of inactivity allowed the topmost section of the basalt to be exposed to intense, persistent tropical weathering, forming a soil rich in iron and aluminium, called laterite. 

Laterites form by the leaching of the parent rock during the wet season, the resulting solution is brought to the surface during the dry season and removed, progressively depleting the soil of easily dissolved ions such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium, leaving behind the more insoluble elements such as aluminium and iron oxides. 

It is the iron oxides that give this soil its characteristic brick-red colour.

The Giants Causeway Guide Red rock near the Causeway
The Giants Causeway Guide Red rock near the Causeway @ Sandatlas

Laterite formation occurs on the surfaces of the basalt that are in contact with water; on the surface and within cracks in the rock. 

As a result, weathering propagates downwards and inwards from cracks, creating “cores” of unweathered basalt that resemble pillow basalt.

View of the Amphitheatre from thetop of the cliffs
View of the Amphitheatre from the top of the cliffs @TourismIreland

These cycles are spectacularly displayed in the amphitheatre shaped cliffs in the image above, from the iconic stepping stones of the middle basalts, through the distinct red layer of the laterite and into the columns of the upper basalts. 

The story of the Giant’s Causeway has evolved over many centuries, from myths of giants and man-made pillars to a tremendous primaeval ocean, but one thing that has never changed is the impact that this captivating landscape has had on mankind since we first set foot on the emerald isle, and will continue to evoke awe and wonder for centuries to come.

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History of the Giants Causeway

A-canvas-of-the-Giant’s-Causeway-by-Dublin-artist-Susanna-Drury-who-received-a-£25-art-premium-for-her-work-in-1790-1-768x473

Table of Contents

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The Giants Causeway was said to be discovered in 1692 when William King, the then Anglican Bishop of Derry and future Archbishop of Dublin, along with an unnamed Cambridge Scholar, or Master of Arts, visited the area.

As with many discoveries at this time, they are often attributed to those who first publish their findings. However, the Causeway had been known to locals for a considerable time before the Bishops visit in old Irish as Clochan na bhFomharaigh meaning the “Stepping Stones of the Fomorians. The Fomorians were said to be a small dark people who inhabited Ireland before the Celts. 

First Visitors

The first recorded reference to it is a brief mention in a letter by Sir Richard Bulkeley (d. 1710) to Dr Lister in 1693, subsequently published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London. However, Bulkeley had not visited the Causeway himself and was relying on the observations of the Bishop of Derry and ‘a master of arts in Cambridge’. 

Bulkeley raised a series of questions concerning the nature of the Causeway’ pillars’, and these were answered in an account of the Giant’s Causeway by Bishop Samuel Foley (1655 – 1695) in 1694, again published in the Philosophical Transactions, accompanied by an engraving from an original drawing by Christopher Cole.

The-Giants-Causeway-earliest-drawing-by-Christopher-Cole-A-Draught-of-the-Gyants-Cawsway-The-Royal-Society-1694-compressor

Bishop Foley’s brief note was immediately followed in the same 1694 volume of the Philosophical Transactions by a second article on the Giant’s Causeway by a certain Thomas Molyneux (1661 – 1733), a founder member of the Dublin Society in June 1731. Again, Molyneux did not visit the Causeway but was commenting on the information laid before him in Dublin. Although Cole’s drawing (above) shows the Grand Causeway columns, it is highly stylised and Molyneux, through the then Dublin Philosophical Society, commissioned artist Edwin Sandys to make a more realistic attempt.

An engraving of Edwin Sandys’ realistic drawing, published in Philosophical Transactions, 1694.
An engraving of Edwin Sandys’ realistic drawing, published in Philosophical Transactions, 1694.

An engraving of Sandys’ drawing was subsequently published in the Philosophical Transactions of 1697 by Thomas’ older brother William (1656 – 1698; who himself had founded the Dublin Philosophical Society in 1683), which was referred to in an article on the Causeway by Tomas the following year.

In 1740, the Society offered £25 art premiums and a then-unknown Dublin artist, Susanna Drury, submitted canvasses of the Giant’s Causeway (below) which she had painted during a three-month stay in Antrim. She was awarded a premium, and her paintings were subsequently engraved in London by Francois Vivarès and eventually found their way across Europe.

A canvas of the Giant’s Causeway by Dublin artist Susanna Drury, who received a £25 art premium for her work in 1790 (1)
A canvas of the Giant’s Causeway by Dublin artist Susanna Drury, who received a £25 art premium for her work in 1790 (1)

In 1765, Volume 12 of the great French Encyclopédie was published containing an article on the ‘Pave des geans’ and used one of Drury’s engravings as an illustration. This was followed in 1768 by a volume of plates for the Encyclopédie, containing Drury’s ‘East prospect of the Giant’s Causeway’ next to similar columns of the Auvergne region (below). The captions for these illustrations were written by French geologist Nicolas Desmarest, who had concluded that the Auvergne columns were volcanic in origin.

Engraving of columns similar to those at the Giant’s Causeway in Auvergne, France
Engraving of columns similar to those at the Giant’s Causeway in Auvergne, France

From Drury’s engravings, he immediately makes the same connection. Thus Nicolas Desmarest is generally accredited with suggesting that the Giant’s Causeway originally formed from erupting volcanic lava, even though he had never actually seen it!

Controversy – Neptune Versus Pluto

Desmarest’s proposal that columnar basalts, such as those in the Auvergne and Giant’s Causeway, had erupted from volcanoes triggered controversy within the fledgeling science of geology which rumbled on for over half a century. 

Two entrenched sides developed, one supporting the new idea which became known as Plutonism, the others remaining staunchly behind the generally accepted view at that time, known as Neptunism. 

Neptunists 

Neptunists followed the ideas of Abraham Gottlob Werner (1749 – 1817) of Freiburg, who proposed that when the Earth first formed, it had been covered by a vast ‘Primaeval Ocean’. As the ocean gradually receded, all the rocks we see around us today crystallised out from the ocean waters. Coal deposits burning underground could erupt some of their black material onto the surface as basalts. 

Looking at the black rocks at Portrush, their arguments are understandable; the basalts contained abundant fossils called ammonites, which were taken as evidence for submarine deposition. 

Plutonists

Plutonists followed the ‘theory’ proposed by the Edinburgh doctor, James Hutton (1726 – 1797) which first appeared in 1785. Hutton saw the planet in a state of dynamic cyclicity. Mountains were continually eroded and the sedimentary products deposited at the bottom of the oceans. 

These would be buried and become rock layers. At depth, they became heated, deformed and pushed back up to the surface to begin another cycle. Hutton’s ideas were revolutionary for two reasons; firstly, he could see, ‘no vestige of a beginning and no prospect of an end’ to the geological history of Earth. Secondly, that the planet had a source of internal heat which heated rocks and in some places could melt them, sending this melt to the surface to erupt from volcanoes. 

In the curious case of the Portrush ammonites, vulcanists suggested that the hard black rocks were not basalts at all, but were mudstones that had been baked by the great heat of an intrusion that was pushed up from deep within the Earth.

Blackrock-National-Nature-Reserve-Anne-Burgess-Geograph-Ireland-compressor
Blackrock-National-Nature-Reserve-Anne-Burgess-Geograph-Ireland-compressor

Portrush Black Rock

The Portrush Rock (Sadly not the sweet kind that keeps dentists in fancy cars) is now a National Nature Reserve, and it’s well worth a visit. It is on the shoreline by the Ramore Head Car Park, facing East Strand Beach. The nearby Portrush Coastal Zone has a wealth of information on the natural and local history of the Causeway Coast from Portrush to Ballycastle.

Portrush Coastal Zone Building in the Sunrise (1)
Portrush Coastal Zone Building in the Sunrise (1)

The Reverand Dr William Hamilton

Finally, in 1784, a keen geologist investigated the Antrim coast.

The Reverend Doctor William Hamilton (1755 – 1797) wrote the first accurate account of the geology of the Antrim Coast as a series of letters to the Earl of Charlemont during 1784, which were subsequently published as a book in 1786. Hamilton’s book puts forward a lucid argument in favour of the volcanic origin of the Causeway. 

Considering that he was writing before Hutton’s ‘Theory of the Earth’ had been presented, historians should perhaps give Hamilton more credit for his work.

Letters Concerning The North Antrim Coast - William Hamilton
Letters Concerning The North Antrim Coast – William Hamilton

William Hamilton was also responsible for founding the Museum at Trinity College Dublin in 1777 and was one of the founders of the Royal Irish Academy in 1785. Sadly, Hamilton was murdered during the local unrest leading up to the 1798 rebellion. However, his book on the Causeway Coast remained the benchmark reference on the area long after his death and a second edition were published in 1822. 

Today, ‘Hamilton’s Seat’ overlooking Benbane Head commemorates the site where he is said to have often rested while out on horse-back investigating the geology along this stretch of coast.

Hamiltons Seat The Giants Causeway Adobe Stock
Hamiltons Seat The Giants Causeway Adobe Stock

The First Guidebooks and Travel Writers

In 1788, the Complete Irish Traveller in the Kingdom of Ireland was published in two volumes. This was one of the first popular guidebooks to be published and contained an excellent description of the giant’s Causeway.

The First Guidebooks and Travel Writers In 1788, the Complete Irish Traveller in the Kingdom of Ireland was published in two volumes. This was one of the first popular guidebooks to be published and contained an excellent description of the giant’s Causeway.
The First Guidebooks and Travel Writers
In 1788, the Complete Irish Traveller in the Kingdom of Ireland was published in two volumes. This was one of the first popular guidebooks to be published and contained an excellent description of the giant’s Causeway.

Guidebooks flourished throughout the 1830s and 1840s, by which time the Causeway was on almost every traveller to Irelands itinerary (much like today’s tourists). These guidebooks and articles in magazines such as the Dublin Penny Journal and the Illustrated London News featured images and stories of the famous stones.

Illustrated London News Giants Causeway Article and image from September 11 1832
Illustrated London News Giants Causeway Article and image from September 11 1832

Naturalists, many travelling in Naturalist club trips, gathered information from the ever-increasing number of geological journals and prints were anxious to see the famous Giant’s Causeway and develop their new-found knowledge. Also, the fledgeling past time of photography was contributing to the interest in the site. Prints were first published in the mid-1800s, and by the end of the century, photographs were appearing regularly in guidebooks, alongside the more traditional engravings and sketches.

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