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How To Visit the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland

How To Visit the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland

When highway tripping alongside the rugged panorama of County Antrim, you will discover Northern Ireland’s solely UNESCO World Heritage Site and most visited attraction, the Giant’s Causeway. It actually is a pure marvel. But, relying on if you go, your Giant’s Causeway go to might be wonderful or common. We will share the way to go to the Giant’s Causeway with insider ideas for the way to keep away from the crowds, the place to search out the finest locations to remain, and what you’ll truly see if you make a cease at this awe-inspiring vacation spot alongside the Causeway Coast.

If you’re planning a go to and need to make the most of your journey information to experiencing the Giant’s Causeway like a professional, you could have come to the proper place. We have visited the Giant’s Causeway 3 times on organized excursions and independently. We’ve marveled at its distinctive basalt columns at dawn, sundown, and all over the place in between. So, are you able to fall in love with the Giant’s Causeway like we did? Let’s go!

Tips for Visiting the Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway by no means ceases to amaze us, its basalt columns appear like completely positioned stepping stones main out to the water’s edge. However, considered one of our Giant’s Causeway visits was lower than stellar attributable to crowds as a result of we visited at the flawed time of day. So, that can assist you keep away from making the identical mistake we made on our first go to, we’ll share the finest methods to go to the Giant’s Causeway from out different experiences exploring the North Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site provides a magical panorama steeped in delusion and wonder. Known for its distinctive basalt columns fashioned by historical volcanic fissure eruptions, the Giant’s Causeway is Northern Ireland’s hottest attraction. It is really unimaginable and lives as much as the hype.

Where is the Giant’s Causeway

How To Visit the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland
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The Giant’s Causeway is situated in County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland, about 60 miles from Belfast. The finest option to attain this iconic landmark is by automobile, providing the flexibility to discover at your personal tempo. Check for Rental Car Prices right here.

Driving from Belfast takes roughly 1 hour and half-hour by way of the M2 and A26, main you thru a few of Northern Ireland’s most picturesque landscapes. It is simply 2.5 miles north of Bushmills Village and 1 hour and 20 minutes from Belfast.

Public transportation choices embrace practice companies from Belfast to Coleraine, adopted by a connecting bus to the Causeway. There is bus service from Balintoy Village.

If you don’t have a automobile, you’ll be able to be a part of a guided tour from Belfast or Derry/Londonderry, which regularly contains different sights alongside the Causeway Coast.

The finest time to go to The Giant’s Causeway

How to visit the Giants Causeway Tours
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The Giant’s Causeway is open year-round, so you’ll be able to go to anytime. However, the finest instances to discover this UNESCO World Heritage Site are the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November).

During these months, guests can get pleasure from delicate climate and fewer crowds. Temperatures throughout these seasons common a cushty 10°C to fifteen°C (50°F to 59°F), superb for strolling and pictures.

While the summer time months (July and August) promise hotter climate, with temperatures starting from 15°C to twenty°C (59°F to 68°F), in addition they carry the peak vacationer season, ensuing in bigger crowds and longer wait instances.

The winter months, although much less crowded, might be difficult attributable to colder temperatures, round 5°C to eight°C (41°F to 46°F), and shorter daytime.

Best Time of Day to Visit

How to visit the Giants Causeway Best Time
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The finest time to go to the Giant’s Causeway throughout the day is at dawn or sundown. The Visitor Centre is open from 9:00 AM to five:00 PM day by day, however you’ll be able to go to outdoors of opening hours.

To actually respect its splendor with out the crowds, purpose to go to both early in the morning or late in the afternoon. We visited each instances in completely different years and instances of yr, and each instances, we had it nearly to ourselves. Plus the softer mild made for gorgeous images as we loved quieter moments whereas roaming the web site.

giants causeway dave deb
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Posing on the pillars

We walked down at dawn effectively earlier than the customer middle opened and will hike throughout the weathered rock formations, taking in views from completely different angles. By the time the buses began arriving, we had our fill and went again to the lodge for breakfast.

We did the identical factor at night time. Once the buses left, we walked down to look at the sundown with a gaggle of two different folks. When you’re alongside the Giant’s Causeway, it’s actually magical.

The one time we had been on a bus tour, we arrived in mid-day, and it was chaos.

Many folks go to the Giant’s Causeway on a highway journey round the Causeway Coast or as a part of a day tour from Belfast. The guided excursions and bus excursions cease at the Giant’s Causeway beginning at 10 am, so if you will get in earlier than that, you’ll have a greater time.

What is the Giant’s Causeway

How to visit the Giants Causeway Guided Tour
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The Giant’s Causeway is a novel pure phenomena of outstanding magnificence simply making its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was fashioned 60 million years in the past throughout a volcanic eruption and it’s actually a marvel of the world. There are greater than 40 thousand basalt columns which are completely stacked, creating what appears to be like like an enormous set of interlocking bricks main out to the sea.

The basalt columns had been fashioned throughout the eruption when the flowing lava crashed into the waves of the sea. As the ocean cooled the lava, it turned them into volcanic stones. There are comparable basalt columns worldwide, together with in Iceland and throughout the sea; you’ll be able to go to the Scottish Island Staffa Flow (Isle of Staffa) to see Fingals Cave, which is one other wonderful sight that was fashioned by volcanic exercise.

Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre

How to visit the Giants Causeway Visitor Center
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The Giant’s Causeway is run by the National Trust, which is a company that promotes the preservation of pure and architectural wonders. They have created a Visitor Center to reinforce the customer expertise with interactive shows and an interpretation space that blends seamlessly with the panorama.

If you could have a National Trust Membership, entrance is free. Most vacationers clearly gained’t have a membership, so let’s undergo the coasts.

If you keep at the Causeway Hotel, you can even go to the Giant’s Causeway without cost.

Prices differ, with present entrance payment charges at £13.50 for adults and £6.70 for youngsters, providing worth for these in studying extra about the geological and mythological background of the space. National Trust members can get pleasure from free entry and parking. Prices change at peak season.

The Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre opens at 10:00 am and closes relying on the time of yr, anyplace from 5 pm to 9 pm. But you’ll be able to go to it alone and stroll down anytime in the event you keep at the Causeway Hotel. From the parking zone, you’ll stroll via a tunnel taking you to the Blue Trail which is a half-mile stroll downhill.

Driving and Car Park Locations

unique european places to visit giant's causeway
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If you aren’t staying at the Causeway Hotel you’ll need to pay for parking or you’ll be able to stroll. Some of the visitor homes close to Giant’s Causeway should not too distant as effectively. There are some good mountaineering trails to the Giant’s Causeway as effectively and if you’re up for a hike, you’ll be able to stroll from Dunserverick Castle or Portballintrae.

If you’re driving, you’ll need to buy a parking ticket. Using the automobile park closest to the customer centre prices £13 per individual, including up rapidly. The value for parking is £13 per grownup in the automobile. £32.50 for a household and £6.50 for youngsters.

That makes The Causeway Hotel an much more fascinating choice. When you keep right here, parking and entrance is free.

There is one other automobile park alongside the Causeway Road, The Causeway Coast Car park prices £10 and is a simple stroll to the customer centre.

When you buy a ticket on-line, it contains parking, a guided tour, and audio guides. You even have entry to the Visitor Centre, the exhibition, café and memento store.

Guided Tours

causeway coastal route Itinerary
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We notice that most individuals is not going to need to drive on the different aspect of the highway and there are many guided excursions from Dublin, and Belfast. Plus, in the event you e book a tour, you gained’t want to fret about any of those prices as they may all be included. Here are a few guided excursions that we advocate that additionally discover extra of County Antrim and Northern Ireland.

This full-day guided tour is very rated and takes you alongside the Causeway Coastal Route to see the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Dunluce Castle, The Dark Hedges, and Giants Causeway.

Giant’s Causeway Walking Trails

Giants Causeway walking trails
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Blue Trail – This is the widespread path that’s alongside the paved highway resulting in Giant’s Causeway from the Visitor Centre.

Green Trail – This is a 3.2 km (2 miles) hike that takes 1.5 hours. This path begins at the Causeway Hotel and follows the path towards path in the direction of Runkerry Head. This path is appropriate for folks with disabilities and is wheelchair pleasant. It can also be kid-friendly for buggies. This path takes you out to see the Portcoon Cave, 150 yards lengthy and 40-foot excessive, sea cave.

Red Trail – The Red Trail is a reasonable path that takes about 1.5 hours. It begins at the Giant’s Causeway customer’s centre and goes alongside the prime of the cliffs.

Yellow Trail – The Yellow Trail is a difficult hike, that begins at Runkery Head and ends at Hamilton’s Seat. The trailhead is accessible close to the village of Portballintrae and goes previous the Causeway Hotel and Visitors Centre. You’ll meet up with the Blue Trail and might go all the way down to the Giant’s Causeway or keep excessive to proceed on the Yellow Trail. There are sheer cliffs on this path, so watch out.

Where to Stay at the Giant’s Causeway

How to visit the Giants Causeway Hotel
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We extremely advocate spending extra time at the Giant’s Causeway than simply on a fast day journey. The cause being is that in the event you be a part of a tour, you’ll arrive at the Giant’s Causeway at noon with all the crowds. On two of our visits, we stayed at the Causeway Hotel and will stroll all the way down to see the Giant’s Causeway at dawn and sundown. During these instances of the day, we had all of it to ourselves.

Causeway Hotel

Giants Causeway accommodation
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The Causeway Hotel is the closest lodge to the Giant’s Causeway situated immediately at the customer’s centre. But there are many BnBs round the space and different lodges in Bushmills which is simply 2.5 miles away. You can then simply drive to the Giant’s Causeway for dawn or sundown. See evaluations on TripAdvisor and Check costs on Booking.com

The Causeway Hotel has a bar and restaurant so that you don’t have to go away in any respect and might spend most time at the Giant’s Causeway. The rooms are fairly fundamental, although, and wish an replace. What the rooms lack in ambiance is made up for in its location.

Bushmills Inn

Giants Causeway accommodation Bushmills Inn
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The Bushmills Inn is one other nice choice situated in city. We ate right here and had an incredible meal. It dates again to 1600 and was a training inn at the time. It has been fully renovated and the rooms at the moment are a 4-star luxurious. If you need one thing extra upscale and don’t thoughts needing to drive to the Giant’s Causeway, this can be a nice choice. See evaluations on TripAdvisor and Check Prices on Booking.com

Giant’s Causeway History – The Legend

How to visit the Giants Causeway Legend of Finn McCool
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Inside the guests middle, there’s a reward store, a snack bar, and a espresso store. There can also be a movie about the legend of the Giant’s Causeway involving the Irish Giant Finn McCool and the Scottish Giant Benandonner.

Before science, it was believed that the Irish large Finn McCool made the Giant’s Causeway to create a bridge to Scotland to problem his rival. Legend says that rivals Fionn Mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) of County Antrim in Ireland had been continually bickering with the Scottish Giant Benandonner.

giants causeway legend
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Finn McCool and Bennadoner combating on the Giant’s Causeway

One day Finn McCool determined to construct a bridge to cross the sea and problem Benandonner to a battle. It’s a simple legend to consider, as every stone appears to be positioned there for a goal. Read the full legend at The Legend of the Giant’s Causeway – Do You Believe?

The Actual History of the Giant’s Causeway

How to visit the Giants Causeway location
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Formed over 60 million years in the past attributable to intense volcanic eruptions, the Causeway is known for its 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, making a pure phenomenon that has intrigued guests for hundreds of years.

This mix of geological marvel and legendary tales, coupled with the web site’s breathtaking pure magnificence, makes the Giant’s Causeway a pivotal topic of examine for geologists and a must-visit vacation spot for vacationers worldwide.

It is Northern Ireland’s solely UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whether you’re drawn by the attract of its historical origins or intrigued by the enchanting tales handed down via generations, the Giant’s Causeway provides a novel window into the previous, making it a vital a part of Northern Ireland’s cultural and pure heritage.

Mobility and the Giant’s Causeway

How to visit the Giants Causeway Mobility Issues
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For these with mobility points, there’s a bus that you would be able to take down and as much as the Giant’s Causeway from the customer’s middle. They even have wheelchairs and scooters out there to borrow at the Giant’s Causeway customer centre. Note that they’re out there on a primary come first serve foundation. The bus prices

Things to do Near the Giant’s Causeway

After the morning go to, there are many issues to see and do close by. Giant’s Causeway is situated alongside the Causeway Coastal Route, and it’s considered one of the most spectacular highway journeys on earth.

What to See and Do

Beyond the awe-inspiring basalt columns, the Giant’s Causeway space is wealthy in sights value exploring:

The Visitor Centre: Start your go to right here to delve into the Causeway’s fascinating geological and mythological tales. The Shepherd’s Steps: Challenge your self with a climb up these steep steps to be rewarded with panoramic views. The Giant’s Boot: Discover this curious rock formation that, in response to legend, belongs to the large Finn McCool. Dunluce Castle: A brief drive away, the ruins of this medieval citadel supply a glimpse into Northern Ireland’s storied previous. Bushmills Distillery: No journey to County Antrim is full with no go to to the world’s oldest licensed distillery, providing excursions and tastings.

Dunluce Castle

How to visit the Giants Causeway Dunluce Castle
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Dunluce Castle is a stunning cease situated simply 10 minutes from Giant’s Causeway. The ruins sit excessive on a cliff and are considered one of the most picturesque castles in Northern Ireland.

Make certain to proceed driving west to cease at the viewing platform only a brief distance additional. This simply opened this yr, and there are two unbelievable lookouts the place you’ll be able to see Dunluce Castle on one aspect and the excessive sea cliffs of Northern Ireland on the different.

Bushmills Distillery

How to visit the Giants Causeway near Bushmills Distillery
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Bushmills is Dave’s favorite whisky, and we at all times cease to select up a bottle of their signature 16-year-old. You can do a distillery tour and it’s extremely advisable. Even in the event you don’t do a tour, you will get into the grounds for a peek and into the reward store to buy a bottle or two. Bushmills Distillery is situated in Bushmills Village and is only a five-minute drive from Giant’s Causeway.

Dark Hedges

How to visit the Giants Causeway Dark Hedges
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The Dark Hedges is 20 minutes from Giant’s Causeway and they’re the most photographed place in Northern Ireland. The Dark Hedges are situated on Bregagh Road close to the city of Ballymoney in County Antrim. It is lined with 90 beech bushes forming an arch all the means alongside the highway. It was used as The King’s Road in Game of Thrones. Note: Some Dark Hedges have been minimize down attributable to deteriorating circumstances, however there are nonetheless many standing. Read extra: The Dark Hedges of Northern Ireland – Tips to Visit and What you Need to Know

Carrick a Rede

How to visit the Giants Causeway Carrick a Rede Bridge
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The Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge is one other wonderful cease that’s situated simply quarter-hour from Giant’s Causeway. It was as soon as a harmful bridge to cross solely utilized by fishermen, however immediately it has been restored and vacationers can stroll throughout this suspension bridge for unparalleled shoreline views.

The Giant’s Causeway and the Causeway Coast are extraordinary locations to go to. Spending time in this a part of Northern Ireland will create recollections to final a lifetime as you discover considered one of the most stunning coasts in the world. Read extra about the Causeway Coast at: The Ultimate Causeway Coastal Route Itinerary, Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway Belfast Tours

Causeway Coastal Route Belfast
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You can e book day excursions to the Giant’s Causeway from Belfast in the event you aren’t doing a self-drive round the Causeway Coastal Route. This extremely rated tour takes you to see well-known sights alongside the Antrim coast earlier than reaching the Giant’s Causeway. Places you’ll see en path to the Giant’s Causeway are Cushendun Caves, Carnlough Harbour, and the Dark Hedges. Learn about the historical past from dwell commentary on board.

Another wonderful choice for a tour from Belfast to the Giant’s Causeway is that this standard Game of Thrones Tour. You’ll get pleasure from the fantastic thing about the Antrim Coast earlier than hitting the world-famous Giant’s Causeway. During this guided day tour, you’ll cease at locations like Carrickfergus Castle and the 9 Glens of Antrim earlier than seeing the coastal city of Ballycastle. It’s then time to see HBO’s Game of Thrones filming areas like Magharmorne Quarry, which is the location of Castle Black and the Dark Hedges, to see King’s Road.

From Dublin

How to visit the Giants Causeway Bookings
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Tours to the Giant’s Causeway even be booked from Dublin. This extremely rated tour is the good day journey for folks with restricted time however who nonetheless need to get pleasure from a few of the prime Northern Ireland locations once they go to Ireland. Visit the Dark Hedges, Dunluce Castle, and Giant’s Causeway, and spend a while in Belfast on a guided tour from Dublin.

Admire the formations of the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site Head to Portaneevy View Point to see the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge Marvel at the gorgeous surroundings of the Antrim coastal route Hear tales of folklore and historical past with a number of myths and legends too See a few of the Game of Thrones websites all through the day

Other Places with Columns in the World

South Coast Iceland Dverghamrar
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A fast Google search will present you that there are dozens of hexagonal columns round the world. We famous Iceland and Scotland, however they are often discovered from Mongolia to Thailand. Ones that we’ve seen with our personal eyes are Iceland, Namibia, Australia, and California. We even just lately noticed unimaginable formations in Santiago Chile.

If you aren’t driving, this can be a good day tour that features visiting the prime sights on the Causeway Coast together with Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle and the Dark Hedges. Visit RentalCars.com to see costs for automobile leases from Dublin or Belfast.

Resources for Planning Your Trip to Northern Ireland

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