Giant’s Causeway in Ireland is a sight to be seen, which is why it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visited by half a million tourists every year, the unique rock formations here have withstood the test of time, creating a unique coastline that began millions of years ago. Largely unvisited for some time, it now has a revamped visitor’s centre with local food and drink as well as a souvenir shop, plus a variety of tea rooms.
Despite Giant’s Causeway being a draw for visitors, there is much debate as to how this area, particularly the landscape, was formed. According to their official website, there has been a lot of questions as to whether the Causeway was created by men with tools, by nature (perhaps a volcano), or by the efforts of a giant (legend has it that Fionn mac Cumhaill, aka Finn McCool, was an Irish giant who had a fight with Scottish big man Benandonner – Fionn built a path of stepping stones to reach Scotland, which was then ripped up by Benandonner)!
It’s this mystery and folklore that has helped to make Giant’s Causeway such a big draw. One thing is for sure: visitors will be amazed by the 40,000+ hexagonal-shaped pillars, which date back to a 60-million-year-old volcanic age.
For those who love nature or bird watching, this area of Ireland is home to a large number of bird species such as fulmar, petrel, cormorant, redshank guillemot and razorbill. Rock pippits and wagtails can be found along the shoreline, while eider duck tend to make their home in the sheltered water. The plant life is varied and unique as well. There’s simply no place like it on earth.
There are two primary ways to reach the Giant’s Causeway, which can be done on foot or by vehicle. It can be reached directly – walk or use the seasonal Ulsterbus service (buses accessible for people with disabilities) for a half-mile journey to Giant’s Causeway. Or, embark on a longer circular walk along the cliff path to the Shepherd’s Steps and back via the Giants Causeway (the total distance is around three kilometres). But here’s your best bet: take a drive along the Causeway Coast. Not only will it lead to Giant’s Causeway but you can also check out the infamous castle ruins of Dunluce Castle and the cream-sand beaches of Whiterocks Beach. The scenery will take your breath away.
For more information on Giant’s Causeway, visit their website at www.giantscausewayofficialguide.com.