Giant’s Causeway Coast – Northern Ireland

 

TRAIL DETAILS

  • Location: Northern Ireland, County Antrim
  • Distance: 1-2km coastal amble.
  • Time: 1 hour.
  • Difficulty: Easy.

 

The Giant’s Causeway is a natural wonder that everyone visiting the area should take time to explore. Large interlocking basalt columns caused by a volcanic eruption cover the coastline like a hexagonal tile mosaic.

The distinct geological features were formed 50-60 million years ago when fluid molten lava formed a large lava plateau. As it cooled the plateau cracked and fractured forming the hexagonal pillar like structures.

Another explanation is that the causeway was built by an Irish giant to form a link across the North Channel to Scotland. A similar coastal feature exists at Fingal’s Cave on the Scottish isle of Staffa further reinforcing my belief that the latter explanation makes more sense.

Unfortunately the area is extremely commercialized. The entrance to the Giant’s Causeway coastline is accessed via a large built up tourist center peddling exhibits and goods. In true Northern Irish fashion, the owner of our air B&B seemed strongly opposed to the governments meddling and commercializing of a natural and public coastline and incessantly insisted we refuse to pay the entrance fee. He advised us to just walk through since nobody would have the right to stop us. His parting words to us that morning were “DO! NOT! PAY!”.

Being mild mannered Canadians this was an unlikely scenario. As luck would have it we arrived at the Giants Causeway after hours. There were a few cars in the parking lot and to our relief not a single tour bus. We approached the Visitor Center thinking we might be out of luck, but the gate was open and unmanned so we simply continued through towards the coast. We did not pay! Our first act of rebellion!

From the visitor center follow the short paved road down towards the coast.

 

Giants Causeway – Northern Ireland

 

The amazing hexagonal volcanic pillars of the Giant’s Causeway quickly began appearing along the coast.

 

Giants Causeway – Northern Ireland

 

Of course I needed to take a close-up of this geological wonder.

 

Giants Causeway – Northern Ireland

 

From here we parted ways with the pavement and began hopping along the columns and exploring the formations.

 

Giants Causeway – Northern Ireland

 

The Giant’s Causeway leading out into the North Channel towards Scotland!

 

Giants Causeway – Northern Ireland

 

Looking back towards the coast.

 

Giants Causeway – Northern Ireland

 

The best part of our inadvertent late arrival was the lack of other tourists. I can only imagine how disgustingly crowded this small area gets once a few tour buses unload their contents.

 

Giants Causeway – Northern Ireland

 

As darkness began setting in we headed back towards our car.

 

Giants Causeway – Northern Ireland

 

With about 30 minutes left of daylight we decided to quickly zip down the Causeway Rd to check out Dunluce Castle and Dunseverick Castle.

 

Giants Causeway – Northern Ireland

 

Giants Causeway – Northern Ireland

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