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Northern Ireland - North Antrim Coast

Top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in Northern Ireland

1. The Giant’s Causeway

Top 10 ten places to visit in Northern Ireland - North Antrim Coast

The Giant's Causeway

The Giant's Causeway attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, who come to marvel at this other-worldly sight. Comprised of around 37 000 polygonal black basalt columns, the causeway was formed sixty million years ago when a huge subterranean explosion streching as far as Mull in Scotland, spewed up a huge mass of molten rock. Cooling rapidly on the surface, the basalt formed into what are essentially crystals, with regular geometrical shapes  - hexagons, pentagons and up to ten-sided columns of black rock.
 
The visitor centre provides tourist information, an audio-visual display, a gift shop selling 'Celtic' gifts and a 90 seater cafe. If you want to avoid the crowds, don't bother with the guided tour, and take a more scenic route - a round trip of about two miles.
 
Follow the path up behind the visitor centre and round the edge of several promontories, from where you can see the causeway from above and watch seabirds wheeling accross from Ailsa Craig, thirty miles away in Scotland. A flight of 162 steps takes you down to sea level and a junction in the path. Following the path west will bring you to the Giant's Causeway but if you continue around the bay to the north you'll reach a series of rock formations. The first of these is a group of twelve metre high columns known as the Organ Pipes.
 
Further north, Chimney Point has such a bizarre appearance that the crew of the Spanish Armada ship Girona, thought it was Dunluce Castle, where tghey thought they might be able to get help. Instead their vessel was wrecked on the rocky shore, and its treasure is now on show at the Ulster Museum in Belfast, and the Tower Museum in Derry. 
 
Tip - Try parking on the road near the narrow gauge railway station 200 metres away from the visitor centre, to avoid paying the council's £6.00 car parking charge. 
 
The Giant’s Causeway Address:        
The Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre
44 Causeway Road
Bushmills
County Antrim
BT57 8SU
Northern Ireland, UK

The Giant’s Causeway Opening Times:    
10.00am to 5.00pm seven days a week

November to February
10.00am to 4.30pm
Closed December 24th to 27th

The Giant’s Causeway Admission:    
Free - donations welcome

Guided tours of stones June to August  
Adult £2.50
Child £1.00
Family £6.50
Guided tours possible out of season, booking essential

Parking charge
Motorbike £3.00
Car £6.00 
Minibus £10.00
Coach £20.00

T  +44 (0)28 207 31855

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