Quieter with sunsets like these; who'd visit during the day?
For thousands of years, the Giant’s Causeway has been enchanting visitors with its almost alien rock formations. Formed millions of years ago by volcanic activity; the Giant’s Causeway is a natural wonder which brings hundreds of thousands of visitors to Northern Ireland every year. The causeway is made up over 40,000 hexagonal columns that stretch out into the sea towards Scotland. Legend tells of giants at either end of the causeway building the wonder so that they could meet in the middle to fight. This tale of a giant constructing the causeway is easy to believe and led to it being named “The Giant’s Causeway”.
Walk upon the basalt of the causeway and soak in the area’s marvellous natural beauty with a number of other formations linked to the giant’s mythology. These include the giant’s boot, organ, eyes and harp; each was once believed to have belonged to the giant Finn MacCool whom, according to legend, built the causeway. The area is also well known for its avian wildlife which fills the nearby cliff and hill sides. Stromatolites, a type of fossil which dates from over 3.5 billion years ago, have also been found in the area which is unusual due to the region’s cool climate.
The Giant’s Causeway is also home to a visitor centre for those looking to discover more about the origins of this natural wonder. This includes a look at the science behind the causeway, the wildlife that inhabits the surrounding areas and the legends that have been inspired by this region. The centre also includes a wide-range of facilities to make your visit as comfortable as possible.
Until it is seen, the causeway can hardly be believed. To think that such an area was forged out of magma and its rapid cooling to make such a wonder is hard to fathom. Stood among the stones, it’s not hard to believe that a giant could have constructed the causeway and the other stone formations which accompany it. It’s easy to see why half a million people come to the causeway each year.
Self-catering in County Antrim.
Self Catering in Northern Ireland
Words by John Temke
Image by Chris Lofqvist