Northern Ireland’s most popular attraction, Giant's Causeway is an area off the northeast coast that is home to approximately 40,000 connecting basalt columns that formed after the eruption of an ancient volcano. Situated in Antrim County approximately 5km northeast of Bushmills, Giant’s Causeway is a National Nature Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage site.
An amazing natural attraction, the tops of the columns that form the Giant’s Causeway act as sort of stepping stones that lead from the foot of the cliffs and disappear below the sea. Many of the basalt pillars are hexagonal in shape although there are some with as little as four sides and as many as eight sides. The tallest of the columns measure approximately 12m while the solidified lava that form part of the cliffs is up to 28m thick in some places.
Bordered by the wilds of the North Atlantic Ocean to one side and a dramatic landscape of cliffs to the other, Giant’s Causeway has been capturing the imagination, stirring scientific debate and inspiring artists for centuries. Originally believed to have been created from myth, modern day science has since been able to answer the questions that storytellers have been unable to for hundreds of years. Regardless of the mysterious or scientific explanation of how this formation came into being, Giant’s Causeway continues to weave its spell on visitors to this day.
Of course, over the years there have been many stories told about this iconic attraction, some of which endure to this day. One of the most famous legends of Giant’s Causeway, and in fact the folklore that gave rise to its name, is centered around Finn McCool, an Irish giant. The legend tells of a bridge McCool built to connect Scotland and Ireland and it is said that the causeway is the remains of the very same bridge. Although science has since disproved this tale, the spirit of this legend is strong to this day.