Giant's Causeway, Antrim, Northern Ireland

5 star Visitor Attraction
**Vote for the Giant's Causeway as Best UK Heritage Attraction in the 2014 British Travel Awards, voting closes on 30 September. See here for more information http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/news/Vote-for-the-Giants-Causeway-and-Titanic-Belfast-in-the-British-Travel-Awards-A4022

Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Giant's Causeway, renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt, is the only World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, this is the focal point of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has attracted visitors for centuries. It harbours a wealth of local and natural history.

The formation of the Giant's Causeway was due to intense volcanic activity. Lava welling up through fissures in the chalk bed formed a "lava plateau". Three periods of volcanic activity gave rise to the Lower, Middle and Upper Basalts, and it's the Middle Basalt rock which forms the famous amphitheatres of hexagonal columns in the Causeway.

The Giant’s Causeway is steeped in myth and legend. Some say it was carved from the coast by the mighty giant, Finn McCool who left behind an ancient home full of folklore. Look out for clues of the existence of the mighty giant, Finn McCool – including Giant’s Boot, The Wishing Chair, The Camel, Giant’s Granny and The Organ. On a clear day, you might even catch a glimpse of Finn’s Scottish opponent, Benandonner’s homeland of Scotland.
Sea birds can be seen off the coast around the Causeway, with species such as fulmar, petrel, cormorant, shag, redshank guillemot and razorbill being frequently observed. Rare and unusual plant species including sea spleenwort, hare's foot trefoil, vernal squill, sea fescue and frog orchid can be found on the cliffs and nearby rock formations.

Guided tours of the Causeway are available by arrangement for groups of more than 15 people, and there is access for visitors with disability. The area is suitable for picnics, cliff and country walks, and dogs are welcome on leads.

The New Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre - 'Commended' Best Visitor Experience, NITA Awards 2013.
Rising and blending into the landscape, with walls of glass, basalt columns and a state of the art interior designed by award winning architects Heneghan-Peng, the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre is truly innovative. The energy efficient building boasts a number of exhibition areas and a grass roof with 360 degree views of the Causeway coastline. Explore the interactive spaces, watch Finn McCool on the big screen and unlock the secrets of this inspirational landscape.

Conservation is at the heart of the project and the new visitor facilities complement the surrounding landscape, ensuring the sustainable management of this important heritage asset. Innovative interpretation will help to enhance your experience and take you through a journey of discovery learning about the area’s history, geology, biodiversity and myths and legends. The new multi-media guide, is one of the most advanced audio and multi-media handsets available and will be offered to all visitors to the centre. It will provide high quality interpretation in a variety of languages as well as services for people with hearing and sight difficulties. This will ensure a unique visitor experience and perspective on the Giant’s Causeway.

The visitor experience includes:
• A new state of the art visitor centre featuring an illuminating exhibition showcasing the stories and the science behind the Giant's Causeway
• Innovative pocket size audio guide in a variety of languages
• A grab and go style café
• A new retail facility introducing new and exclusive local products
• Tourist Information
• Fully accessible toilets and a Changing Places facility for people with disabilities

Please note, the Tourist Information service at the centre is free to access.

For visitors who do not wish to avail of the facilities on-site, alternative parking is available at the Railway car park adjacent to the Causeway (£6 per day), from which visitors can walk to the stones for free.

Alternative catering is provided at the site by the Causeway Hotel, The Nook and McConaghy's shop.

Visitors wishing to avail of the fantastic new visitor experience can buy tickets in the following ways: pre-purchase online at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway/ at the park and ride facility in Bushmills village (March - October), or upon entry to the visitor centre. See Information tab for prices, booking details and opening times.

Walking Trails.
There are four stunning trails at the Giant’s Causeway. Recently upgraded, all are colour coded and awash with breathtaking views of jagged cliffs and bays lashed by wind and waves. There’s a trail for every ability, from a pram friendly jaunt to a challenging coastal hike and in addition, a new accessible cliff top walk for families and people with disabilities. It might even be possible to glimpse Northern Ireland’s favourite giant, Finn McCool whilst walking around these new trails!

The Causeway Coast
Why not experience North Antrim's spectacular coastline first hand by taking a walk along the coastal path which extends for 12 miles from the Giant's Causeway to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge? Take in Whitepark Bay along the way or stay in the National Trust’s own holiday cottage in the old fishing hamlet of Portbraddan.
NB. This map is based on the postcode and so may not reflect the exact location.

Prices:

Admission includes access to the visitor centre, use of outdoor audio guide, orientation leaflet and parking. If you park within the defined area of the visitor experience, the admission charge will be applied. Staff will be on standby to check tickets.

Pedestrian access to the Giant’s Causeway is free. However, if you wish to use any of the facilities at the site, including parking but excluding the Tourist Information service, the visitor experience charge will apply.

Adult: £8.50
Child: £4.25
Family: £21 (2 Adults + 3 Children under 17 years - under 5 years free)
National Trust Members Free
Groups visits (15 people plus) can pre-book by contacting (028) 2073 3419.

Pre-purchase and save: visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giantscauseway to pre-purchase your tickets and save £1 on adult admission, 75p on child admission and £2.50 on family admission.

Go green and save: if you arrive by public transport, by bicycle or on foot, you’ll save £1.50 on adult admission, £1 on child admission and £3 on family admission. Green saving applied at admissions point.
Green admission discount is also available from Park and Ride in Bushmills village (March to October).

Shuttle bus from visitor centre to the stones is run by Translink and is an extra charge.

Opening times:

Stones and coastal path open daily from dawn until dusk.

2014 visitor centre opening hours

Jan: 9am - 5pm
Feb, Mar: 9am - 6pm
Apr, May, Jun: 9am - 7pm
Jul, Aug: 9am - 9pm
Sep: 9am - 7pm
Oct: 9am - 6pm
Nov, Dec: 9am - 5pm
Closed 24th, 25th, 26th Dec

Last admission to visitor centre is one hour before advertised closing time.

During spring and summer, our busiest times are between 11am - 3pm, so come early or plan an evening visit.

The nearest Tourist Information Centre is:

Giant's Causeway Visitor Information Centre

Location / Directions

Road:
2 miles from Bushmills. 11 miles from Coleraine, 13 miles from Ballycastle.
Drive time - Belfast 1 hour 25 minutes, Londonderry/Derry 1 hour 10 minutes, Dublin 3 hours 45 minutes.

Park and Ride:
Available from Bushmills village, March to October, this service operates approximately every 20 minutes.

Map and Sat Nav locations:

Visitor Centre C944439; postcode BT57 8SU
Park and Ride C94104 41034; postcode BT57 8SE

Bus:

Regular services available, some of these are seasonal.
Ulsterbus Service 172; Goldline Service 221; Causeway Rambler Service 402; Open Top Causeway Coast Service 177; Antrim Coaster Service 252.
For further details visit www.translink.co.uk

Train:

Regular services from Belfast or Londonderry/Derry to Coleraine then change to bus connection - Ulsterbus Service 172.

Cycle:

NCN93, visit www. cycleni.com or www.sustrans.org.uk

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Contact Details

Giants Causeway VIC
44 Causeway Road
Bushmills
BT57 8SU
Northern Ireland

Website:
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giantscauseway
Email:
causewaytic@nationaltrust.org.uk
Tel: (028) 2073 1855
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