The Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway
Bushmills, Northern Ireland/UK

So what exactly is it?

Giant’s Causeway is a beautiful area of land in Northern Ireland, which features over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns.

Located in County Antrim, this stretch of land is actually Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site.

What is a Basalt Column?

Simply put, these columns are the result of volcanic eruptions, with their hexagonal shape a result of the cooling process. Baffling how it happens, the sight up close in-person is awe-inspiring.

The Legend behind the name:

So an obvious question that comes to mind when looking at these pictures is how exactly did it get its name? Well, there’s an Irish legend that goes with that!

The legend states there were two giants, one from Scotland named Benandonner and the other from Ireland named Finn Mac Cool. Now Benandonner is said to have built the causeway between the countries to fight Finn Mac. Upon arriving in Ireland Benandonner saw Finn Mac, though he was cleverly disguised as a baby in a carriage. Finn Mac’s mother told Benandonner that this was Finn Mac’s younger brother named, Finn Gal. After seeing the size of the baby, Benandonner is said to have taken off running back to Scotland, tearing up the causeway and leaving a shoe in the process.

Coastal Path

Once you’ve seen the basalt columns in the first area, I strongly recommend walking the coastal path that extends beyond it. Apart from a break from the other tourists, you’ll see some massive basalt columns exposed, as well as other really cool views along the way. The whole hike through the coast path will probably take about 60 minutes roundtrip from the main basalt columns. The hike is fairly easy being that it’s not on much an incline, though it’s a narrower path, so I wouldn’t recommend strollers or children. The path is basically wide enough for two people, though there is no railing in certain parts, which is why children aren’t recommended.

Only seen naturally in a handful of places throughout the world, this is a must-see if visiting Northern Ireland! I’ve been lucky enough to see it on another trip I took to Iceland. See this article to read about seeing Basalt Columns in Iceland at Vik’s Black Sand Beach!!

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