Giant’s Causeway: Northern Ireland
The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is one of the more exciting landscapes we have encountered in our travels.
We were visiting Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland while enjoying a 12-day small-group luxury tour with our friends from Luxury Gold.
You can read about our experience at this link.
The Giant’s Causeway is located in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland, about three miles (5 km) northeast of the town of Bushmills.
If you’re unfamiliar, Bushmills Irish Whiskey has been made here for over 400 years. So if you’re on your own visiting the area, it might be fun to stop in and sample some of Ireland’s finest whiskeys.
Here’s this from Wikipedia:
“The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns resulting from an ancient volcanic fissure eruption.
It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 and a national nature reserve in 1987 by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most columns are hexagonal, although some have four, five, seven, or eight sides. The tallest is nearly 40 feet high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 92 feet thick.
According to legend, the columns are the remains of a causeway built by a giant. The story goes that the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool), from the Fenian Cycle of Gaelic mythology, was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Fionn accepted the challenge and built the causeway across the North Channel so the two giants could meet. In one version of the story, Fionn defeats Benandonner. In another, Fionn hides from Benandonner when he realizes his foe is much bigger than him. Fionn’s wife, Sadhbh, disguises Fionn as a baby and tucks him in a cradle. When Benandonner sees the size of the “baby,” he reckons that its father, Fionn, must be a giant among giants. He flees back to Scotland in fright, destroying the causeway behind him so that Fionn would be unable to chase him down. Across the sea, there are identical basalt columns (a part of the same ancient lava flow) at Fingal’s Cave on the Scottish isle of Staffa, and it is possible that this influenced the story.”
Giants or not, the Giant’s Causeway is a must-see when you’re visiting Northern Ireland. From Belfast, plan a 60-90-minute drive depending on the traffic.
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