The natural wonders of Britain: Giant’s Causeway, Antrim, Northern Ireland

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADiscover Britain’s beautiful natural wonders, from soothing waves to basalt causeway.

In this blog, we will tell you all about the natural wonder of Giant’s Causeway, Antrim.

16-05-14 - Giant’s Causeway, Antrim, Northern Ireland (Giant's Causeway sea view)Along the rocky Antrim coast of Northern Ireland lays one of the greatest natural wonders of United Kingdom. Formed of 40,000 tightly packed black basalt columns, the Giant’s Causeway was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 and a National Nature Reserve in 1987. Being the only world heritage site in Northern Ireland, millions of people travel to Antrim just to gain a sight of this natural beauty.

Legend has it that the Giant’s Causeway was formed by an Irish giant name Finn McCool who wanted to cross the Irish Sea to fight his Scottish rival Benandonner, hence the name ‘Giant’s Causeway’. Whether you choose to believe this or not, the story only creates more excitement for your future visit.

The Giant’s Causeway is renowned for the polygonal columns of layered basalt, resulting from volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. The Causeway was formed by the buildup of lava plateau – welled up lava due to the fissures in the chalk bed. Three different periods of volcanic activity passed by, creating the lower, middle and upper basalts, thus forming the amphitheatre hexagonal columns.

16-05-14 - Giant’s Causeway, Antrim, Northern Ireland (Giant's Causeway stones)As well as the relaxing view of the endless ocean, there are plenty of sea birds and rare plant species to be on the lookout for. Species such as fulmar, petrel, cormorant, shag, razorbill and redshank guillemot are frequently seen, and plants such as sea spleenwort, vernal squill, frog orchid and sea fescure can be often found on the cliffs or nearby rocks. The new energy efficient Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre also offers a wide range of interesting activities. From numerous exhibitions to a 360 degree view of the coastline, it is full of activities for both the young and old. If that’s not enough, go for a run or hike on any one of the four stunning trails – all colour-coded – which offers a breathtaking view of the cliffs and bays.

16-05-14 - Giant’s Causeway, Antrim, Northern Ireland (Bushmills Inn Hotel)Find the perfect rest stop by staying at our Best Loved hotel, Bushmills Inn Hotel. Just five minutes away from the Causeway, you will find the world’s oldest distillery and a cozy room where you can spend the night. Receive a warm welcoming glow of the four turf fires and take on the challenge to find the secret room where you can sit and enjoy a 25-year-old Bushmills malt whiskey, while anticipating the pleasure of the Taste of Ulster Restaurant.

Giant’s Causeway image by Amanda Slater, Giant’s Causeway sea view image by Sean MacEntee, Giant’s Causeway stone images by Ian McWilliams.