The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 basalt columns, formed as the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. The columns are mainly hexagonal though there are some with up to eight sides.

The Giant’s Causeway was named as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom, and it is the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland.

The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 basalt columns, formed as the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. The columns are mainly hexagonal though there are some with up to eight sides.

The size of the columns is primarily determined by the speed at which lava from a volcanic eruption cools. The tallest are about 12 meters high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 meters thick in places.

The basalt columns stretch out to the sea and according to legend, the causeway was built by the giant Finn MacCool, who used the causeway to reach Scotland. On a clear day, you can see Scotland in the distance, but only a giant could make it across!

Weather and seasons passing have rounded some of the columns and the locals named them “The Eyes of the Giants”. Other suggestive names are the Honeycomb, the Giant’s Harp, the Chimney Stacks, the Giant’s Gate, and the Camel’s Hump.

Perhaps less well known is the fact that the area is a haven for seabirds such as fulmar, petrel, cormorant, shag, redshank guillemot and razorbill.

Once you have seen the causeway it was worth following the red trail that will take up Shepherd’s Steps. You will have to climb 162 stairs but the view you get from there is definitely worth the effort.

It is located in County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland, about 3 miles northeast of the town of Bushmills and about 60miles from Belfast.

The Giant’s Causeway Legend

A popular legend attributes the creation of the Causeway to an Irish giant named Fion mac Cumhaill (also known as Finn MacCool). In order to prove his superior strength and status, Fionn decided to fight against a rival Scottish giant named Benandonner.

As there was no boat that was large enough to carry him across the sea to confront Bennandonner, he built his own pathway of stepping stones from Ireland to Scotland.