The Giant’s Causeway is an amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site in county Antrim, a must-see with the amazing hexagonal basalt columns presenting an unusual coastline. There is a visitor center and a number of trails. It is over an hour’s drive north from Belfast and about a 3-hour drive from Dublin. The National Trust website has a lot of good information on the Giant’s causeway, well worth a read before going there. It includes a number of trails (blue, red, green and yellow trails), details can be found at this link. And like some of the best places to visit, it comes with a good story!
The Myth (reference)
As legend has it, Northern Ireland was once home to a giant named Finn McCool (also called Fionn Mac Cumhaill). When another giant – Benandonner, across the Irish Sea in Scotland – threatened Ireland, Finn retaliated by tearing up great chunks of the Antrim coastline and hurling them into the sea. The newly-created path – the Giant’s Causeway – paved a route over the sea for Finn to reach Benandonner.
However, this turns out to be a bad idea as Benandonner is a massive giant, much bigger than Finn! In order to save himself, Finn retreats to Ireland and is disguised as a baby by his quick-thinking wife. When Benandonner arrives, he sees Finn disguised as a baby and realises that if a mere baby is that big, the father must be far larger than Benandonner himself!
Following this realisation, Benandonner rushes back to Scotland, tearing away as much of the Causeway as he can in his haste to put as much distance between Ireland and himself as possible. And thus, the myth of the Giant’s Causeway was born.
While at the Giant’s Causeway, if you have time then also checkout the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.
Here are some photos (taken a number of years ago)