Giant's Causeway - the myths busted

Waves crash against the Giant's Causeway, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland
Published : 17 Jul 2018 Last update : 03 Aug 2018

Did you know that last year we welcomed over one million visitors to the Giant’s Causeway site? With tourists and visitors from all over the world, we have a world-class reputation to uphold.

So let’s take a look at some of the popular myths surrounding our site and bust them…Finn McCool style! Listen carefully while we share some facts you may not know about the site.

Did you know…that The National Trust is actually a charity?

Yes, Northern Ireland’s largest conservation charity that works to protect and conserve our special places for the enjoyment for everyone forever.

We rely on your support through visits, membership, donations and supporters to fund essential conservation work.

The National Trust is the owner and guardian of the amazing Giant’s Causeway site and works to provide a safe, enjoyable and well managed overall experience for all our visitors.

Did you know…Where your money goes?

• The money raised from Visitor Experience tickets and membership is not only invested back into our amazing World Heritage Site but also helps to maintain the National Trust’s other beautiful places across Northern Ireland, many of which have no charge to our visitors.

• Three out of four beautiful places in Northern Ireland cared for by the National Trust cannot fund their own conservation.

Landscape at White Park Bay

• Our work covers lots of different areas; from teams who maintain the cleanliness of the site, to the conservation rangers who work to record, preserve and develop the biodiversity of our flora and fauna, to staff and volunteers who work directly with our visitors.

• We work to ensure that our visitors have a unique and memorable experience, and with the visitor numbers increasing each year, this means our teams have to work even harder to maintain the site and visitor centre to World Heritage standard.

Let’s talk figures…

• For every £1 we receive from our visitors, less than the price of a coffee, we can plant one native wildflower plug

• £5 means that we can repair approximately one metre of cliff-top path

• £6 repairs one metre of livestock fencing

• £11 will pay for the general maintenance, such as grass cutting, clearing drains, and trimming vegetation for about 50 metres of cliff path

• £120 pays for the construction of one stone step on the cliff path, or repair of one metre of stone wall

Did you know…How to access the site and the facilities available?

• Visitors can access the stones through the award-winning Visitor Centre or by foot for free via the Public Right of Way.

• The stones and over 10 miles of footpaths along the Causeway Coast are managed and maintained by the National Trust including the Visitor Centre and car parking. Our car park is rented from the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

• We distribute leaflets to our visitors on arrival with information on what is included in the entry price; and this is available in 11 different languages.

• The cost of Visitor Experience tickets includes entry to the Visitor Centre and interpretation area, use of audio guides in 11 languages, and a guided walk of the site led by one of our award-winning team, as well as on-site parking.

• To ensure that we provide adequate toilet facilities for visitors, we have recently installed new external facilities which are available outside of Visitor Centre opening hours. These include baby changing facilities and additional male and female and accessible toilets.

• Visitor toilets within the Visitor Centre include a unisex wheelchair accessible toilet, a parent room and Changing Places (adult changing facilities, for which a key is available on request).

• Nursing mothers are welcome to breastfeed anywhere on site.

• The unisex Changing Places facility is provided adjacent to the unisex accessible WC. The Changing Places unit comprises of a peninsular WC, adjustable height changing table, a sink, a shower and an overhead hoist. The design has been developed in conjunction with Enable NI.

There are fully accessible information signs along the Green Trail.
A wheelchair user accessing information along the Green Trail.
There are fully accessible information signs along the Green Trail.

Top tips for visiting:

• To make the most out of your experience we recommend coming in early or nipping in late to avoid busy peak times and explore with us.

• Visitors to the Giant’s Causeway can access the stones for free by foot via the Public Right of Way, but please remember this does not include on-site parking. Our parking is limited and reserved for members and visitors availing of the Visitor Experience.

• We offer a reduced rate for visitors who use a method of 'green travel' (arrive by public transport, bicycle or on foot and save) and also for those who pre-book their tickets online.

• The park and ride shuttle bus service from Bushmills operates every 20 minutes between March and October and users receive a reduced rate for the Visitor Experience.

Children love the interactive exhibits at the Giant's Causeway
The picture shows a boy playing with one of the interactive exhibits in the Visitor Centre
Children love the interactive exhibits at the Giant's Causeway