Things to do at Giant's Causeway
Follow in footsteps of legends by striding out to sea at the Giant's Causeway. The neatly packed columns of hexagonal basalt rocks form Northern Ireland's only UNESCO World Heritage Site. With an interactive exhibition and audio guides in a variety of international languages, the Visitor Experience reveals the story of this world-famous geological wonder. Join a guided tour, leaving the Centre throughout the day, to soak up the dramatic clifftop views and learn more about the history and geology of this special place. Must-see sites including the Giant’s Boot and the Wishing Chair.
Discover Giant’s Causeway
Nowhere else on the planet can you see such an exposure of rocks from the Paleogene period that have formed in this unique way.
Walk on the world-famous hexagonal basalt stones, and pick up an audio guide to learn about the history and geology of the Giant’s Causeway and hear the stories of this unique place. Audio guides are available in English and 11 languages from the visitor centre.
Don’t forget your camera - the Giant’s Causeway has been named the most Instagrammed place in Ireland.
Six must-see sites at the Giant’s Causeway
Here are 6 not-to-be-missed highlights on a visit to the world-famous Giant's Causeway:
- Grand Causeway: The Grand Causeway is the largest of three rock outcrops which make up the Giant's Causeway. These collections of curious columns contributed to the causeway being designated Northern Ireland's only World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.
- Giant's Boot: in Port Noffer you'll find a small path leading towards the sea. This takes you to what is perhaps the bay's most famous feature - the Giant's Boot. Apparently lost by Finn as he fled from the wrath of Scottish giant, Benandonner, the boot is reputed to be a size 93.5.
- Wishing Chair: if you thought the Giant's Causeway couldn't get any more magical, then take a seat in the famous Wishing Chair. An essential stop on any visit, the Wishing Chair is a natural throne formed from a perfectly arranged set of columns. Some years ago only ladies were permitted to sit in the Wishing Chair. Today it's open to everyone. In fact it has been sat on so often, its basalt stones are shiny, smooth and very comfortable.
- The Camel: Portnaboe's most famous resident is Finn McCool's camel. Once a living and lively beast, the camel was turned to stone and forlornly lies along the bottom of the cliffs. Apparently he was the only steed capable of carrying Finn home across long distances. The Camel is actually a basaltic dyke, formed from cooling lava which has pushed its way through other layers of rock.
- Clifftop trails: experience a bird's-eye view of the Giant's Causeway with the clifftop trails. With dramatic coastal views it's a unique way to see the World Heritage Site and explore the stunning north coast of Ireland. Choose from the red, blue, green and yellow trails, designed to suit every ability. You can also take a fully guided 5 mile hike, the Clifftop Experience.
- Visitor centre: Officially opened in July 2012, the Giant's Causeway visitor centre was the result of an international architecture competition. Dublin-based architects heneghan peng won the £18.5 million commission to design the building. The building has won many prestigious awards for design innovation and sustainability. Having racked up your step count on the trails, the cafe is the perfect place to enjoy a tasty treat and the shop is an ideal location to pick up something unique to take home.
Path uneven and wet
Please note, this is a broad but open clifftop path. The path undulates and is uneven on occasion and it can be wet underfoot.
Nature and wildlife to see
Rock pool nature
A variety of wildlife call Giant’s Causeway their home including a three-billion-year-old rock pool dweller. Stromatolites are one of the earliest known life forms on Earth – predating even the dinosaurs. Usually found in warmer climates, the blue-green bacteria were also surprisingly discovered living in a rock pool at the Giant’s Causeway.
Special small insects
And keep your eyes peeled to catch a glimpse of rare insects including the Pigmy Sorrel moth – one of the world’s smallest moths, the Northern Colletes bee and the Black-tailed Skimmer dragonfly.
Discover the Causeway Coastline
Additional destinations to explore
As well as the Giant’s Causeway, you can also explore over 100 miles of coastline. There are a number of destinations to discover nearby including White Park Bay, Portstewart Strand, Cushendun, Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House.
The tallest cliff face at Murlough Bay
Visit Murlough Bay to see Northern Ireland’s tallest cliff face. Rising 600 metres above sea level, Fair Head is believed to be the biggest expanse of climbable rock in either Ireland or Britain. At Murlough Bay, look up to see birds of prey, such as buzzards and peregrine falcons as they hunt for food.
A waterfall at Dunseverick
Get off the beaten track and visit the historic ruins of Dunseverick Castle or head to Dunseverick Harbour's where rock pools shelter fascinating sea creatures and a nearby a waterfall drops directly into the sea.
Bushfoot Strand and Lissanduff earthworks
Explore Bushfoot Strand and look closely at this geological Area of Special Scientific Interest. The combination of very strong waves and natural history make this one of the most exciting beach systems in Ireland. The strand is beside the Lissanduff Earthworks’ bronze age structures believed to connect this world to the next.
Explore further afield
Other places to explore include Loughareema, Manannan Mac Lir, Bonamargy Friary.
Discover Giant's Causeway with your dog. Head out for a bracing walk to see the world-famous stones and coastline, stop by the café or explore the visitor centre. Giant's Causeway is a three pawprint rated place.
It is recommended you book your visit in advance to Giant's Causeway. If you're planning a visit to Giant's Causeway, read this article to find out everything you need to know.
Choose one of our virtual tours of the Giant's Causeway and explore this rugged landscape from the comfort of your own home.
The Giant's Causeway Clifftop Experience is a fully guided 5 mile hike along the clifftop paths and is delivered in partnership with Away A Wee Walk
Refuel for a giant adventure in the cafe, and discover handcrafted ranges made by local artisans in the shop. Find something unique to take home.