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The Giants Causeway

The Giants Causeway

Giants Causeway

The Giants Causeway is the youngest of rock formations in Ireland. Formed 60 million years ago by volcanic lava flow. It is hard to imagine that 60 million years ago the climate in Ireland was roasting hot. Volcanic lava flowed into a river bed near here. This lava cooled slowly to form Basalt. Basalt plateaus took over 1,000 years to cool and form. It is important to remember that this landmass was connected to another landmass in those days so the lava flowed into a river, the river dries up. Extreme heat penetrates onto the basalt and forces it to crack in angles. Over time with this heat these angles form pentagonal shapes. The first shapes. Millions of years later the great vault line of the planet separates the landmass here and a great divide opens the seas. The sea water further erodes these shapes into columns, 40,000 of these columns. And that is what makes this place so unique. Look out for the shapes that are also formed from the volcanos, locals have many names for these shape: The 2 humped Camel, The Statue of Liberty, The Cathedral, The Eye, The Giants Boot. Enjoy counting the sides on the columns and spotting the volcanic bulbous shapes.

Giants causeway

We are very lucky on this island because sometimes the way the rocks are shaped, the way mountains divide, the way valleys fall or the shapes and form the land takes, inspires great stories and tales. Many of these stories were written down over 1,000 years ago in Irish and only translated into English about 150 years. You understand how geologists explain this place but the real story begins;

1000’s of years ago in a time before man governed the land. A time when the land was governed by great giants…

The heroic warrior Finn McCool, also known as Fionn mac Cumhaill, having grown old and weary decided to settle on the scenic northern Antrim Coast line. He grew bored in his old age and decided to build a stairway/roadway all the way to Scotland. Causeway is an old word for roadway. Upon arriving there, he encountered another giant called Benandonner and having observed the great sight, height and strength of Benandonner resolved to go back quietly to Ireland and live in peace.

Benandonner, however having never seen Finn, heard stories of this famous hero of Ireland called Finn McCool. The young giant was eager to make a name for himself and upon discovery of the Causeway or the stairway to Ireland decided to cross over to make a name for himself and challenge Finn to a great battle.

Benandonner was the largest and mightiest of all the giants and his footsteps could be heard from miles away. It was so loud Finn had to put seaweed into his ears to drown out the thunderous noise.
In panic, Finn turned to his wife Oonagh and said, “Oonagh, what shall we do because this is sure to be the end of me.” Oonagh made a plan and told Finn to build a baby cot. He didn’t fully understand what her plan was but like a good husband said, “yes dear.” In the meanwhile, Oonagh knitted a baby’s bonnet that would fit Finn and told Finn to get into the baby’s cot and make as if he was asleep.

Upon arrival, Benandonner knocked on the door – KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Oonagh opened the door and was taken aback by his great size, but did not show it. Benandonner said, “I am here to challenge Finn McCool to fight with honour to death.” Oonagh casually invited the giant in, who had to stoop down to fit into the small home and sat on two chairs.

Oonagh explained “My husband is down the country busy fishing for the great Salmon of Knowledge but if you would like to come in for water and bread, you can wait until his return”. Benandonner was surprised by the casualness of Oonagh’s attitude, but was nonetheless determined to fight. He stomped around the house. In the corner of his eye he caught sight of the baby. He stood over the cradle and began to think ‘if this is the size of Finn Mac Cools baby, then what does Finn look like.’
Oonagh presented bread and water to Benandonner. She cleverly put an anvil in the bread that she served up to the giant and gave a small piece to the baby Finn who happily ate it. Benandonner bit into his and broke his teeth.

Having realised the baby very casually ate the same bread with no injury to himself, Benandonner thought again. This time he realised that Finn must be by far, the largest giant on all of the islands. He vowed to end his challenge and never return. With that he put a spring in his step, bent his head under the door and ran all the way to the causeway. As he crossed the causeway he pulled up every stone column that made up the stairway, to ensure that Finn would never follow him. He returned back to Scotland destroying the causeway as he walked. This is how Oonagh saved Finn’s life and peace between giants settled on the northern islands.

Giants causeway, day tour

To access the Giants Causeway, you have a choice of walking down to the causeway from the visitors centre (entrance is not included) or you can take the local bus service for an additional one pound. We would recommend you take the scenic walk down and take the minibus back to the visitor’s centre, if you are under time constraints. It takes about 20 minutes to walk down.

Visit the Giants causeway with us!!

Belfast Black Taxi Tour

Belfast Black Taxi

At the end of the Giant’s Causeway, visitors will have an opportunity to visit the wondrous city of Belfast. This city is known for its arts, business, law, higher education, and it is the economic engine of Northern Ireland. However, it also has a troubled past that was brimming with political turmoil. If you want to experience and understand the history of Belfast from its beautiful art to the Troubles, order a Belfast black taxi from the our tour guide on Giant’s Causeway.

The Black Taxi drivers will drive you to every highlighted locations in Belfast, all the while they will explain the history of the Troubles. They will explain why there was so much turmoil, the attacks on nationalist Catholics and loyalist Protestants, and even their own personal experience in these times.

While the driver is explaining to you about the Troubles, they will stop by various significant locations, such as the Peace wall. This wall was built to divide nationalist Catholics from loyalist Protestant ones. Portions of the wall date from the beginning years of the Troubles. Now the peace gates are being opened in certain areas, as an attempt to better relations between the two sides. Once you arrive at the peace wall, make sure to make your mark by signing the wall.

Belfast peace wall, Belfast black taxi tour

The Belfast Black Taxi tour also will get you to the Titanic Museum. This is a truly magical experience by having the museum resurrect the legendary cruise line. Go see the location of where the Titanic was built, and many other historical facts about the titanic. While you are there make sure to get the full Titanic experience by walking along the decks, travel into the ocean where the Titanic rests, and explore the shipyard.

Cranes Belfast black taxi tour

The Black taxi is an amazing resource to have, it allows you to look around belfast in a limited amount of time and take pictures at highlighted regions of the city. They will not only drive you throughout Belfast, but explain all of the conflict they had been through since the 1960’s. If you want to look around Belfast in the given time, order a black taxi tour.

Swaying Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge

Swaying Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge

Brace yourself, pluck up a bit of courage, and get ready for to cross the Carrick a Rede rope bridge! The bridge was originally built back in 1755 to help fishermen cross between the mainland and the island to cast their salmon fishing nets. However, after Ireland’s tourist boom in 1998, the bridge has become a must experience location.

old Photo of Carrick a Rede rope bridge

As your tour guide might inform you, back in 1755, fishermen would have used this bridge to cast their nets out to catch salmon. Fishing was a flourishing industry as fishermen would be able to catch roughly 300 fish per day. It was a long, hard, and strenuous day but it kept food and money in each fishermens household. However, due to pollution and fishing pressure at sea, salmon were being fished less every day. Eventually the last salmon was caught at Carrick-a-Rede in 2002.

Ever since then, the Carrick a Rede bridge has been used for tourism.

The Carrick a Rede rope bridge is an exhilarating walk along the coast of the Atlantic. On one side are farmlands with sheep and cow, while on the other is a 30 meter cliff to the ocean surface. Once you have arrived to the bridge, you will have to traverse across 20 meters of the bridge. You will be able to look down over the rope rails and feel waves crash into the rocky shores below. Take a few quick photos of yourself crossing the rocking bridge.  

Crossing Carrick a Rede rope bridge

After you have crossed the bridge you will see a small island overlooking the vast Atlantic ocean. Explore the small island for clues to where fishermen would have cast their nets, feel the strong ocean winds carry you to the edge of island and take pleasant pictures of the cliffs behind you. If you look carefully enough you will be able to view Rathlin Island, most famously known for its Golden Hares. This hares are found nowhere else in the world, so make sure you pack a pair of binoculars to try and find one of these elusive hares.    

Carrick a Rede island

When you are satisfied, make your way back, but don’t relax just yet because you will have to cross the bridge a second time! Enjoy an afternoon at this historical location during the Giant’s Causeway day tour. And rest up as you make your way to Giant’s Causeway!

Serpentine Trees (The Dark Hedges)

Serpentine Trees (The Dark Hedges)

BUMP!

There goes another pothole, or speed bump? Or maybe we just moved off the road a little bit to allow a car to pass, especially considering how massive our coach is. Either way it was a welcomed change from the cows and sheep grazing on acres of lime green grass, and the occasional biker. But after a single sharp turn on the narrow road hid a gem, the Dark Hedges.

Once you exit the bus, there was nothing but a clear road, fields grass on both ends of the road, and a beautiful overhead tunnel created by the intertwined branches. These rows of beech trees along both sides of the road create a mysterious, yet relaxing atmosphere for both pedestrians and drivers. With a gentle breeze the sound of leaves from the beech tree mimics the sound of a soft ocean wave. The trunks of these mature beech trees sometimes create a low creaking sound, which tingles the senses and envelops the area in a mysterious aura. This mysterious, ominous atmosphere was what caught the attention of the directors of Game of Thrones. Although this road was briefly shown in the award winning HBO series Game of Thrones, it has attracted tens of thousands of fans around the world to this location.

Dark hedges, Giants causeway day tour

The estate is currently privately owned, however these beech trees were planted by the James Stuart and Grace Lynd in the eighteenth century as a way to greet visitors coming to their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House. The estate later was passed to their grandson, William Stuart and has remained in the Stuart family for many years.

Dark Hedges in Winter

Over the centuries, the beech trees have well past their mature age, and are dying or are diseased. Ironically, due to the age of the trees, it adds a creaking sound which enhances the mysterious atmosphere. Preservationist are trying their best to protect and preserve these ancient trees, and they have even started planting new beech trees. However, every year they get closer to falling from old age, disease, storms, and even fellow tourists carving their names on the trees.

Dark Hedges

Giant’s Causeway tour spends a minor 15-20 minutes at the Dark Hedges, but it only took 5 minutes to have the most impactful and memorable impression on this tour. Everyone deserves to get a chance to visit the Dark Hedges before they are all gone. Otherwise, visitors will have to wait another 200 years to see a new generation of beech trees. Help save and preserve these beautiful trees.

 

Did you know?

Ancient Site

Around 50-60 million years ago, it is thought that volcanic activity created step-like columns on the very edge of the Antrim plateau

2014-11-07T13:50:01+00:00
Around 50-60 million years ago, it is thought that volcanic activity created step-like columns on the very edge of the Antrim plateau

Giants Causeway

In 1986 the Giant’s Causeway received major recognition when it was included on the World Heritage list making it Ireland’s first World Heritage site.

2014-11-07T13:57:45+00:00
In 1986 the Giant’s Causeway received major recognition when it was included on the World Heritage list making it Ireland’s first World Heritage site.

Testimonials

“Giants Causeway ”

Really enjoyed the day as the bus was comfortable and their was some electric chargers. Guide was very knowledgeable and had a perfect tone of voice for the bus ride

Trip Advisor October 2018

Cliffs of Moher tour
2014-11-06T15:54:08+00:00

Trip Advisor October 2018

Really enjoyed the day as the bus was comfortable and their was some electric chargers. Guide was very knowledgeable and had a perfect tone of voice for the bus ride

“Giant’s Causeway & Northern Ireland”


Great tour. Long day on bus but driver Barry was informative with Irish folk lore, info about our various stops, etc. Saw the Dark Hedges, Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, Giants Causeway and Dunluce Castle, Rolling Irish glens and wild coastline. Well worth the long bus ride

Trip Advisor Sep 2018

Cliffs of Moher tour
2014-11-06T15:36:05+00:00

Trip Advisor Sep 2018

Great tour. Long day on bus but driver Barry was informative with Irish folk lore, info about our various stops, etc. Saw the Dark Hedges, Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, Giants Causeway and Dunluce Castle, Rolling Irish glens and wild coastline. Well worth the long bus ride

Giant’s Causeway


Our tour guide was very jolly with full of energy during our long hours drive. He was very patient. He deserve an award. Thank you for an amazing experienced.

Trip Advisor Sep 2018

Cliffs of Moher tour
2014-11-12T13:33:12+00:00

Trip Advisor Sep 2018

Our tour guide was very jolly with full of energy during our long hours drive. He was very patient. He deserve an award. Thank you for an amazing experienced.

Welcome

Welcome To The Giants Causeway Day Tour

Our Giants Causeway day trip from Dublin transports you through beautiful countryside to visit some of the most stunning sites in Northern Ireland. See one of Ireland’s 7 Wonders, the Giants Causeway. From the moment you get on our bus, you will get to experience an amazing part of Ireland – learning history, having fun along the way and seeing some of the most dramatic coastlines in Ireland. The Giants Causeway is a very unusual terrain made up of over 40,000 interlocking columns of basalt. It is Ireland’s first World Heritage site. If you like to visit unique landscapes then a visit to the Giants Causeway is not to be missed! We are lucky to have the most knowledgeable and entertaining tour guides. They will keep you informed and entertained throughout the day. You likely will not want to get off the bus at the end of your magical day trip with us. Enjoy the Giants Causeway and surrounding areas and have a look at our other day tours for more magical trips around Ireland.

Giants causeway day trip from Dublin