The Giants Causeway


Picture of the Giants Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland

A useful guide to The Giants Causeway, an amazing world heritage site in Northern Ireland. Discover the myths and legends as well as the science behind this unique rock formation.

Find out about the legend of Finn McCool, the giant from Irish mythology who is said to have built these 'stepping stones' from Ireland to Scotland to visit his enemy, the giant Benandonner.

What is the scientific explanation for this awesome rock formation which is made up of over forty thousand basalt columns? Why are the rocks shaped like hexagons?

Travelling in Ireland - Index


Where is The Giants Causeway? - Location
The Giants Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland is a must see for any visitor to Ireland. Although situated in Northern Ireland, any visitor to the Republic or South should make every effort to visit this unique and stunning world heritage site. The Causeway coastal route is well signposted from both the cities of Belfast and Derry, nearby airports include City of Derry Airport and both of Belfast's airports, George Best and the International airport. The causeway is also accessible from Dublin airport, follow the road signs for Belfast and Derry, ensure you inform your car hire company of your intentions to travel from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland as despite the lack of obvious borders these are in fact two separate countries with their own currency and road laws. Make sure you keep an eye on the road signs and know whether the speed limit is in miles per hour (Northern Ireland) and kilometres per hour (Republic of Ireland).

The Giants Causeway - Myths & Legend
There are many myths and legends associated with Ireland but the giant Finn McCool and his footbridge has to be one of the most famous! Legend tells us that the giant Finn McCool built a footbridge (the causeway) to Scotland to have an argument with his enemy, the giant Benandonner who lived there. When Finn arrived in Scotland he was amazed at the size of Benandonner and fled home as fast as he could across the causeway. Unfortunately Benandonner chased Finn back to Ireland! A bit of quick thinking on the part of Finns wife Una saved Finn, she quickly gave Finn some clothes to change into and told him to go into the bedroom and pretend to be a baby. When the giant Benandonner arrived at Finn McCool's door, Una invited him in for tea! On hearing a noise in the bedroom, Benandonner demanded to see who was in there! Una opened the door and Benandonner saw Finn lying on the bed dressed as a baby. Shocked at the size of the baby, Benandonner fled back to Scotland destroying most of the causeway or footbridge as he went, he was so scared of the potential size of Finn McCool after seeing the size of his baby!

The Giants Causeway - Facts

Giants Causeway Facts - 1: The Giants Causeway was designated a world heritage site in 1985

Giants Causeway Facts - 2: The legend of the Irish giant Finn McCool and the Scottish giant Benandonner and their footpath between Ireland and Scotland is famous worldwide

Giants Causeway Facts - 3: There are over 40000 interlocking rock columns in the giants causeway

Giants Causeway Facts - 4: The giants causeway divided by  into the Little Causeway, the Middle or "Honeycomb Causeway" and the Grand Causeway.

Giants Causeway Facts - 5: The rocks which form the causeway are all hexagon shaped
Giants Causeway Facts - 6: Other rock formations which make up part of the myths and legends of the causeway include the Camel (Humphrey), The Wishing Chair, The Giants boot and the organ
Giants Causeway Facts - 7: In Gaelic, the causeway is called 'Clochán an Aifir' or 'Clochán na bhFomhórach'
Giants Causeway Facts - 8: The majority of the rock columns which make up the causeway are hexagonal in shape, however there are some rocks which have four, five, seven or eight sides
Giants Causeway Facts - 9: The Irish giant Finn McCool is known as 'Fionn mac Cumhaill' in Gaelic
Giants Facts - 10: The bishop of Derry is said to have discovered the strange rock formations which make up the causeway in 1692
Giants Facts - 11: The hexagonal rocks were formed by volcanic activity in the area
Giants Facts - 12: The hexagonal shape of the rocks is a result of extremely fast cooling causing the crystallization of the rocks, it is thought this occurs when molten lava comes into contact with water
Giants Facts - 13: The giants causeway has examples of lower, middle and upper basalt rock, the causeway rocks are examples of middle basalt rock
Giants Facts - 14: The state of the art visitors centre at the giants causeway is constructed with 186 basalt columns which are from local quarries
Giants Facts - 15: The Giants causeway is owned by the National Trust and enjoyed by thousands of tourists everyday, apart from the stone columns there are a number of walks for tourists to enjoy and the area is also home to a varied population of wildlife including some rare birds

The Giants Causeway - Rock
The picture below taken at the giants causeways clearly shows the presence of Aluminium Oxide in the basalt rock. Basalt rock is the result of volcanic activity and is formed by the rapid cooling of lava.

Example of Rock from the Giants Causeway

The Giants Causeway - Pictures

The Giants Causeway - Image  - Copyright www.theemeraldisle.org

The Giants Causeway - Heritage Site in County Antrim, Northern Ireland


Picture taken at the Giants Causeway in Ireland | Copyright www.theemeraldisle.org

Picture of The Antrim Coastline in Northern Ireland


The Giants Causeway

The Giants Causeway

  • Giants Causeway - Myths and Legends!

  • Mystery behind the shape of the rocks and stones!

  • Pictures of The Giants Causeway

  • Fun and Interesting facts about this amazing rock formation

Picture of the Giants Causeway basalt rock colums  in County Antrim


The Giants Causeway - Pictures and Videos
Discover the vast selection of pictures on this site all produced in order to help you plan your perfect vacation in Ireland. Whether you are visiting family friends or simply wish to trace your family roots and see the birthplace of your ancestors, Ireland has something for everyone! The videos enable fast access to the images and pictures of the Giants Causeway together with information and many useful facts to aid you with planning your trip to Ireland. All of the articles and pages can be accessed via the about Ireland Index - a useful resource for everyone!


The Giants Causeway - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Giant - Legend - Finn McCool - Geological - Volcanic - Stones - Columns - Rocks - Vacation - Visitor - Tour - Tourist - Fionn McCool - Irishche - Where is the Giants Causeway? - What is the Giants Causeway? - Cause Way - Ireland

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