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“Awe inspiring” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Giant's Causeway

Giant's Causeway
44 Causeway Road | Bushmills, Bushmills BT57 8SU, Northern Ireland
44 28 2073 1855
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Ranked #3 of 10 attractions in Bushmills
Type: Geologic Formations, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Historic Sites
Activities: Hiking
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Northern Ireland's most popular tourist destination: this large stretch of staircase-shaped rocks is the result of cooled lava from volcanic eruptions that took place over 65 million years ago.
Mount Vernon, Iowa
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Awe inspiring”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

Although the walk back is difficult for some, (there are charter style buses to take you back if need be) the formations are amazing! What a wonderful work of nature.

Visited May 2013
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NJ
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
38 attraction reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Controversial showcasing of a natural wonder”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

This is a premier World Heritage Site, near the top of the global list. For that alone it deserves to be visited, preferably on a fine breezy summer day when temperatures are below 75F, because the natural amphitheater that surrounds the centerpiece Grand Causeway can trap and magnify the heat. Winter provides a different experience that fewer will like unless they can thole cold, windy and wet conditions. Visitors may chose between cliff top paths that provide distant but spectacular overlooks, and steps that descend steep slopes to reach the main rock features or a well-paved longer and gentler incline that can be walked or traversed by bus (for a one pound adult fare). I've been here a couple of dozen times in the last 50 years, often with visitors from abroad and few go away unimpressed. However, the recent history of the Causeway is contentious, mostly because of the way it is being managed by the National Trust and also because of the roles of local pro- and anti- development interests. Nearby residents who came here for free and preferred the place without institutional oversight are resentful about the hefty prices that are charged for parking onsite, especially when they used to be frequent visitors. Others are distressed by the emphasis on rustic mythology in the new Interpretive Center's exhibits (and especially its souvenirs) when there is a (more?) important story to be told about the Causeway's role in scientific understanding of the Earth and the struggles among different interpreters - some of which are still going on. Still others view the Trust as a bulwark against rampant commercialism such as they fear will occur when a big chunk of bucolic land next door is converted into a hotel and golf complex. Opinions about the Center's design are also divided with some seeing it as a postmodern scar and others a praiseworthy example of "green" building. Most people seem to like the interior space there although eating facilities can be overwhelmed on a busy day. Yes, there are ways to avoid paying the 8 pounds per person parking fee on site, such as riding the shuttle bus from nearby Bushmills, leaving the car in a cheaper lot beside the Causeway railway station downhill from the entrance, and being dropped off by friends; those who choose not to use the Center can simply walk past it for free to the main attractions beyond. The ethics of doing so are complicated and you will have to decide for yourself. Its a popular place. On a good weather day expect to see buses and cars from mainland Europe as well as local ones. There are also many visitors from further afield including, the last time I was there, North America, Japan, China and New Zealand. You might also spare some time for two adjacent but separate attractions - the Causeway School and the Causeway to Portballintrae railway. The first houses a role playing recreation of schooling a century ago and the second resuscitates some of a historic railway that used to carry passengers to the Causeway hotel (now itself part of the National Trust site). But the stones are the centerpiece of this place and well worth the visit, even if only to sit in the so-called Wishing Chair and contemplate the scene.

Visited July 2013
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
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63 reviews 63 reviews
39 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
“Free - just avoid the visitor centre.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

We've always wanted to visit the Giant's Causeway, and when we were in Northern Ireland recently, we decided to go. The rock formations are so impressive, really interesting and well worth a visit. However, it wasn't until we had paid the entrance fee at the visitor centre and were in the vicinity of the rocks that we learned that we didn't have to pay the £8.50 per adult to see the area. This fee is for the visitor centre only, and is not pointed out at all in any way. You can access the formations for free. We felt really, really ripped off. £17.00 to visit a centre which has little in the way of information is a shocking way to treat people.

Seriously, if you want to look at the beautiful formations of basalt, park further down the road (not in the National Trust car park) and walk up over the visitor centre to pick up the route to the stones. You will walk the same route as those of us who were skinned for £8.50.

There is no sign telling visitors that the fee is for the centre only, and that the stones are free. No member of staff is willing to let you know this; indeed it seems that they are trying to lead you into thinking that you have to pay to see the area. National Trust, you should be ashamed of yourselves, this is nothing more than blindly ripping people off. Some people will be put off from seeing a fabulous sight, because of the extortionate, and unnecessary "entrance price" which seems compulsory if you want to visit.

Don't pay - go over the top, and see the magnificent stones for free! If you need to use bathroom facilities, use one of the pubs nearby (walking distance), after all I'm certain it wouldn't cost you £8.50 for a drink so that you can use the bathroom.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns, Australia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“what an amazing place.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

there was a bit of a walk or you could catch a bus. the walk was worth it if you are able. Spectacular place . I am afraid it seems to be getting eroded by people climbing over it, yet at the same time it was pretty special to walk amongst it and really see the rock formations . Not sure how you would get the balance. there are audio guides which point out many of the features and how it was formed, or you could just take it all in yourself. well worth the trip.

Visited July 2013
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Oxford
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Iconic attraction but take your walking boots”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

Great National Trust attraction. Unique. Some of the best views are only available with a good walk so go prepared and allow enough time. The fee is worth it for the maintenance of the site for future generations

Visited July 2013
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