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“Stunning looking new visitors centre, but apart from a cafe, souvenir shop and small eduction centre is that it?”

Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre
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$26.07*
and up
Giant’s Causeway Day Trip from Belfast
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Stunning looking new visitors centre, but apart from a cafe, souvenir shop and small eduction centre is that it?”
Reviewed February 3, 2013 via mobile

Love the architecture of the new visitors centre. Very cleverly disguised and tying in the local themes and blending into background.

As for the inside, maybe I'm being ungrateful but there's not a whole lot there. I'm glad I'm a national trust member as if we had to pay I'd be rather annoyed.

It seems strange that to go the the cafe you have to get an admission ticket?

Maybe they just don't want people to know that you can just bypass the centre and go on down to the rocks for free.

I don't know if I agree with spending £18million, and the number of staff it takes to run the centre, but I'll keep an open mind and say its ok! To survive and be a 'go-to' attraction I think more content will be needed.

Helpful?
Thank petelonton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GCausewayNT, Web Editor at Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre, responded to this review, March 10, 2013
Petelonton: Thanks for taking the time to submit a review! By tying our amenities into a Visitor Experience we had hoped not to be exclusive, but did not want to monopolise either. There are other eating and shopping options in the Causeway vicinity i.e the Causeway Hotel, the Nook bar and restaurant and McConaghy’s giftshop. However, suffice to say the management are aware of concerns such as yours. Ironically, since the National Trust took over the management of the Causeway in 1961 we have always allowed free access to the stones – it was not the case prior to this. It should also be noted that it takes a large body of staff to deliver exceptional customer service – which we strive to do every day. Also, the National Trust is the largest employer along the North Antrim Coast. Thanks once again for taking the time to review the centre... we're glad you appreciated the ingenuity of the architecture :)
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The Hague, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
52 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“National Trust's New Visitor Centre: FAIL”
Reviewed February 2, 2013

I'm a big fan and supporter of the National Trust. I lived in the UK for almost 10 years, was a member and visited many lovely properties however I feel like my recent trip to the Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre has left a bad taste in my mouth!

Having visited the Giant's Causeway a few years ago (before the new centre) and loved it, I was in Northern Ireland visiting family during the last weekend in January 2013. We decided to go up to the Giant's Causeway to see the new centre on the Sunday morning to have a cup of tea and visit the gift shop. We only planned a quick visit and wanted to support the National Trust by giving them our money at the cafe and shop instead of going to the hotel or the pub in the same area. As it was a wintery Sunday morning there was no one in the centre except the staff. We were told on arrival that it was £8.50 each to 'enjoy the experience'. Pardon me??? We just wanted a cup of tea and to spend some money in the gift shop but they wanted us to pay to get inside! I couldn't believe it. This is an organisation that I've gladly supported. Their decision on how to run the new centre is a real shame. They might have some luck with tourists but the locals aren't going to pay to drop in for a cup of tea.

So, we went next door to the wonderful pub The Nook. Had a mid morning snack and tea, enjoyed the friendly service and the view. I'll be back to the area but won't be paying to 'enjoy the experience'!

My advice for the National Trust... I realize that you can't charge for people to visit the actually causeway so you are trying to get back the money spent on the new visitor centre in any way you can. Please rethink this decision. Charge for the audio guide and any exhibits you have. Charge for the bus and even for parking if you must. But don't charge people to 'enjoy the experience'! Let people come into the cafe and the shop to spend their money. I probably would of spent far more than the entrance fee at the shop alone but I was never given the chance. Shame.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank MsOnHoliday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GCausewayNT, Web Editor at Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre, responded to this review, March 10, 2013
MsOnHoliday: It’s always disappointing to hear that the Giant’s Causeway does not exceed the expectations of our visitors. We appreciate that you would have enjoyed looking around our shop and having tea in the café without paying the Visitor Experience charge. These views have been brought to the attention to the management. It should be noted that twice a year we hold free community open days with access to the centre free of charge for the purpose you describe - shopping and sampling fayre in the cafe. It is also worth noting that (rather ironically) before the National Trust took over management of the Giant’s Causeway in 1961, visitors were charged to visit the stones - they aren’t nowadays. We are sorry you did not enjoy your visit here as fully as you might… but hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip to Ireland.
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various
Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Expensive for what it is but some interesting features”
Reviewed January 25, 2013

If you are not a National Trust member (in which case it is free) this is an expensive deal and you even have to pay to get into the centre in order to buy something in their shop or cafe ! ! That said it is worth visiting the Centre with children as they have some fun activities and a cartoon;.They also have local jewellry on sale, plus photos and prints and clothes. Staff are very helpful and friendly. You don't have to go to the centre in order to walk down to the giants causeway, just go through the car park (which is also very pricey at busy times) - a more stylish way to get there in spring or summer is to park in nearby Bushmills, have a coffee in one of the lovely tea rooms on the Diamond, and get the tiny train which goes along the coast. Or even better park in Portballintrae and walk over the river Bush bridge and along the beach and around the coast to the Causeway and the Centre - takes about an hour around the headland or 30 mins if you follow the railway track behind the dunes

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Danny S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GCausewayNT, Web Editor at Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre, responded to this review, March 10, 2013
Danny S: Thanks for taking the time to review your experience of the Giant's Causeway. The National Trust as much as possible encourages visitors to explore alternative ways of approaching the site, particularly if they have reservations about paying the Visitor Experience charge, and in order to ease congestion in the area which would quickly overwhelm the local road infrastructure. The summer railway journey from Bushmills is splendid! Thanks for highlighting this in your review :)
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Wrexham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“National trust doing what they do well”
Reviewed January 16, 2013

went to the giants causeway in january 2013 as always been on the list of places to see and it doesn't disappoint. the causeway itself needs few words as its a great natural site but the visitor ccentre and all round professionalism and service from the staff was great adds to the visit. the centre has lots of descriptions and interactive exhibits and the audio tour is also useful. good job done by the national trust in helping preserve the site.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank ronniemarks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GCausewayNT, Web Editor at Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre, responded to this review, March 10, 2013
ronniemarks: Thanks for taking the time to post a review. Glad you had a positive experience :)
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Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Visit to causeway”
Reviewed January 13, 2013

My daughter took her two American friends on a trip to the Causeway today. I told her that she could walk down to the Causeway without paying the charge for the visitor centre. She and her friends were approached by employees from the centre and she was told that they had to pay the entrance fee to go down to the Causeway. The employees were rather insistent so my daughter ended up paying for 3 tickets they did not want.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Contented303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GCausewayNT, Web Editor at Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
Contented303: If your daughter and her and her friends arrived to the Giant’s Causeway site and availed of the parking, the staff have assumed that they were their to partake of the ‘Visitor Experience’ (access to the centre with eating and shopping options, a guided or audio tour of the site, access to the interpretation area and of course, parking) and advised accordingly. Our staff receives regular training on the tenets of good customer service and most have completed the World Host program. I trust that they would have explained the various options, with regards charges and parking, to your daughter and her friends at the time. We have repeatedly strived to make clear our policy – visiting the stones is free so long as you make other travel arrangements. We can only accommodate a limited amount of cars, and as the National Trust rent the carpark at the Causeway from the local council, we do require revenue to cover that cost. Hence, visitors supporting the National Trust must take precedence when it comes to allocating carparking. Thank you very much for taking the time to submit your review – since you awarded the experience 3 stars, I hope that there were some elements of the visit that your daughter and her friends enjoyed. :)
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