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“Amazing design”

Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Blends in naturally and has lots of interesting things for all ages. There is also a restaurant selling drinks and sweet snacks

Thank PJW82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"the bus"
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"a national trust member"
in 26 reviews
"finn mccool"
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in 23 reviews
"world heritage site"
in 26 reviews
"northern ireland"
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in 24 reviews
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in 33 reviews
"long walk"
in 22 reviews
"information"
in 187 reviews
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Reviewed July 22, 2013 via mobile

Been at least 20 odd years since I was last here an must say really enjoy my second visit even more the views are breath taking an the wee guide gadgets talk you threw are brilliant defo a must so my words to all go you won't be disappointed an maybe you just might hear Finn McCoole whisper in your ear ....

Thank Dianne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

This review relates to the National Trust Visitor Centre only. As was pointed out when I bought the tickets, The Giant's Causeway itself has free admission on foot, or by Translink bus service (not included in the Visitor Centre admission price).

Within the Centre, there were a few exhibits and a children's animation projected on the wall panels, but nothing was of the slightest interest to me as an adult (or my partner as a very young-at-heart adult!). Even the cafe (which is apparently only open to those paying to get into the Centre) was off-limits due to vast numbers of tourists. Much is said about the design of the building; they should have built a bigger cafe and thought up something useful to put inside! Who was it who said that nothing useless can be truly beautiful?

The audio guide included in the price carries a vacuous compilation of folk music and the waffle that preceding generations of guides have made up to mythologise the unusual rocks. I gave up on mine after a couple of tracks.

The Centre does provide toilet facilities, although if you're caught short, you can probably use the ones at the nearby tramway station, for free.

Please do visit the Giant's Causeway and enjoy the walks to take in the unique scenery. But don't expect the Visitor Centre to add anything to your appreciation of the stunning geological phenomenon.

In Australia, a Visitor Centre like this would be free, and that would be appropriate here, considering what you get.

5  Thank pubby127
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 reviewResponded July 22, 2013

Many thanks for your review. I’m sorry you were disappointed with the Visitor Centre interpretation and that none of the 45 interactive exhibits interesting you or your partner. The interpretation took 3 years to develop and is roughly organised into three areas. The first area goes into detail about how the Causeway was formed and features amongst other things 4 short films featuring Professor Iain Stewart. The second area covers stories, images and oral histories from members of the local community who have a connection with the Causeway including John McKay who was a flag boy on the tram that would have brought visitors to the Causeway in the past. The third area looks at the natural life that you may discover during your visit. The children’s animation you mention is actually two different CGI animations – one being the Finn McCool story and one being the geology story of how the Causeway was formed – these play constantly from 9am until 9pm.

I’m sorry that the café was busy when you visited. The café is designed as a grab and go option for you to purchase sandwiches, salads and drinks to enjoy out on the Causeway or on the roof of the Centre or at one of our dedicated picnic areas (especially during this rare 'Summer' weather!). The Causeway Hotel, also on site, is more suitable for our visitors to relax and take time over their lunch.

I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy our audio guide. Voiced by award-winning local actor Conleth Hill (currently starring in Game of Thrones) we feel it adds to the visitor experience out at the Causeway itself but I guess we can’t please everybody. The audio guide is available in 9 languages and we also have an audio guide for our visually impaired visitors so they can experience the Giant’s Causeway too. At the moment we have a main adult tour and a family tour and currently in development is a pure geology tour due for release in the near future. Perhaps if you ever return you might enjoy that more.

Again I’m sorry that you were left disappointed from your visit. As well as parking, visitor centre facilities, interpretation and use of an audio guide, the visitor experience charge also includes an on the hour (or half hour in peak times) guided walk with one of our Rangers. Again you may have enjoyed that more. Before we opened the Centre just over a year ago we compared our visitor experience charge with similar attractions (for example other World Heritage Sites) and feel that it is good value for money. All monies collected on site go back into looking after Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

We visited some years ago and whilst is was chaotic it all flowed and we enjoyed the experience. The new visitors center has now made it a tourist rip off! Each car was stopped in the car park telling people what was now going on. Even though you don't need to pay to get to Causeway you now pay a single fee for the Parking, centre and audio visual. Signage for visitors centre was not good. In theory if you need the toilets you need to pay to get into the centre. Total confusion when you try and get back into the centre, they ask if you have a ticket but no signs to show you which way to go. I dread to think how it will cope come the peak season! The Audio visual was very "twee". The plus point was the careful design of the new centre, you hardly notice that it exists.

2  Thank MarkMo
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 reviewResponded July 22, 2013

Thanks for your review. I’m sorry that you feel our visitor experience is a ‘tourist rip of’. As you quite rightly stated our visitor experience charge covers parking and entrance to the Centre which houses an interactive interpretation area explaining the shaping and formation of the Causeway, stories about the local people that used to live and work in and around the Causeway plus the natural life that you may discover during your visit. The charge also covers a guided walk led by one of our Rangers (running every half hour in peak times) and/or a handheld audio guide available in 9 languages. Before the Centre opened at the start of July last year we compared our visitor experience charge with similar attractions (for example other World Heritage Sites) and feel that it is good value for money. There are toilets situated at the side of the Centre for those who have parked off-site and who wish not to avail of the visitor experience charge. We have listened to visitor feedback and are currently undergoing a signage review so these toilets and other facilities will be signposted more clearly in the future. Apologies that the signage was unclear for you during your visit. We are currently in the middle of our peak season and since the beginning of July 2012, when we opened the Centre, have welcomed over 782,000 visitors from 173 countries so we’re coping well. Thanks again for your review.

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Reviewed July 18, 2013

See the Causeway, not the visitors centre. Recent changes make it expensive. Park elsewhere and walk!

4  Thank Jbcase01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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