Giant’s Causeway #1 National Trust Venue


The visual impact of the Giant’s Causeway and coastline is simply breathtaking.

The Giant’s Causeway has been described as probably the most extensive and curious assemblage of basaltic columns in the world. Many opinions have prevailed concerning the curious combination of pillars in the Giant’s Causeway. When fishermen discovered that a pile of similar pillars was on the opposite coast of Scotland, it was believed they must be connecting the Irish and Scottish coasts together.

The path to the Causeway winds round the upper slopes of Portnabo, passes through the windy gap, on the left the two conical heights called Little Stookan and Great Stookan. The path then passes Portganniay on the other side of which lies the Causeway Proper, extending from Port Offer to Pleaskin Head. The Causeway has three sections with the centre section the most commonly known as the Grand Causeway. This section is probably the most photographed and is known as The Loom, it diminishes in height gradually as it approaches the sea, it enters for some distance beyond low water mark.

The Loom

The cliff path, tourists should should not fail to follow the cliff path round the bays to near Pleaskin Point. It is protected in dangerous parts by railings and one should on no account fail to follow the path to the very end. By doing so a near view of the towering basaltic columns along the whole line of cliffs can be obtained.

The bay called the Giant’s Amphitheatre is certainly the most spectacular and beautiful amphitheatre in the world. Round the upper part runs a row of columns roughly 80 feet high, then comes a broad rounded projection, like an immense bench, for the accommodation of the giant’s guests of Finn McCool. The around this bay rise to a height of 350 feet.

Walking the path at the eastern extremity of Port Noffer are four lofty and massive basaltic columns, known as The Chimney Pots. The winds that scattered the Spanish Armada drove one of the vessels here, after the sailors mistaking The Chimney Pots for the towers of nearby Dunluce Castle. La Girona sailed mistakenly to her grave (October 1588), hence the name Port-Na-Spainia (Bay of the Spaniards). La Girona sailed from Killybegs, hoping to reach the Scottish Coast, where they would be beyond the power of the Lord Deputy of Ireland. Who had put to death every Spanish soldier and sailor whom shipwreck threw into his hands.

We are not told by State papers how much if any, of the treasure the government obtained. The sons of Sorley Boy MacDonnell placed some of the cannon on the fortress of Dunluce Castle. To this day two exceedingly strong iron chests which had been obtained from La Girona are preserved in Glenarm Castle further south on the County Antrim Coast Road.

The cliff path skirting the bay of Port-Na-Spaniagh leads to Port-Ca-Callian. From here you can see an arch in the rocks below called ‘The Giant’s Eyeglass’ also a group of stacks called ‘The King and His Nobles’. But finest of all is the view of Pleaskin Head, which is nearly 400 feet in height and the grandest of all of the promontories as the Giant’s Amphitheatre is of the bays. Further round Port-Na-Pleaskin we reach ‘Hamiltons Seat’ above Horse Shoe Bay on the Benbane Head.

A walk along the Giant’s Causeway cliff top paths offers the following marvellous sights. (1) Port Noffer, with a view of the Giant’s organ. (2) The Amphitheatre, (3) Port-Na-Spaniagh, with the Chimney Pots on the west side. (4) Port-Na-Callian, with the Giant’s Eyeglass, (5) Port-Na-Tober, with the Kings and his Nobles. Then follow Pleaskin Head and beyond it Port-Na-Pleaskin with Horse Shoe Bay or Harbour.

Diamond Chauffeurs Ireland have recently teamed up with Dalriada Kingdom Tours, Mark Rogers and his guides have a worldwide reputation for there story telling, highlighting the best of the Giant’s Causeway and the Causeway’s other major attractions Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge and the magnificent Bushmills Distillery.

This Northern Ireland landmark attracts tourists every year as people want to see the 40,000 interlocking columns on the Causeway Coast. Giant’s Causeway is a natural wonder that has previously named one of the best in the UK and gets it’s name from stories claiming Irish giant Fionn McCool formed it in an attempt to cross the Irish Sea.

Irish Folklore, Myths and Legends : Once upon a time in Ireland, there was a mythological Irish giant called Fionn Mac Cumhaill ( Fionn Mac Cool). One of Ireland’s most prominent mythological characters was Fionn Mac Cool the giant. He got himself into a spot of bother with a bad tempered Scottish giant called Benandonner who had made a claim for the island of Ireland. Enraged with Benandonner claim to Ireland, our giant Fionn starts angrily building a causeway of boulders all the way to Scotland’s Isle of Staffa. Using his causeway to Scotland Fionn could challenge his rival for the fate of Ireland.

In a mythical world where size dictates winners and losers, Fionn quickly realises he has underestimated his rival. Benandonner is a huge opponent and Fionn decides the best way to beat Benandonner is to con him, Fionn’s wife disguises him as a baby. When his rival arrives, he finds Fionn’s wife Sadhbd (Silve) looking after an enormous baby giant. Realising that if Fionn’s baby was that big, Fionn himself must be huge. Benandonner retreats quickly with his tail between his legs tearing up the causeway, severing all ties between Scotland and Ireland. Our giant Fionn MacCool regains the undisputed control over Ireland once more.

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