I have had a lifelong fascination with the Giant’s Causeway and my husband wanted to either play or walk the Royal Portrush golf course. Combining both interests, we took an overnight flight to Dublin where we picked up our rental car (due to the limited options for ground transportation) and drove 2-1/2 hours north to the village Bushmills, located in close proximity to the Causeway and golf course. Due to the early morning arrival of our flight we reached The Bushmills Inn well before noon and decided to check our luggage before driving to the Giant’s Causeway.
The 40 to 50 million year old Causeway runs approximately 4 miles along the coast of Northern Ireland consisting of almost 40,000 stone pillars are made up of five to seven irregular sides. The pillars are the result of lava layers flowing towards the sea and cooling. The resulting layers of basalt formed the columns and the pressure between each column shaped them into polygonal shapes which appear to be pushing up through the earth’s surface, straining to break free.
According to one Irish folk legend, the Causeway was built by the Irish giant, Fionn mac Cumhaill when he was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner. After accepting the fight, Cumhaill built the Causeway across the North Channel so that the two giants could meet. One version of the legend has Fionn’s wife disguising her giant of a husband as a baby tucked into a cradle in order to cause Benandonner to fear the size of the father of the child. In this version, Benandonner returns to Scotland, destroying the causeway so that Fionn would not be able to chase him down. Interestingly, identical basalt columns may be found on the Scottish isle of Staffa which may have influenced this version of the folk tale.
Today, the Causeway is reached through its informative visitor center and gift shop. The National Trust property also provides guided walks to the Causeway. I would recommend booking your tour with the visitor center in advance as, depending upon the time year, the tours may be full. Upon returning to the inn we were able to get settled into our room before enjoying the traditional Irish food at the Bushmills Inn.
Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.