Ever since seeing the Giant’s Causeway featured on Blue Peter when I was child, I’ve wanted to go. You might think the story of the giant who built his path across the water to Scotland in order to have a fight with his enemy was the part that captured my imagination. In fact it was the sight of this otherworldly landscape, of black hexagonal-shaped columns rising up out of the sea that sparked my curiosity. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t man-made. For years, I’ve had a burning desire to see it, and touch it, for myself, just to be sure.
A couple of days spent touring the Causeway Coast should definitely be on every holiday itinerary when visiting Northern Ireland. There is plenty to take in beyond the legendary causeway itself. Hugging the coastline on the A2, we made the most of the bright blue skies and stopped to explore beaches, temples, castle ruins and market towns. The beaches are so long and wide here that many people drive along them. And the surf is brilliant here too if that’s your thing.
The scenery on this coastal road may be full of drama and beauty but nothing, in my humble opinion, comes close to the magic of the Giant’s Causeway itself. The walk from the visitor centre towards the causeway takes a good 20 minutes downhill on a coastal pathway that obscures the main attraction from view until the final bend. We chose to go with a guide to make the most of the experience. He regaled us with stories of legends and giants and also explained the natural history that created these famous basalt columns formed more than 60 million years ago when molten lava cooled suddenly on contact with water. We had a fair amount of contact with water ourselves as by the time we reached the bend, known as windy gap, we were treated to freezing, horizontal rain driving through a gap in the rocks.
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Ali Ray is as passionate about camping as she is about eating and cooking with locally produced food. You can read more from Ali in Camping & Caravanning and online.