Northern Ireland’s first UNESCO Heritage Site, is a geological wonder with awe-inspiring interlocking basalt columns which forms the legendary causeway itself.
Giant’s Causeway is a landscape of dramatic towering cliffs and a coastal area made up of 40,000 basalt columns that poke out of the Irish Sea. It is located along northern Ireland’s famous Causeway Coastal Route, in County Antrim, about 3 miles northeast of the town of Bushmills. It is one of Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions.
Although the Giant’s Causeway is so-named due to an ancient legend, its formation actually began some 60 million years ago when volcanic activity forced tectonic plates to stretch and break, causing magma to spew up from inside the Earth and spill out across the surface as lava. It solidified and contracted as it cooled, creating the long stretch of hexagonal pillar-like rocks that seems to flow up and down along the coast, making for an unforgettable view.
The UNESCO Heritage site have some notable features such as: the Organ and Giant’s Boot structures; reddish, weathered low columns known as Giant’s Eyes; the Shepherd’s Steps; the Honeycomb; the Giant’s Harp; the Chimney Stacks; the Giant’s Gate and the Camel’s Hump. It is also a haven for native sea birds and several rare plants which miraculously survived including; sea spleenwort, hare’s foot trefoil, vernal squill, and sea fescue.