Once upon a time, there was a giant in Northern Ireland. He was 54 feet tall and was called Fionn macCumhaill or Finn McCool. He lived happily on the Antrim coast with his wife Oonagh until he discovered that he had a rival in Scotland known as Benandonner. Finn challenged the other giant for a proper fight & decided to build a causeway of enormous stepping stones across the sea to Scotland. This same causeway is known today as the Giant’s Causeway. Renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt, the Giant’s Causeway is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. Look out for clues of the giant’s existence – including The Giant’s Boot and Wishing Chair.
Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, this is the focal point of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has attracted visitors for centuries. It harbours a wealth of local and natural history. Sea birds can be seen off the coast around the Causeway, with species such as fulmar, petrel and razorbill being frequently observed alongside rare and unusual plant species on the cliffs and nearby rock formations.
Rising and blending into the landscape, with walls of glass, basalt columns and a state of the art interior designed by award winning architects Heneghan-Peng, The Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre is truly innovative. The grass roof offers 360 degree views of the Causeway coastline. Explore the interactive spaces, watch Finn McCool on the big screen and unlock the secrets of this inspirational landscape.
There are four stunning trails at the Giant’s Causeway suited to every ability, from a pram friendly jaunt to a challenging coastal hike and in addition, a new accessible cliff top walk for families and people with disabilities. The area is suitable for picnics, cliff and country walks.
Another wonder worth exploring in Ireland are the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. The Cliffs are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction with a magical vista that captures the hearts of one million visitors every year and are a Signature Discovery Point in the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way. They stretch for 8km (5miles), as the crow flies, along the Atlantic coast of County Clare in the west of Ireland and reach 214m (702 feet) at their highest point at Knockardakin just north of O’Brien’s Tower. Here you can have a world class, one in a million visitor experience.
At the southern end of the Cliffs of Moher stands Hags Head, a natural rocky promontory that resembles a seated woman when viewed from the north. In the ancient Gaelic language, the word Mothar means “ruined fort” and a 1st century BC fort stood where Moher tower now stands. Therefore the Cliffs of Moher means the cliffs of the ruined fort and although there is no trace remaining of this two thousand year old fort it has given name to the cliffs which are visited annually by almost one million visitors. The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience is located almost midway along these spectacular cliffs and the site is home to an environmentally friendly visitor centre set into the hillside, O’Brien’s Tower – a 19th century viewing tower, and 800 metres of protected cliff side pathways, viewing areas and steps.
Ireland is a wonderland. It is known for many things: for St Patrick’s Day and four-leaf clover; for Guinness and for its almost mythical natural beauty; for the string of deep-blue Lakes of Killarney, for the serene, lovely Connemara Mountains and for the mystic beauty of the limestone desert called the Burren, and the many hues of green in the Glens of Antrim. Ireland has been called the `Emerald Isle’- and with good reason too. Immortalized in poetry and prose, in painting and in tourist literature too, Ireland, with its historic cities and the legendary warmth and hospitality of its people is an alluring destination. It's said that Ireland, once visited, is never forgotten. Visit Ireland and you’ll realise that this adage rings true. Have you planned your Ireland escapade yet?
Team Veena World