There are few things as beautiful as the coastline in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The big waves and rocky shores create some exquisite scenery. The coastlines are one of the many things that we absolutely love about Ireland.
Mother Nature’s finest work is so beautiful that it is hard to put into words. Even pictures don’t seem to do these places justice when you look back at them. These are places you have to see in person to truly appreciate.
All of this is especially true of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. It is some of the most unique and beautiful coastlines in the world, and one of our favorite places in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Over 40,000 unique basalt columns, created by an ancient volcano, extend from the ground like a giant jigsaw puzzle. It is an amazing sight to behold.
The tops of the columns form unique hexagonal stepping stones, the highest of which is almost 39 feet tall, that shoot from the ground. They lock together in a tightly formed pattern that extends from the inland shores to the sea, where they disappear underneath the rolling waves. They are perfect for kids playing “can’t touch the ground” and photographers looking for some beautiful shots with unique and incredible texture.
How to Get There
The Giant’s Causeway is located on the northern coast of Northern Ireland, about 3 miles from the town of Bushmills and about 8 miles from the town of Portrush. It is in very close proximity to the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, which we highlighted for you in a previous article. If you are going to visit the area, we would definitely recommend visiting both.
Best Time to Visit
Northern Ireland is an amazing place to visit year-round, but like most other places in this world, certain times of the year are better than others. In order to assist you in determining which time of year would be best for you to make your visit, I have outlined several weather and tourism factors below to help you make an informed decision.
While Northern Ireland is blessed in that the temperature typically doesn’t get too hot or too cold for comfort, the temperature does fluctuate throughout the year. In fact, throughout much of the year the temperature seems to hover right on the threshold of being too cold to not have a jacket, but too warm to wear it. To give you a better idea of what kind of whether you can expect on your trip, I have included a chart below that outlines the average high and low temperatures throughout the year.
As you can see by the chart below, Northern Ireland tends to get quite a bit of rain throughout the year. This is especially true along the coastline. If you are looking to avoid the rain, I would suggest targeting the late spring months of April and May as they tend to see the lowest amount of rain during the year.
Number of Visitors (International Tourists)
Northern Ireland tends to get a fairly steady stream of tourists from the rest of the UK and elsewhere in Europe throughout the year, but it sees the number of tourists from North America and elsewhere around the world steadily grow throughout the spring into summer. The peak tourist months for Northern Ireland are undoubtedly the summer months of July and August. If you are looking to avoid the crowds, I would suggest you look at visiting sometime between November and March.
Where to Stay
There are quite a few tourist attractions bunched up into one small area on the Northern coast of Northern Ireland so I would recommend staying somewhere in that area to be close to all of the sights. To assist you in finding the right accommodations for you, I have included a list of recommended hotels and other accommodations and different price points for you to review below.
|Causeway Tavern B & B ($)|
|Lisnagalt Lodge ($)|
|Maghernahar House B&B ($$)|
|Carnalbanagh House ($$)|
|The Royal Court Hotel ($$$)|
|The Armada Inn ($$$)|
|Crockatinney Cottages ($$$)|
|Bayview Hotel ($$$$)|
|The Bushmills Inn Hotel ($$$$)|
|California Lodge ($$$$$)|
Where to Eat
After you have spent an afternoon exploring the Giant’s Causeway and the surrounding area, you are going to want to find a good place to eat. The following restaurants are the most recommended restaurants in the area on TripAdvisor.
|Tartine Restaurant||Irish, European, British||$$ – $$$|
|The French Rooms||European, Vegetarian Friendly||$$ – $$$|
|The Red Door Tea Room||Irish, Vegetarian Friendly||$$ – $$$|
|Causeway Hotel Restaurant||Irish, Bar, European||$$ – $$$|
|Roark’s Kitchen||Dessert, Irish, Cafe||$|
Other Things to See in the Area
In addition to the Giant’s Causeway, there are a number of other popular tourist attractions in the area that you can see. If you are looking for some additional things to do, I have included a list of additional stops that I recommend below.
Visiting the Giant’s Causeway
To give you a better sense of what the Giant’s Causeway is like, we have put together a short video of our visit below. It is such an amazing place that even a video doesn’t do it justice. You have to visit to fully appreciate this natural wonder.
Below are some of the pictures that we took at the Giant’s Causeway. Our only regret is not scheduling more time to get some really great sunrise or sunset shots. We would definitely recommend planning your visit around sunrise or sunset if you have the opportunity.
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