Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre
As a certified UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s important that the Giant's Causeway has a state-of-the-art visitor centre. And what’s that we hear? In 2012, the Causeway will finally get a visitor centre of equal greatness to the natural wonder itself and the occasion won’t go by without a good chunk of celebrating. Among the righteously cool new additions are the architectural awesomeness of the visitor centre, are astounding walking trails as well as fact-packed information points and on-site orientation. To pique your interest even more, there will be a ‘giant’ art installation, 'Flags', by German artist Hans Peter Kuhn. This project, commissioned by the London 2012 Festival with partnership funding from Northern Ireland Tourist Board, will stretch along the length of the bay of Port Noffer and draw on the natural power of the elements. Excited? Big time!
‘Wow, that looks incredible. How did that happen?’ It was likely molten lava, cooled into some 40,000 hexagonals of dark stone steps, according to the experts. Well, we’re not scientists but we do like a good story. All this means that we choose to believe that the basalt columns, some at 36 feet high, are the work of a giant. Possibly the tallest tale of them all tells how giant Finn McCool built the Causeway as a road from Ireland to Scotland where he was to fight his rival, Benandonner! Yes, definitely more fun than science.
New Visitor Centre
Oh yes, this is the big one - the £18.5 million Giants Causeway Visitor Centre is looking like a bit of a gem. The eco-friendly centre’s roof is covered in grass in a bit of a design coup. Inside the gorgeous grassy shell you’ll find a grab and go style cafe where you can pick up a few tasty refreshments after you’ve finished exploring the geometrically delightful hexagonal columns and snapping shots of you looking thoughtfully out to the North Sea. You can bet there'll be souvenirs-leave room in your suitcase for chocolate giants!
The Causeway Coast
As well as a lesson in landscape appreciation, this stretch of coastline makes for a cool history lesson. You see Bushmills Distillery? It’s the oldest distillery in Ireland and housed Allied soldiers during WWII. That castle on the cliff there? It’s Dunluce, once the seat of the Earl of Antrim, and abandoned when the kitchen fell into the sea. It even graced a Led Zeppelin album. The grand Mussenden Temple is the result of someone who actually went to Rome and did as the Romans do – in this case, build a Roman-inspired temple. Take in all these treasures and footnotes in history on a five day tour of the Causeway Coast.