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My Ireland

Looking for inspiration? Planning a trip? Or just want to scroll yourself happy? We'll show you an Ireland that's tailor-made for you.

  • #Landscapes
  • #CultureandHeritage
  • #OutdoorActivities
  • #Landmarks
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    Giant's Causeway in a beautiful summer day, Northern Ireland. ⒸShutterstock Giant's Causeway in a beautiful summer day, Northern Ireland. ⒸShutterstock

    Following in giant footsteps

    The Giant’s Causeway has a giant reputation. Walk this way...

    The Giant’s Causeway, a curious assembly of 40,000 basalt columns of cooled molten lava on the north Antrim coast, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of TripAdvisor’s 10 most dramatic landscapes on the planet. It’s also the scene of some of Ireland’s most exciting walking trails and paths, with everything from moderate strolls to demanding hikes.

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    The Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim Ⓒ Shutterstock

    From the clifftops, this geological wonder suddenly seems smaller than the shadow it casts in heritage and culture. Up here, north Antrim unfolds at your feet, huge swells roll in from the Atlantic, and pockets of sunshine highlight the changing blues and greens of the coastal waters.

    It’s one of the island’s most stunning panoramas, with the Scottish island of Islay, Rathlin Island’s chalky-white cliffs and the Mull of Kintyre at the tip of the Kintyre peninsula in Scotland all stretching out before you. Edged by the foaming Atlantic, sheer cliffs, dramatic views, hundreds of species of floral and fauna have turned this tip of the island into a walker's paradise.

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    The Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim

    Taking the first step

    “My walkers are stunned by the beauty of it”, says Sean Mullan, director of Walking And Talking in Ireland of the route from Ballintoy to the Giant’s Causeway. “There are so many special sights on the way, and walking it is the most impressive part.”

    Mark Rodgers of Dalriada Kingdom Tours is heir to a family tradition of guiding walking tours of the Causeway and laces his narrative with local history. His wife's grandfather, Alex Purdy, was "the very first man on the Causeway to ride a pony and trap on the Rodden track to guide the folk down to see the stones. He spoke of the caretaker, fortune tellers, a fiddler and ice cream sellers."

    There are four recently upgraded and signposted walking trails around the Causeway, one for every ability. The coastal path extends 18km reaching out to another gem: the vertigo-inducing Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.

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    Causeway Cliffs, County Antrim

    The biggie is the Causeway Coast Way: the full coastal path from Portstewart Strand to Ballycastle, via the Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. The 53km stretch covers wide bays, sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs and even golf courses. It’s a two-to-three day walk and is a great way to see some of the coastline’s biggest sights on foot.

    But if you don’t have the time to embark on a long walking trail, don’t worry – there are plenty of smaller options that are just as dramatic. Try the Red Trail at the Giant’s Causeway – it’s a moderate walk of around 1.2km to 3.2km that offers stunning views of the Giant’s Causeway from the clifftops above it.