The Giant’s Causeway is a massive collection of interlocking basalt columns and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland for good reason. Located on the North Atlantic Ocean, these intriguing formations are a result of an ancient volcanic eruption and though access to them is free, parking is anything but! Before you go and pay £10.50 each to enter the facility, check out our suggestions and save yourself some serious money in the process.
What is the Giant’s Causeway?
Countless volcanic basalt columns, most of which stand tall with hexagonal edges, can be found slowly being eroded by the harsh North Irish ocean waves. Disappearing into the ocean, they also rise up to 12 metres high and their undulating formation calls for visitors to explore.
The Causeway was formed 50 to 60 million years ago and as legend would have it, the columns we see today are the remnants of a causeway built by a giant – hence the literal name of the site.
Where to Park to Access the Giant’s Causeway for Less
Ouch – You want how much?
If you’re keen to part with your money, parking is available at the visitor centre for £10.50 per adult (or £9 each if you get organised and book online). This entrance fee includes access to the visitor centre, a guided tour of the site (or audio guide) and of course, parking.
Should you wish to take the shuttle but from the vistior centre down to the Causeway (or back up), you’ll be looking at an additional few pounds each in each direction.
The visitor centre themselves now promote a cheaper alternative…
For visitors who do not wish to avail of the facilities on-site, alternative parking is available during peak season at the Railway car park adjacent to the Causeway (£6 per day), from which visitors can walk to the stones for free.
But we can do one better again!
The Price is Right!
We ducked into Finn McCool’s Hostel where they offer parking for £5/car. It’s easy to see how a car full of adults would be much better off parking here than at the visitor centre (assuming they’re simply wanting access to the cliffs of course)!
Not only is it a little cheaper than the railway but most importantly, it’s open all year round.
We approached the Giant’s Causeway a little unsure as to what to expect. Having visited the basalt columns in Vik, Iceland (and loving them), we couldn’t help but wonder if we’d be greeted with a sense of ‘been there, done’ that but we couldn’t have been more wrong. We had a fantastic morning wandering the beach, admiring Northern Ireland’s stunning natural beauty.
If you find yourself in the area (or even in Dublin as we were), we’d definitely suggest hiring a car and getting yourself out to the cliffs.