Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Gorgeous coastal hike at Giant's Causeway

You may have missed yesterday's post because we were late posting it. You can read it here...

And why were we late posting it? Because we wanted to get out to do a long hike and the weather in the morning looked much better than the weather in the afternoon!

So we got up and on the road early again and drove from Derry to the north coast near Giant's Causeway.

On the road at 6:50am!

We are in Northern Ireland, so lots of British Union Jack flags.

Through the town of Coleraine.

And arriving at the coast.

Most of you will have heard of Giant's Causeway. It's one of Northern Ireland's most popular tourist attractions. As such, it's not cheap to visit. £15 ($25.50 CAD, $19 USD) per adult during peak season for the Visitors Experience which includes parking, the audio guide, and visitors center.

But just like at Cliffs of Moher, the actual attraction is free. So the idea is to find somewhere with free parking and walk to it.

My research pointed us to the far end of the cliff walk at Dunseverick Castle. There, you can park for free. Easily for cars, but not as easy for motorhomes because there is a height barrier at the parking lot. However there is also room for maybe three motorhomes at a roadside pulloff at the same location that is also marked as parking. You just have to cross your fingers there is room when you get there!

So, you get free parking, and a fantastic scenic hike!

The view out Max's side window. 
Not much remains of Dunseverick Castle.

Max, parked at GPS 55.237344, -6.448416

From this location it's a 7.2 km (4.5 mile) one way hike to the Giant's Causeway. Plus some wandering around while there. So be prepared for a total hike of 15.7 kms (9.8 miles).

We set off at 9:10am.

Yes, we had our rain gear with us!

The coastline in this area is spectacular.

In fact, I would say it's better than Cliffs of Moher.

We may not be beach people, but we sure do like a coastline like this!


Our first view of some basalt columns.

If you don't know what Giant's Causeway is all about, it's geologic phenomenon where 40,000 or so interlocking hexagonal shaped basalt columns rise up on the shore line. The actual location of the tourist site is where they are most noticeable, but similar columns can be seen all along this hike.

Yes, this is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

I love stuff like this!

Zoomed in on the cliff face, it is all made up of basalt columns.
That white circle is a water drop on the lens!

It was spitting with rain on and off, but not enough to bother us. 


Can you spot me again?

Too many beautiful views!

The Cliffs of Moher hike was good, but I honestly think this one is better. And far less people, although it was a nicer day when we were at Cliffs of Moher. Either way, this is a "don't miss it" hike if you are into long coastal walks.

The chimney stacks.

You could walk right out to that point and look down on them.

That small pointed peninsula is where we are heading.

Amphitheater Bay.

Me! So many great photo opps.

If you zoom in, you can see the trail that goes down the far left side of the amphitheater.

Lots of stairs going down.

This is where we started seeing more tourists. We had met only a handful of people on the trail, but of course most people pay at the main parking and do the short 1 km paved walk. There are a couple of other shorter trails in the area as well.

Ruth and the basalt columns.

People climbing on top of them.
You wan easily walk on them just as if they are steps.

I was surprised that the actual attraction is really quite small.

Very strange rocks!

It is very cool to see, however for me the hike was more of a highlight! Glad we didn't pay €15 each for it. 

The actual attraction covers the area from where the bus is parked, out to the end of the point. You can see all of the people walking out there.

It was actually not quite as busy as I expected it to be.

Looking west.

This is the actual area of Giant's Causeway.

We climbed back up the cliffs from the visitors center, and hooked back onto the trail heading back to Max.

View from the cliffs above.

Heading back, we encountered a lot more wind and rain.

Not the nicest weather!

But it was still fantastic scenery.

Can't get enough of this view.

We arrived back at Max at just after 1:00pm, so we were gone four hours. That was a great hike, despite getting a little wet on the way back.

We made our way to the city of Belfast where we found not very nice parking in an industrial area. But it's free and will allow us to walk to my eye appointment this morning. Fingers crossed that all goes well!

Fantastic deal on this 100 Watt Folding Solar Panel. It's already on sale, but there is also a 10% off coupon showing, and use code 2TAIN4Q9 for another 30% off at checkout. Great deal!

And in Canada...

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