Visiting the Giant’s Causeway with Kids

If there was one thing that saved us a lot of money during our visit to Northern Ireland, it was our National Trust membership as many of the sites we wanted to visit were looked after by them.

Our first visit of our holiday was to the Giant’s Causeway and although you can access the stones for free via the Public Right of Way, it is well worth visiting the award-winning Visitor Centre, which is included in your National Trust membership.

Inside you will find an exhibition showcasing the stories and the science behind the Giant’s Causeway, plus a giant cinema screen which shows how the causeway was formed and a fun cartoon for the kids all about the legend of how it was built by a giant.

You can join accompanied tours, however we decided to pick up audio guides and head down to explore on our own.

It is around a 10 minute downhill walk to the causeway, or you can catch a bus if you choose. Personally I would recommend the walk as there are points to stop and admire the views and get information from the audio guide.

There are three rock outcrops which make up the Giant’s Causeway, with the largest of them being the Grand Causeway and I have to admit that it looks quite small as it first comes into view as you turn the corner.

It is not until you get up close that you really appreciate the sheer scale of it.

The causeway has around 40,000 interlocking, hexagonal-shaped, basalt columns, which developed as the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption almost 60 million years ago and is a magnificent sight to behold.

If you are visiting with small children, be aware that climbing onto the rocks is a bit tricky, especially in high winds and Sebby did need some help negotiating the stones and I would recommend that you wear walking boots for added grip, rather than trainers.

Sebby and Isaac Giant's Causeway

These stones are manned by National Trust employees to ensure that people remain safe and it is recommended that you don’t climb on the black columns as these are more slippery, but you are more or less allowed to explore at your leisure.

Isaac and Eliza loved exploring the stones, but Sebastian preferred to sit and watch, listening to the stories of Finn McCool the giant, on his audio guide.

The story tells us how Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) is an Irish giant who picked a fight with a huge Scottish giant called Benandonner.

Legend has it that the giants loathed each other, so one day after enduring insults from Benandonner, Fionn built a path to use as stepping-stones to reach Scotland, which was then ripped up by Benandonner. The result was the Giant’s Causeway.

It is every bit as spectacular as I had imagined, but do be aware that it does get very busy, especially in the middle of the day and trying to get a photograph with no other visitors in it is almost impossible.

If you don’t mind a walk, I highly recommend that you head up to the rear of the causeway.

If you looks carefully, you may get to see the Giant’s boot, apparently lost by Finn as he fled from the wrath of Benandonner.

From here you can then head up the cliff path to look down on the Causeway to appreciate it from a different angle.

It is well worth following the trail to its end, as you end up at the amphitheatre, a stunning arc shaped cliff, although it is worth bearing in mind that it is all uphill and little legs can be tired from all that climbing.

On the way back we decided to take a different route back to the visitor centre.

This involved tackling the Shepherd’s steps, which is 150 steps (we counted them) up the side of a steep hill.

We definitely deserved our hot chocolate and cake reward in the cafe afterwards!!

National Trust membership costs £126 per year and gives you free entry to over 500 special places, free parking at most National Trust car parks, a National Trust Handbook full of ideas to help you plan a visit, National Trust Magazine sent to you three times a year and regular newsletters sent straight to your inbox. Get up to £8.40 cash back when you join through Top Cashback.

41 thoughts on “Visiting the Giant’s Causeway with Kids

  1. This looks so beautiful. We love exploring new places. I might have to look into getting a national trust membership now I can drive. My kids would absolutely love it here

  2. I have wanted to visit the Giants Causeway for a while now but havent made it yet! Your pics sooo make me want to go! Love the cute pictures with the kids and tips for taking them with you!

  3. Giant’s Causeway is such a fun place to take the kids. They look like they’re having a fun time too, if not a little windswept lol! A great family destination to see.

  4. The scenery is gorgeous! I love the stepping stones. I’ve never seen rocks setup that way before. I’ll definitely have to make a trip and visit one day!

  5. This is somewhere I would love to go one day! Such a beautiful area with so much to see, I’d pretty much enjoy just sitting by the sea.
    It sounds like there is a lot to do with kids as well!

  6. It’s fascinating isn’t it. I’ve always wanted to visit – I didn’t know how much there was to see, or how close you could get. I’ve never been to N Ireland. I feel a road trip coming on!

  7. What a fun adventure for you and the kids! I just found out I am largely Irish; it would be fun to explore the land of my ancestors!

  8. I would absolutely LOVE to visit here one day! I think getting a National Trust membership and taking a road trip to the mainland with the kids would be a super summer holiday idea! You’ve inspired me!

  9. Such a wonderful place to visit with the whole family. The place has so many amazing and mesmerizing location to go. This is a must for all travelers out there.

  10. Wow, such a detailed post that would be so helpful to plan a great trip to Toronto. Loving the pictures so much.

  11. I smiled when I saw the photo of your son doing the dab pose. The place looks good a walk and to relax. I saw from your photo that there is a number of people choose to walk as well. I think I would also prefer to walk to enjoy the view.

  12. Aw this sounds absolutely awesome! We went to Belfast back in December but I was really poorly so we didnt go to the giants causeway. When we visit again we’ll definitely go and we will probably have my boyfriends son with us too xxx

  13. I am hoping to explore Northern Ireland a lot more this year and would love to visit Giant’s Causeway. It seems such an interesting place to explore.

  14. We love our National Trust membership and love going on holiday and exploring new places with it. This looks like a great find and my kids would love the audio

  15. It looks amazing there! I’m planning to do a bit of travel around the UK this summer so will definitely think about getting a National Trust Membership at the time to help keep costs down x

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