If you’re at all a fan of Irish pubs, maybe you’ve encountered one named “Finn McCool’s” at some point in time. They’re everywhere—from New Orleans to Chicago to Philadelphia. But why is this name so popular? And who is Finn McCool, anyway? Let me introduce you to the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Irish folklore has it that Finn McCool (also Fionn mac Cumhaill, and Finn MacCoul) was a warrior giant. Supposedly, he was responsible for creating the geological feature seen here. Finn built a pathway to the Scottish isle of Staffa to meet another giant in battle. Some say his opponent lost the battle; others say his opponent was tricked into rescinding the challenge. Either way, the Scottish rival destroyed the structure behind him so Finn could not follow. What remains of the bridge is Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Science, of course, will tell us that volcanic activity actually created the hexagonal columns on the coastline.
Visiting Giant’s Causeway
When planning a visit, know that you can walk down to the sight for free. Parking, however, is reserved for people purchasing Visitor Experience tickets, which includes a bus ride and audio tour. I will say that the hike back up is pretty steep, so buying bus tickets isn’t such a bad idea. For super impressive views and hiking, climb the Shepard’s Steps or inquire with the Visitor’s Center about a guided trek.
Giant’s Causeway is generally open from sunrise to sunset. It’s located at 44 Causeway Road, Bushmills, County Antrim in Northern Ireland.
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