The Giant’s Causeway is a UNESCO protected natural heritage site where over 40,000 hexagonal basalt stone columns formed along the coast millions of years ago by volcanic activity. It has been a tourist attraction since its “discovery” as something unique in the 17th century and that’s the history that awaits in the visitor centre.
On our last visit we entered through the arch at the side, bypassing the centre entirely since we only had an hour to visit and the stones are worth every minute you can spare, however, at a previous visit we had also visited the centre and it is absolutely worth it, whether you’re a National Trust member or not.
£9 may sound like a lot but it pays for the following:
– safe & monitored parking
– a detailed geological exhibition explaining the volcanic formation of the causeway
– a fascinating mythological exhibition and movie telling the myths of the area
– a personable display of how being a tour guide at the Causeway has become a local family trade that crossed literally multiple generations
– a live guided tour of the Causeway including state of the art headsets so you can always hear your guide OR a recorded guide in one of many different languages
– health an safety supervision at the rocks (this service is provided by the centre even for people who didn’t pay)
– access to the very clean and family friendly bathrooms
– access to the restaurant and the gift shop (these last two being, well just sort of there).
That being said, you can easily just visit the Causeway while bypassing the centre (that is not against any rules, it’s a purpose built opening for folks to access), which is incredibly handy if you’ve already seen the centre or are on a tight schedule, but if you have the time, the centre is 100% worth it. It was just magical to carry the little audio guide with me and learn everything about the place as we explored it. (If you take the audio guide, bring your own normal headphones, since they plug into that audio set and allow for hands free exploring.)