Skip to content
Advertisements

Why I hated the Giants Causeway

How do I explain this….  Ok, maybe it’s best that I explain what happened.

I left in the morning from The Gobbins and headed to Giants Causeway but after a minor hiccup earlier that morning that burned about two hours of my day, I finally reached the Dark Hedges.  7D20B910-C7A7-4BDB-BCAD-727DD2716057

I’ve seen so many iconic pictures of the Dark Hedges that I thought it would be easy to drive on the road and under the trees, but after seeing a ‘road closed’ sign and a couple hundred people, I went from “Oh hell yeah!” to “Oh, hell no!” within a matter of seconds. 

It didn’t matter that it was early in the morning. The tour busses were unloading their flocks onto the roads as the tourists were getting their most creative social media selfies.

I had a bit of a wander around and decided that it was best to continue onto the Giants Causeway – This was the very first and closest stop to all the ‘cool things’ I was going to see today.  

I weaved up and down the country roads and finally made it to what looked like a line of cars.  We were all in line heading to one of the many car parks.  A friendly chap wearing neon first asks me if I’m a National Trust member.  I didn’t know what that meant and I was pretty sure that I wasn’t so I replied with “No” and then he hands me an orange booklet listing the prices in multiple languages and says I can park in the ‘free’ car park and will need to head up to the visitors centre to pay my entry fee. 

This should have been my first warning but I thought nothing of it.

Loads of people were in line at the visitors center.  I wanted patiently and then handed over my 11.50£,. I also handed over their multilingual price booklet – because, you know… I want to be a responsible tourist and recycle.  What would I do with their price list in a dozen different languages? 

The visitors centre was busy AF and I avoided it like the plague.  I was stopped by one of the staff and handed an audio tour.  And, then I made a bee line outside.  The views were vast.  It truely was a spectacular site!

I listened to only one audio tour on the hand held thing because I found it clunky and difficult to hold.  Also, the stories were long winded.  It would have been cool to have listened to these stories on either my iPhone using my own headphones… or even an actual guide.

When I reached the Giants Causeway, ridiculous amounts of people were everywhere.  They were rock scrambling and climbing everywhere.  I even found what appeared to be rock lifeguards with bum bags full of medical supplies keeping the patrons safe.  

I was shocked to see a large amount of people pushing strollers on the difficult trails.  These ‘red’ trails were steep and rocky, but to each their own… And, after climbing over some steep stairs and rocky terrain, I reached the top.

Looking down, I could see people walking around EVERYWHERE. I kept on my trail walking back to the Visitors Centre and I wondered how these people got here.  The entry was down below where you buy your ticket… or so I thought.

I went back to the van and drove off heading to a nearby castle for a look.  It wasn’t as busy, thankfully,  but I overheard a local tell a couple how they didn’t need to buy tickets to see the Giants Causeway. 

I was like… ‘What the?’ And it all clicked.  I pieced it all together.  The entry fee is to go inside the visitors center to use the toilet, look at the mediocre exhibit and to buy an overly price coffee and naff souvenirs.

I got duped.    

I took to Trip Advisor.  I was right.  Review after review said the same exact thing.  Locals were airing their grievances about the paid exhibit and expressing how to get around the entry free.   That’s when I realised I got duped straight from the car park!  

If you think about it, it’s a really cheeky and psychological starting from handing over the brochure to mentioning that if I’m a Natural Trust member, I get free entry… I remember watching the staff directing pedestrian traffic to the front door to pay. What a cunning plan and at the same time, I think it’s a bit cheeky.  Not one person said that it was free to walk down to the causeway.

I was so disappointed by this.  I paid 11.50£ for a visitors centre that I would have gladly avoided.  In saying this, natural wonders should be free.  It’s a world heritage site. 

So, why I didn’t like it? Well, I’m not really a corporate girl… I’m a girl who enjoys trekking though three wet farmers fields to see a gorgeous stone circle.  Yes, I’ve visited numerous castles and nearly every place both free and paid… most of the places I’ve been to were reasonable in price.  To be honest, that’s what it should be.  This is world history – it should be for all, not for a few.  

That’s why the Giants Causeway wasn’t for me. I didn’t like being duped and I don’t think that others should be duped either.  

What are your thoughts?  How does this make you feel?  Do you think natural sites should be free or have a fee attached?  

UPDATE:  This story has gotten a lot of coverage and I was recently on the radio in Belfast discussing what happend.  You can listen by clicking here on the picture: 9D3ADBA1-0F7C-4DE2-8136-6C5E9A6FE68D.jpeg

Advertisements

taraustralis View All

An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!

7 thoughts on “Why I hated the Giants Causeway Leave a comment

  1. Your not the first to be caught out by this Tara. I’m from NI myself and also got caught out. There is no hint that you don’t actually have to pay, its made to sound like you have to pay if you want into the Giants Causeway, this actually made the local BBC news several years ago as so many people were getting pissed off with this. OK, you wouldn’t care paying if it was a reasonable price but you’ll soon discover here in NI most tourist attractions are a rip-off. Enjoy your stay Tara.

  2. Your not the first to be caught out by this Tara. I’m from NI myself and also got caught out. There is no hint that you don’t actually have to pay, its made to sound like you have to pay if you want into the Giants Causeway, this actually made the local BBC news several years ago as so many people were getting pissed off with this. OK, you wouldn’t care paying if it was a reasonable price but you’ll soon discover here in NI most tourist attractions are a rip-off. Enjoy your stay Tara.

  3. Mixed feelings….
    All locations need to be maintained, natural or cultural.
    Who should pay for that?
    Tax-payers or visitors?
    All within reason, for certain…

  4. I’m from N.Ireland, just been listening to the Jeremy Vine show Radio 2 and got very angry when I heard that we do not have to pay. I’ve been three times in the last few years bringing my friends visiting from London, the USA and Canada. Each visit we paid for the whole group as a wee treat. I appreciate there is a need for staff to mange the overcrowded car parks and for public safety on the Causeway and this costs money, fine. BUT when we were buying the tickets, which we stood in a long queue waiting for, the ticket seller asked did we want to visit the causeway as one of the list of things we could buy tickets for. We said, just a visit to the Causeway. So the ticket seller did not say well you don’t have to pay for access. Also there is a gate you must pass through and hand in the ticket, clearly signposted no entry without a ticket. I don’t mind paying as a contribution towards upkeep but tickets are expensive and this is bordering on dishonest. Very disappointed in the National Trust.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: