Walk in the footsteps of Giants

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iol travela ug 14 Giants Causeway SUPPLIED Located in County Antrim in Northern Ireland, the Giant's Causeway is a series of stunning and unique basalt columns.

Dublin - Located in County Antrim in Northern Ireland, the Giant's Causeway is a series of stunning and unique basalt columns. And legend has it the columns are the remains of a path or causeway built by a giant named Finn Mc Cool.

The story goes that Finn, the Irish giant, was challenged to a fight by his Scottish neighbour Benandonner. Apparently the Scottish contender was much bigger than Finn and to prevent an outright embarrassing loss, Finn pretended to be a baby and hid in a cradle. On seeing this Benandonner reckoned that if Finn was the 'baby' then the father must be monstrous. So Benandonner fled back to Scotland, breaking the causeway behind him to ensure a safe getaway.

And it just so happens that across the sea there are identical basalt columns at Fingal's Cave on the Scottish isle of Staffa. In reality the basalt columns known as Giant's Causeway were formed 60 million years ago as a result of volcanic activity. The 38 000 basalt columns were declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1986 and a National Nature Reserve in 1987.

They are a much loved and visited site in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately in 2000, the site's visitor centre was lost in a devastating fire. In its place, the National Trust sought to develop new, world-class visitor facilities, improve trail paths protect this unique area for everyone to enjoy. And Trafalgar, a leading guided holiday company, stepped in to help provide the necessary funding through their TreadRight Foundation.

Trafaglar's support helped to build a new visitors centre that fits into the environment and in keeping with TreadRight's eco-conscious principles, this centre adheres to the highest standards of environmental sustainability.

For more information on how Trafalgar preserves, protects and promotes both manmade and natural heritage visit treadright.org. To learn more about Trafalgar as a travel company contact your ASATA travel agent or Trafalgar on (011) 280 8400. Visit www.trafalgar.com

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