Giant’s Causeway

One of the locations that was on my wife’s ‘must see’ list during our photography tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland in 2019 was the Giant’s Causeway. This article shares a selection of photographs and discusses our visit to this iconic location.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO-160

The Giant’s Causeway is perhaps best known for its tens of thousands of interlocking basalt columns.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 24 mm, efov 64.8 mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO-160

These were formed 50-60 million years ago by volcanic activity.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 12 mm, efov 32.4 mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-160

The tallest columns are approximately 12 metres (~39 feet) in height.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/40, ISO-160

The Giant’s Causeway is the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland, setting a record of 1 million visitors in 2017.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 48 mm, efov 129.6 mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-160

It can be a challenge to compose images at the Giant’s Causeway that do not include other tourists.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 75 mm, efov 202.5 mm, f/8, 1/30, ISO-160

On the positive side, having people in your photographs helps create a sense of scale.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-160

In 1986 the Giant’s Causeway was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-160

The onsite car park is reserved for folks who purchase Visitor Experience tickets which includes a guided tour and use of the audio guides.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-160

My wife and I found the audio guides very informative and easy to use.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 27 mm, efov 72.9 mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO-160

You can get a bird’s eye view of the scenery along the causeway coast by hiking along the 8 kilometre (~5 mile) trail.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/30, ISO-160

We had limited time during our visit so I only hiked along one leg of the trail, but did follow it all the way to the end.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 13 mm, efov 35 mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-160

I was treated to some spectacular views.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/320, ISO-160

The trail can be a bit narrow in spots so some caution and courtesy are required when passing other folks coming from the opposite direction.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO-160

If you are planning a trip to Ireland/Northern Ireland spending some time at the Giant’s Causeway is highly recommended.

Technical Note:
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images are displayed as 100% captures without any cropping. They were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

If you enjoyed the photographs in this article that were captured with the Nikon 1 system, you may find our eBook, The Little Camera That Could, of interest. This eBook is available for purchase and download. It is priced at $9.99 Canadian. Readers interested in purchasing a copy can use the link below.

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The download is a two-stage process. When you first click on the Buy Button there will be a pause for several minutes while the website prepares a personalized copy of the eBook you just purchased. This delay is normal. Do not click a second time as this will interrupt the creation of your personalized eBook. After a few minutes, the download will then begin. Your copy of the eBook you just purchased will have a QR code unique to you, and your password will be your email address that you used when purchasing the eBook.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/320, ISO-160

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7 thoughts on “Giant’s Causeway”

  1. I liked the way you referred to “other tourists” (when you were trying to avoid them in your shots) – – We often forget, when travelling, that WE are tourists too !

    John

    1. We certainly are John! As such it is important for us to have realistic expectations based on the culture and conditions in the area that we are visiting. Being understanding and appreciative helps create a positive travel experience for both the tourist and the folks with whom we come into contact.

      Tom

  2. Sorry, I don’t know if its the covid-19 that make me dumb, or old age, please let me make some corrections:
    4- How much money, do we have to spend there, and where do you recommend we stay ?
    5- Do you have more recommendations, such as are there other interesting places to visit at a distance less than 100 km from this one ?
    6- Is your e-book answer all the above questions ?

    1. Hi Luke,

      The link to my eBook, The Little Camera That Could, does not provide specific information on travelling in Ireland. The Little Camera That Could showcases the capabilities of the Nikon 1 system in terms of photographing a wide range of subject matter. If you are looking for specific information about travelling in Ireland this is not an appropriate eBook to purchase.

      We are working on a new eBook that is specifically about travelling in Ireland and Northern Ireland. It does provide some information about various daily routes that we took during our photography tour in April 2019. We will likely be publishing this eBook within the next month or so.

      Tom

      1. Thom
        Thanks a lot for that great information. I think it will help others who are interesting by this site a Ireland trip.
        I will surely purchase it.
        Thanks again
        Luke

  3. Hi Thom
    May I ask a few questions:
    1- What is the best time of the year to visit it ?
    2- How much time in days, should we spend for visiting and for photography ?
    3- How is the weather generally ?
    4- How much money, do we have to spend there, and what where should we stay ?
    5- Do you have more recommendations, like are there near that place other interesting sites less than 100 km from this one ?
    6- Is your cover all the above questions ?
    regards
    Luke

    1. Hi Luke,

      There are a number of websites that can provide a lot of detailed information to answer your questions. I will attempt to answer your questions using our experience and our rationale for travelling to Ireland in April.

      1) We chose to go in April as this is one of the driest months of the year and the weather is generally pleasant. Also, April is before most tourists arrive and things are at their busiest. This is typically May through September.

      2) The amount of time you dedicate to photography will depend on your schedule, how much you plan to cram in each day, and how quickly you can work with your camera gear. It will also depend on whether you will be going to the most popular tourist areas, major cities, etc. We limited our driving to about 1.5 hours a day to a maximum of 3 hours. This allowed us to make multiple stops each day and not feel rushed when we were onsite. I do tend to work with my gear much faster than most photographers… a holdover from my newspaper days. Other than Waterford, we avoided all of the major cities and did not do any sightseeing in them. We spent the vast majority of time in very small towns and out in the countryside, mainly on rural roads.

      3) There are many websites that can provide detailed information about weather. We chose April as the temperature is reasonably nice in the 10 to 16 celcius range. April is one of the drier months in Ireland.

      4) Budget is really dependent on where you will be going, the level of accomodation in which you like to stay, and the activities you are planning to do. Other than a castle stay and a few hotel rooms we stayed in bed & breakfasts during our 4 weeks on the ground in Ireland. B&B accommodations are plentiful and the vast majority of the hosts we had were very personable and helpful. We made all of our bookings through Expedia and didn’t have any issues with rooms not being available for us. Breakfasts tend to be good quality and of sufficient quantity that we didn’t stop for lunch. We did have some fruit and snacks in the car with us. We typically went to a local pub for an early dinner. Our dinners were usually one of the pub’s specials and we don’t typically drink so our food expenses were likely much less than other folks… coming in at under $1400 CDN. Overall, our rooms averaged about $125 CDN per night. We basically circumnavigated Ireland/Northern Ireland and spent less than $450 CDN on diesel fuel for our compact car. Our car rental (booked through a travel agent in Canada) was about $2,100 CDN for 28 days including zero deductible insurance (which I would highly recommend). Flights from Canada including trip insurance were under $1600 total for the two of us.

      5) Our upcoming eBook details our driving route each day in such a way that readers can replicate it by using Google Maps. All of the photographs in the eBook will be noted by day to help readers decide on sites that they may want to visit.

      Hope this has helped! Again, our Ireland photography tour eBook should be available within the next month or so.

      Tom

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