The Giant’s Causeway is the venue for a giant day out this Saturday, as Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site opens its doors for its second community open day of the year, and the Causeway Hotel hosts the Northern Ireland Potato Festival.
This Saturday 13 October, the National Trust invites visitors to come enjoy the full Visitor Experience free of charge. This includes full access to the state-of-the-art Visitor Centre, café, shop with local crafts bespoke to the Giant’s Causeway, the interactive interpretation area to discover the facts around the Causeway, use of the audio guides, which are translated into 11 different languages, parking, as well as a guided tour with a members of our award winning team.
As part of the celebrations on Saturday, the much-loved annual Northern Ireland Potato Festival will be in full swing on the grounds at the Causeway Hotel. The Festival line-up boasts a variety of attractions including Naturally North Coast and Glens artisan market with food and craft producers, cookery demonstrations and talks, bouncy castles, exhibitions and displays, potato inspired games and a petting farm, including a cookery theatre compered by NI Food Ambassador Paula McIntyre MBE.
Ciara McClements, Visitor Experience Manager at The Giant’s Causeway; “Since launching our Community Open Days in 2012, we are delighted to have welcomed over 30,000 visitors to enjoy our award winning Visitor Experience for free. As a conservation charity, the National Trust are extremely passionate about the community within our local area, and ultimately we provide these community days to thank local people for their support and to welcome everyone to enjoy some family fun at this special place on their doorstep. We are proud to be partnered with eight different community groups in the local area, working together to make a difference.
“Our Community Open Day is a fantastic day out for all ages and a great opportunity to enjoy our Visitor Experience offering, and meet our award winning team that are passionate about helping visitors to discover the facts, stories, legends and myths surrounding the world famous basalt columns that tourists from over 160 different countries every year travel to visit.
“We coincide the autumn open day with the Potato Festival so that the full day out is free of charge for everyone and people can enjoy the whole experience.
“To make it as easy as possible for the community to visit, every year we provide a free shuttle bus to transport visitors from the park and ride in Bushmills and Dunluce School to the UNESCO site so that everyone has a chance to join in the fun.
“Our conservation rangers will also be giving visitors an opportunity to plant wildflower plugs between 1-3pm. If anyone is interested in finding out more about conservation work on the site, or just to help out with planting some plants to encourage pollinators. No need to book, just turn up and all equipment will be provided.”
The Causeway Hotel will be kicking off the weekend with an open evening on Friday night, when you are invited to come along for complimentary nibbles and refreshments from 7-9pm and enjoy some live entertainment in the bar.