The award-winning Giant’s Causeway will open its doors on Saturday 7 October offering the local community the opportunity to enjoy the full visitor experience, free of charge to thank them for their ongoing support over the busy summer season. Visitors to the hotel on Friday 6 October can also enjoy live music, children’s entertainment and complimentary drinks and locally produced food between 7-9pm.
The Community Day will enable visitors to enjoy a guided walk, led by a visitor experience ranger; avail of an audio guide if visitors would prefer to explore the Causeway on their own; hop on the Translink shuttle bus to and from the Causeway and access the Visitor’s Centre where there will be free face-painting from 11am to 5pm.
As part of the celebrations, the Northern Ireland Potato Festival will also be hosted in the Causeway Hotel carpark with entertainment, food and drinks and celebrations within the hotel. Organised by a local voluntary group, the annual potato event celebrates not only the humble potato but the Causeway’s link to potato-breeder John Clark OBE, who lived and worked at Innisfree Farm. The Farm had a Blue Plaque erected to mark the significance of John Clark’s work in 2013 and the farmhouse is now the base for the Giant’s Causeway administrative offices.
Speaking ahead of the community open day, site manager, Alastair Walker said: ‘Since opening the new Visitor Centre in 2012 we have held community open days twice a year. These days allow all visitors to come and enjoy the full visitor experience with no admission charge – we want people to understand and appreciate the importance of nature, to engage with nature more and it is our job is to help increase access to nature for everyone – forever.
“We are also delighted to once again be hosting our autumn open day in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Potato Festival, offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of fun and educational activities. The National Trust’s conservation ranger team at the Giant’s Causeway work with the local community to continue to plant and grow potatoes at Innisfree Farm every year, supporting the area’s agricultural heritage.’
The staff look forward to welcoming families and community members to the weekend events which are a way of thanking the community for their ongoing support and reminding them of the all that the Giant’s Causeway and the Causeway Hotel have to offer.
The Community Open day runs on Saturday 7 October only – the last free admission is at 5pm and the centre closes at 6pm. Usual admission charges will apply from Sunday 8 October, with National Trust members and under 5’s free of charge throughout the year.