Visiting Giant’s Causeway with a dog

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We travel with our dog, Moose, as often as possible. On a recent trip to the Emerald Isle, we got to experience a lot of amazing activities in Northern Ireland and Ireland with the pooch; the Giant’s Causeway was one of them. It’s not always easy to find information on dog-friendly activities, so here is my guide to visiting Giant’s Causeway with a dog.
 

A yawning Moose at Giant's Causeway - HH Lifestyle Travel

 
Located in Country Antrim in Northern Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The basalt columns and stepping stones were created over 50 million years ago during intense volcanic activity in the area. These days, the lovely hexagonal ‘biscuit’ stepping stones are a popular tourist destination on the Causeway Coast.
 

Where to stay

 
We stayed at the dog-friendly B&B, Antique House, in Portrush. With a delicious breakfast and a very dog-friendly attitude, we found this place a convenient option. You can also search for other dog-friendly hotels near Giant’s Causeway here.
 

 

Arriving

 
I’m going to assume you are driving, as that’s usually how people manage to travel with their furry friends. Now, there has been some confusion over the new ‘visitor experience’ put in place by the National Trust, regarding charges for using the facilities and parking. The idea is that you park in their carpark, then funnel through the visitors centre and pay £8.50 per person. This allows you access to the café, exhibition, souvenir shop, and toilets; as well as parking. However, because we had the dog, we were ushered through the tunnel to the side of the visitor centre – a public access way, which you can use to enter and exit without paying. We did pay in the end though, as we wanted to use the facilities. There is a small bus that ferries passengers down to the stones and back for £1 each way – dogs (except guide dogs) are NOT allowed on this bus.
 
TIP: Have lunch over at The Nook, using their free parking, then stay parked there while you nip down to see the stones. Their outdoor seating is dog-friendly. Or, do the same at the Causeway Hotel, however they share the carpark with the National Trust, so you may be challenged to pay.
 

The Bay at Giant's Causeway - HH Lifestyle Travel

 

The Walk

 
The walk down and back isn’t terribly taxing, but it is along the road where the bus drives, so you have to keep your dog on a leash and be careful of the bus coming back and forth. Along the way you do get to see some amazing views, including ‘The Camel’ rock formation.
 

The Camel rock formation at Giant's Causeway - HH Lifestyle Travel

 



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The Stones

 
The beautiful stones of The Causeway are something to behold. But be careful, these hexagonal flat stones can be slippery. Moose had to stay on the leash, so it was a little bit treacherous walking with him as he pulled on eagerly, as I tried not to fall down!
 

Giant's Causeway and the crowds - HH Lifestyle Travel

 

The Crowds

 
Be aware that Giant’s Causeway can get crowded, especially in peak season. We visited in October, but on a weekend, so it was pretty busy even for that time of year. #MoosetheTravellingDog does get a little anxious with too many people, so we stayed off the main causeway (where people were congregating for photos), and explored the other outcrops of rock and rock pools. Moose desperately wanted to splash around in the pools and chase the wildlife, but we decided his freedom would most definitely be more trouble than it would be worth!
 

Moose the dog at Giant's Causeway - HH Lifestyle Travel

 

Dog Tips

 
Remember to bring poo-bags to clean up after your pooch. There are plenty of bins around. It’s probably an idea to bring a dog water bottle on the walk, as there are no fresh water sources on the Causeway. Bring a water bottle for yourself too, as you may need it on the walk back up the hill!
 
We had a lovely 2 hours at The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland with our dog, Moose. It is one of those attractions that is perfectly do-able with your dog, and was a fun walk for him too. There’s no need to leave your dog behind when you can comfortably bring them along and include them in the fun! Read Moose’s take on his holiday in Ireland here.
 

NB: Not all attractions allow dogs, so please check directly with the governing body beforehand

 

For tips on road-tripping with your dog, read my article here

 

All photos & content © Hannah Henderson and may not be used without permission (sharing this blog post is fine, though!). Images shot with a Canon DSLR T3i Rebel + Canon EF Lens 50mm 1:1.8 STM; and an iPhone6s.

 



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Visiting Giant's Causeway with a dog - HH Lifestyle Travel

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11 Comments

  • Danila Caputo says:

    We have 3 dogs and only one of them would love to travel with us, but he’s so big that it’s not easy to bring him around! Giant’s Causeway is one of the places I always wanted to go to, great tip about the Nook, I’m noting it down!

  • Awww, glad you and moose enjoyed the Causeway. I’ve only been in the evening when the visitor centre was closed (another way to avoid paying!) It’s a lovely place isn’t it – I don’t think I saw a single pup there last time though

    • HHLifestyleTravel says:

      Haha love it! I think it’s quite dishonest how they try to usher people through to pay when they don’t actually need to!

  • Burcu Basar says:

    Even though I don’t own a dog, I really enjoyed your post and the amazing coastal views. The rock formations look particularly interesting. Also thank you for the crowd related tip, I would not normally expect it to be busy in October.

  • danik says:

    OK, how long did your dog spend jumping on those stones and playing around. Moose must have been in his element! i think like a kid at heart.

    Haven’t been to giant’s causeway yet but hope to do so soon on my second road trip around ireland and northern ireland. cant wait to get back out there.

  • CLAIRE says:

    I’m actually quite surprised that dogs are allowed on the giants causeway, so its great that you have tips for visiting with a dog – if it gets slippy I’d be wary of going there, but along the edges would be fine. Moose looks happy to be there at least, getting some fresh sea air!

  • Kate says:

    Moose is very lucky to have had such a lovely holiday. I definitely would not have been able to walk my dogs on the stones as they tend to walk me more than i walk them. so i’m very impressed with your leash walking skills.

  • Indrani says:

    That can be tricky walking among those rocks with an impatient dog. Great tips for travelers with pets, I am not one of them though. Beautiful views around there. I hope to visit some day.

  • Jennifer says:

    Aww, Moose is a cutey! We used to take our dog, Emma, as often as we could. She passed away this past November, but she ended up visiting 17 countries. Ireland was one of the countries we had planned to take her while my husband is living in the UK. It sounds like she would have enjoyed Giant’s Causeway as much as Moose did.

    • HHLifestyleTravel says:

      Awww what a legend Emma was for visiting all those countries (and to you for taking her)! RIP Emma x

  • Kirstie says:

    Moose must be very happy to go with you on your adventure! The stones look amazing also!

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