An hour's drive from Belfast, on the north-east coast of Ireland looking across to the Scottish Isle of Islay, stands a unique rock formation which has become Northern Ireland's premier magnet for visitors. Giant's Causeway, a rocky platform running from the cliffs into the sea, is made up of around 40,000 hexagonal pillars of basalt, some up to 12m (39ft) high, interlocking into a huge mosaic-like pavement. It's known locally as “the Honeycomb”, and it does look a bit like that.
Legend has it that the Irish giant, Finn McCool, built the causeway to walk across to Scotland, where another giant, Benandonner, had challenged him to a fight. Finn strode across Giant's Causeway, only to hightail it home when he realized that the Scots giant was much bigger than he was. Benadonner came hot on his heels; but luckily Finn's quick-thinking wife thought to disguise him as a baby, and fooled the Scot into thinking that Finn himself, as the father of such a gigantic child, must be absolutely enormous. Benadonner fled back to Scotland, destroying much of the causeway behind him to stop Finn from catching up with him. There's a scientific version too, which is equally dramatic in its way, involving eruptions and cooling lava...but we must say, we prefer the giants!