National Trust accused of misleading tourists into paying for free Giants Causeway

first_imgThe Giant’s Causeway is the most popular visitor attraction in Northern Ireland, receiving more than 1m visitors last year.A spokesman for the National Trust said: “The National Trust recognises and fully supports the public right of way through the site. “Whether the National Trust like it or not, that is a public facility paid for by the public.”On Trip Advisor, the reviews website, several members of the public moved to warn future visitors they do not need to pay.One said: “They’ve taken a beautiful natural landmark and ruined it by turning it into an expensive tourist trap.“Very disappointed as this was one of the main reasons for our drive up to Northern Ireland!”A second said: “[The] visitors centre gives the impression it’s the entrance to the Causeway and that you have to pay.“Don’t be fooled! You are paying simply to access the visitors centre that isn’t worth it.” The stones are free to visitCredit: Rob Durston Entrance to the visitors’ centre at the site, which opened in 2012, can cost up to £11.50 per adult or £28.75 for a family of five.On Monday, independent councillor, Padraig McShane, who grew up near the site, submitted a motion which was unanimously agreed on by all Causeway Coast and Glens Borough councillors to protect public access to the site.The motion put forward by Mr McShane said that the signs could “mislead the public into believing they do not have an automatic right to walk in some of the most iconic parts” of the world heritage site. A third member of the public wrote: “The main reason for writing this review is to say: don’t pay to see the causeway/go into the visitor centre, the signs all seem like you have to but the National Trust can’t actually make you pay to get in.” The National Trust has been accused of misleading tourists, with a sign mistakenly convincing visitors they must pay to see the Giant’s Causeway.The landmark, Northern Ireland’s most popular attraction, is free to visit, with more than one million people taking advantage of public access to the site each year.Critics say “misleading” signs erected last year by the National Trust are now convincing tourists they have to pay to see it, with the local council vowing to “assert and protect” the public right of way.The signs warn visitors that they are entering the Unesco World Heritage site with the National Trust’s “permission”.However, although the Trust does operate a visitors’ centre at the site, members of the public can visit the coastline free of charge via public paths. The stones are free to visit Visitors say signs are misleading TripAdvisor users have been warning other visitors not to pay to visit the Giant's Causewaycenter_img Visitors say signs are misleadingCredit:Padraig McShane TripAdvisor TripAdvisor He said: “It’s absolute rubbish. The National Trust makes a massive amount of money at the site.“If people want to pay to visit the centre, that’s well and good. But the opportunity must be there at all times to allow the public to access for free. TripAdvisor users have been warning other visitors not to pay to visit the Giant’s Causeway “New signs were installed in March 2017 in support of managing visitor flow around the World Heritage Site but they do not have any impact on the public right of way down to the stones.“We have been actively engaging with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council on public rights of way and look forward to continuing to work with the council, who is a key partner in delivering a world-class visitor experience for local people and visitors from across the world.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Continue reading