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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 April, 2004, 07:56 GMT 08:56 UK
Causeway battles for 'finest' title
The Causeway is the province's only World Heritage Site

The Giant's Causeway has been nominated for the title of the United Kingdom's Finest Natural Wonder.

The top tourist attraction on the Antrim coast will be pitted against nine other nominees in a series by television channel, Five, called "Britain's Finest".

The top 10 "wonders" include the White Cliffs of Dover, Glasgow's Loch Lomond and the Welsh Dan-yr-Ogof caves.

The Giant's Causeway is Northern Ireland's only World Heritage Site.

Telephone voting opens on Tuesday for two weeks and viewers of Five, as well as readers of the Radio Times in Northern Ireland, are being encouraged to cast their vote.

This is a fantastic opportunity to bring an even greater awareness to a unique wonder of the world
Sue Ward
Northern Ireland Tourist Board
The Giant's Causeway's unique rock formations of rugged symmetrical columns have, for millions of years, stood as a natural rampart against the ferocity of Atlantic storms.

The 'discovery' of the Causeway was announced in a paper to the Royal Society in 1693.

At that time, there was furious debate over whether the Causeway had been created by men with picks and chisels, by nature, or by the efforts of a giant called Finn.

Either way, visitors have marvelled at the Giant's Causeway for centuries.

Sue Ward, marketing director of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, said: "The dramatic coastline of the Causeway is as famous for being a natural phenomenon, as it is for the ancient myths and legends that surround it.

"The world-famous Giant's Causeway is an area of unsurpassed natural beauty and is undoubtedly Britain's finest natural wonder.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to bring an even greater awareness to a unique wonder of the world that we should all be proud of. "

The series will be broadcast throughout the summer. Each programme gives an in-depth look at all the nominees and concludes with the announcement of the winner.

Executive producer Bill Locke, said: "We've travelled the length and breadth of Britain from the Giant's Causeway to Cheddar Gorge and as far as windswept St Kilda battered by the Atlantic, to film our top 10 finest natural wonders."

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