National Trust defends Giant's Causeway visitor charge
The National Trust has said it will look at public concerns about signs at the Giant's Causeway to ensure members of the public know they can access the stones at the site for free.
The trust also said it would respond to a letter from the North Antrim MP Ian Paisley jnr, who described the £8.50 charge for adults as "excessive".
The National Trust said its pricing policy was very competitive when compared to other UK attractions.
The new visitors centre opened in July.
David Turner emigrated from Northern Ireland to Canada 40 years ago. He returned for a holiday this summer, and was shocked by visiting the Giant's Causeway.
"We arrived in Belfast and we decided to drive up the coast as we have always loved up there and eventually we ended up at the Giant's Causeway," he said.
"When we got there, this whole development was new to us, we hadn't seen it before.Souvenirs
"We parked in the carpark and went inside. we saw that they had a price up on the wall - £8.50 to walk round to the Giant's Causeway.
"My wife has arthritis and my brother also has a bad leg, so we decided we wouldn't walk round, we'd just go in to the restaurant and have something to eat and maybe go into the shop and get some souvenirs.
"We were told we couldn't go into the shop without paying £8.50 per person, so I said 'I don't think so', and we left.
"We walked around the building and there was an old hotel there, that has been there for many years and we saw a sign that said they had a coffee shop and ice cream, so we went in there and we bought some souvenirs in there.
"When we were speaking to the ladies in the shop, they were saying that everyone's coming in there and they think they have to walk through and pay £8.50 to on the Giant's Causeway but you don't have to, you just walk around the building and there is an entrance there and it doesn't cost anything.
"It's been a right of way for over a hundred years."
The National Trust's assistant director of operations, Billy Reid explained the pricing structure at the Giant's Causeway.
"The causeway experience is an £8.50 charge if you drive in," he said.
"It's cheaper if you come by bus or public transport, there's a pound reduction - this also applies if you use the park and ride facilities in Bushmills.
"It's £4.25 for a child and there's a family ticket at £21. National Trust members go free."'World-class'
Mr Reid defended the cost of using the centre.
"What we've tried to do at the Giant's Causeway and what we were tasked to do was to provide a world-class visitor experience for a world-class facility at an international destination.
"We've compared prices around the UK and actually £8.50 is very competitive.
"Most of our visitors and there have been 116,000 people through the centre since it opened on the 3 July - we're getting good feedback from the vast majority who are saying it's good value for money and they're having a really good time."
But the DUP MLA, Ian Paisley, who said he had been contacted by constituents, described the pricing plan as excessive.
"It potentially makes Northern Ireland most popular tourist location, less popular," he said.
Mr Paisley had previously lobbied on behalf on a private developer, Seymour Sweeney, who had wanted a rival visitor centre at the attraction.
In June, Mr Paisley described a decision by the National Trust to mount a legal challenge for another project he supported - a golf course close to the Giant's Causeway - as 'a national disgrace'.
The Causeway is a Unesco World Heritage Site and features more than 40,000 interlocking basalt columns formed millions of years ago by volcanic activity.
The £18.5m centre was opened by First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness on 3 July.