Characterful and cosy inn on Ulster's Causeway coast

JUST A LEPRECHAUN'S HOP from the Giant's Causeway, where tempestuous Atlantic waves crash on the rocks beneath craggy cliffs, all is warmth and welcome at the Bushmill's Inn. Here at the home of the world's oldest distillery you can cosy up to a blazing turf fire or slumber behind thick whitewashed walls.

The atmospheric, gas-lit bar with its open peat fires, flagstones and higgledy-piggeldy charm is the kind of olde-worlde haven where the prospect of lashing wind and rain actually seems a great idea, and a perfect excuse to hole up here for days and savour one of Bushmills Inn's 25-year-old whiskeys.

Rescued from near derelection 20 years ago, this 400-year-old coaching inn and adjoining mill house have been sympathetically restored without a hint of designer theming. Open fires, gas lights and stripped pine set the tone. Cottage-style rooms with blankets and cosy lamps  in the original coaching inn overlook the village high street, while more spacious mill house rooms on the banks of the River Bush – some with four-posters and slipper baths – have a lounge area and a well kitted-out feel.

Hit the Spot
Next to the world's oldest distillery, close to Ulster's Causeway coast.

Take Room 52, with its four-poster bed and slipper bath.

Be Savvy
Dining here isn't cheap, but has won gastro-plaudits.

Be Smitten
Turf fires, flagstone floors and a cosy vibe.

Oak-beamed snug

Bushmills has a collection of paintings by local artist James McKendry depicting Antrim's Causeway coast in the gallery, while the oak-beamed snug, up in the old hay loft, has its own cosy stove and books tucked into wall crevices. There's even a quaint round tower and a secret room here with a disappearing double bed, that by day folds away behind an innocent-seeming door and keeps your liaisons to itself.

Bushmills Inn's restaurant is a great place for an intimate dinner and has chalked up numerous gastro-plaudits. Try the Guinness sausages on a bed of champ potatoes or the legendary sticky toffee pudding before retiring to the loft with a rich Bushmills coffee – laced, naturally, with whiskey from the distillery just up the road.

From here, you can clamber over the famous Giant’s Causeway – a World Heritage site, and the centrepiece of Antrim’s spectacular coast – or play golf at no less than eight fine courses, including the Royal Portrush. 

Bushmill's Inn was reviewed by Room for Romance

Click on any picture to enlarge it and move through the gallery.





Dining in
All warm mellow brick and aged timber, the Taste of Ulster restaurant is set in the inn’s former 17th century stables and wine cellar.  A warm and welcoming vibe is matched by excellent food, with chef Donna Thompson promoting a blend of classical and new Irish dishes. Expect to taste Dalriada cullen skink, Bushmills peppered Ulster beef fillet steak and Bush river salmon.

Dining out
Try the Ramore wine bar in Portrush, just down the road. The food is mostly old Irish classics and hearty portions, so eat up.

Taste of Ulster at Bushmills Inn.

What’s cooking?
Pan-fried peppered fillet of beef flamed in Bushmills whiskey, and the Inn’s legendary sticky toffee pudding. 

Dress the part
It’s country-casual.

Top table?
In a private high-backed booth.

See & Do
Great sights are all around, but must-sees include the dramatic and cliffy north Antrim coast – one of Europe's most spectacular stretches of coastline – with its sandy beaches, Atlantic rollers and neat fishing harbours tucked between craggy cliffs.

You'll want to explore the fabled Giant’s Causeway, with its towering six-sided stone columns. Join a tour of the Bushmills distillery – the world’s oldest whiskey distillery – or swing out at the Royal Portrush golf course, one of seven great courses in the region and ranked among the world's top ten. Dunluce castle sits spectacularly on a craggy basalt outcrop high above the sea, and is a great place for walks. The River Bush is within casting distance of the gardens at Bushmills.

There’s a gift shop at the distillery and some trendy clothes shops in the village, yards from the Inn.

After dark
Enjoy the craic! Have fun, go down to the convivial gas-lit bar and enjoy a post-dinner dram. If you want solitude, there are a fair few hills to climb and watch an Irish sunset.

The Ballymena Arts festival features local, national and international acts.


Dunluce Road, Bushmills, Co. Antrim

There is free guest parking.

Portrush – five miles

GBP 80 from Belfast Airport

Belfast – 45 miles

Rooms and suites

32 rooms

Special features
Some rooms have four poster beds and wi-fi, while one has a free-standing slipper bath.

To make that special kind of statement when you arrive, there’s a helipad.


Rates guide
GBP 140 – 360

Closed Christmas Day




Minimum night stay?
Two nights between November – March

Cooked breakfast is served until 10am

Room service
Available morning and evening

No restrictions, but it's not really the place for kids


Air conditioning


Wedding license?

Eco conscience
Bushmills Inn is an active participant in a pilot green tourism scheme being developed by the Causeway coast and Glens Heritage Trust with the Northern Ireland tourist board.

Your contact
Alan Dunlop – owner



We'll be adding guest ratings of Bushmills Inn based on your feedback in the next few months.

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