Bushmills Inn

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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.

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. 

© Room for Romance

Bushmills Inn was reviewed by Room for Romance

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