A Guide to Bushmills, the Coastal Enchantress of County Antrim

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Bushmills, a small village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is a picturesque location with a rich history and enchanting natural beauty. Famed as the home to the Old Bushmills Distillery, this conservation village on the North coast casts a spell on visitors with its age-old charm, phenomenal landscape, and world-class whiskey. Let this guide to Bushmills delight you with the magnificent sights and experiences this town has to offer.

What Makes Bushmills Village in County Antrim a Must-Visit Destination in Northern Ireland?

The Historical Significance of Bushmills

Alongside its famous distillery, Bushmills carries historical significance from the 17th century onwards. The place thrived as a market village, with the Main Street reflecting this rich past through several landmarks. One example is the Macnaghten Family War Memorial, standing as a poignant reminder of the town’s participation in wars.

Bushmills Village and Its Unique Whiskey Heritage

The core of Bushmills’ heritage lies in its whiskey production since 1608. Old Bushmills Distillery, the oldest distillery in the world, still produces the renowned Bushmills Irish Whiskey, including varieties like Bushmills Original triple distilled malt whiskey and Black Bush lighter irish grain whiskey. The role of whiskey in the village’s life is also commemorated by a 17th-century bronze sculpture of a rill, an apt symbol of whiskey’s journey from malt to magnificence.

The Natural Beauty of the Causeway Coast

The Antrim hills and the Causeway coast that lies outside Bushmills offer a stunning getaway for nature lovers. Encompassing a 7-mile stretch between Portrush and Bushmills, the coast showcases the breathtaking North Coast of County Antrim and beckons visitors to explore landmarks like the Giants Causeway and the Dark Hedges.

Places of Interest: What Are the Main Landmarks in Bushmills?

Iconic Landmarks: Old Bushmills Distillery and the River Bush

The Old Bushmills Distillery is an obvious landmark, offering insider glimpses into the whiskey making process, while the River Bush is ideal for romantic walks, easily accessible from the Bushmills Inn. Another notable landmark is the Bushmills Clock Tower, standing proudly on the Main Street as a testament to the town’s past.

Exploring the Giants Causeway and Bushmills Railway

The Causeway and Bushmills Railway, established in 1883, is a must-visit place of interest. You can take a nostalgic journey along the railway that connects the village to the stunning Giants Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Historical Sights along the Main Street: The Clock Tower, Macnaghten Family War Memorial, and More

A stroll down the Main Street in Bushmills presents various historical sites, from the Clock Tower to the Macnaghten Family War Memorial. The Bushmills town centre, offers a plethora of shops, cafes, and the attractive Market Square for you to explore.

Exploring Bushmills on the Causeway Coast: What Are the Must-See Destinations?

Visiting the Causeway Coast and the Wonders of the Northern Coast

The Causeway Coast surrounds Bushmills. Portrush and Portballintrae are two nearby coastal gems of the North. A little further is Ballycastle, offering panoramic views of the coast of County Antrim and an opportunity to see the iconic Dark Hedges.

Discover Portrush and Portballintrae: The Gems of the North

You can comfortably travel to the vibrant town of Portrush with Bushmills serving as your base. Similarly, the idyllic village of Portballintrae, a mere stone’s throw away, offers sea views and calming coastal walks. These neighboring locations add to the overall charm of the Bushmills visit.

The Grandeur of Dunluce Castle and the Ballycastle

Visit Dunluce Castle, perched dramatically on the cliff edge, only a 7-mile journey from the village. While you’re at the northernmost tip of the county, don’t miss the spectacular coastal town of Ballycastle, known for its beautiful beach and historic sites.

Immerse Yourself in the World of Irish Whiskey at the Old Bushmills Distillery

A Taste of the Finest Irish Whiskey: Bushmills Whiskey and Black Bush

A trip to Bushmills would be incomplete without tasting the world-renowned Bushmills Whiskey. Head to the Old Bushmills Distillery to savor traditional Irish Whiskey and the elegant Black Bush, renowned for its smooth and rich flavors.

The History of the Oldest Distillery in the World

The Old Bushmills Distillery serves as a living museum where you can take a guided tour to understand its heritage dating back to 1608. Witness the whiskey-making process from malt to bottle firsthand and soak in the intoxicating history of the oldest operating Distillery in the world.

The Whiskey-Making Process: From Malt to Magnificence

Bushmills Distillery takes pride in its traditional whiskey-making process. Going from malt to magnificence, each step is a testament to the generations of workers’ craftsmanship who have kept the spirit of Irish whiskey alive through centuries.

Exploring Bushmills Beyond the Whiskey: What Else Does the Town Offer?

Romantic Walks along the River Bush

While whiskey is a major attraction, Bushmills offer much more. Romantic walks along the River Bush, for instance, can be a tranquil experience as the water flows calmly, reflecting the town’s leisurely pace of life.

The Charming Market Square and the 17th Century Tram

At the heart of the town, the charming Market Square is a hub of activity. Visitors can also hop on a vintage tram from the 17th century, which once connected the village to the Giants Causeway, for a nostalgic journey through Bushmills.

Experiencing Bushmills’ Events and Festivities

Being part of Bushmills’ events and festivities is an opportunity to become part of the village’s vibrant community. The Market Square often hosts street festivals and concerts, giving insights into the local culture beyond Ireland statistics and research.


Q: What is the distance between Coleraine and Bushmills?

A: Bushmills is a small village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, located approximately 7 miles from Coleraine.

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Q: What is the Bushmills Whiskey Distillery known for?

A: Bushmills Whiskey Distillery, founded around 1840, is known for being one of the oldest working distilleries in the world. It’s one of the highlights of the village of Bushmills.

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Q: How is Bushmills classified according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency?

A: According to Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, Bushmills is classified as a small village.

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Q: What is the Giants Causeway and Bushmills Railway?

A: The Giants Causeway and Bushmills Railway is a popular tourist attraction established in 1883 between Portrush and Bushmills. It is an excellent way to visit Giants Causeway and Bushmills.

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Q: What is the connection between the village of Bushmills and the River Bush?

A: Bushmills was named after the mills on the River Bush. This river runs through the village, embodying its history and charm.

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Q: What notable features make Bushmills a market village?

A: Bushmills, as a market village, is famous for its historical whiskey distillery, several listed buildings, and its proximity to the Giant’s Causeway. Furthermore, it holds a Hiring Fair annually, attracting visitors and townsfolk alike.

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Q: Can you tell me more about the Mills on River Bush?

A: The mills on the River Bush played a pivotal role in the development and naming of Bushmills. In fact, around 1840, there were around five licensed distilleries using its waters for whiskey production.

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Q: Who is Robert Quigg related to Bushmills?

A: Robert Quigg is a notable figure from Bushmills, a Victoria Cross recipient in World War I for his heroics during the Battle of the Somme.

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Q: What are some things to do when you visit the Giants Causeway and Bushmills?

A: Visitors should certainly tour the Bushmills Whiskey Distillery, take a ride on the Giants Causeway and Bushmills Railway, and explore the rich heritage of the village. Proximity to archaeological sites like the Giant’s Causeway adds to the allure of the place.

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Q: What role the railway had in Bushmills growth?

A: The Giants Causeway and Bushmills Railway gave a significant boost to tourism, making Bushmills more accessible and increasing its popularity as a travel destination.



About the author

Originally from Scotland, Colin now resides near the beautiful seaside town of Portstewart on the Causeway Coastal Route. By day he works in IT and by day off he spends much of his time travelling around the Island with his young family, writing about his experiences for many sites both locally and nationally.