Bushmills Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by Maryimelda
  • Things to Do
    by Maryimelda
  • Things to Do
    by Maryimelda

Best Rated Things to Do in Bushmills

  • RavensWing's Profile Photo

    ~ Giants Causeway ~

    by RavensWing Updated Oct 6, 2014

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    I was looking for things I wanted to visit when I was travelling in Northern Ireland and became fascinated by the Giants Causeway - a natural erosion of rocks that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. It all started with the tectonic plates moving creating openings in the earth allowing lava to push through to the surface. It cooled in contact with air and rock, hardening into basalt. This happened many times over 60 million years of cooling and shrinking and now we are left with the beautiful honeycomb shaped rocks, the devils organ and the Giants Chair.

    There are 4 walking trails you can choose from:

    Easy - a 15 minute walk from the Causeway Hotel to a picnic site and view point (700m)

    Moderate - The Camel, Giant's Granny, the Causeway and Giant Boot, a 25 minute walk from the visitor's center to the Giant's Causeway (1.2km)

    Difficult - A panoramic view of the Giants Causeway and wider World Heritage site - 35 minutes from the trail head to Shepherds Steps (1.2km) 90 minutes circular route when linking with the Blue Trail (3km)

    Challenging - A challenging trail for the more experienced walker. This trail links with the Causeway Coast Way and the Ulster Way.

    We took the Red trail. There are many points where you can get close to the cliffs and take some beautiful pictures. Taking our time strolling along the top of the cliff until we find the Shepherds Steps. There are 167 steps down linking to the blue trail. The steps are in pretty good shape, although the when you meet up with people coming up the stairs, there's little room for sharing. Once down the steps we headed back towards the Grand Causeway, stopping to take a peek at Finns boot. It sure is huge!

    Once at the Grand Causeway we walked up and down the honeycomb rocks. The tide was out so we could walk pretty far. Warning the rocks can be very slippery, explore them with caution.

    It was just a little over 2 km walk back to the Visitors Center when we spied a bus coming down the road. A one way ticket was just £1 - so we hopped on the bus and headed back up to the Visitor Center.

    For Opening times please Click Here

    For current admission fees please Click Here

    The Shepards Steps (167 steps) Visitor Center Giants Chair Grand Causeway Finns Boot - Size 93 1/2 - HUGE
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    ~ Dunseverick Castle ~

    by RavensWing Written Oct 6, 2014

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    We were driving towards the Giants Causeway, Planxty asked if I wanted to stop and see the Dunseverick Castle. Sure the more the merrier. They all have their own history. So I pulled over onto the side of the road where he indicated and got out of the car. Looking for what I thought was to be a big castle - I was shocked to see only 4 pillars that remained from the castle. It is said that a small residential tower survived until 1978 when it eventually collapsed into the sea in 1978. It looks like it might not be much longer before the remainder claims the same fate.

    You are free to walk up to the ruins. The hills are pretty steep. If you plan to get up close, wear some good shoes.

    Dunseverick Castle Can you See it? This is all that's left now Straight forward directions
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  • WBeall's Profile Photo

    Giants Causeway

    by WBeall Written Jan 3, 2013

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    The Giants Causeway was something that was not on our to do list. We are very pleased that we stopped at this really interested historical site. The story that is behind the entire thing is neat and how they have turned it into a tale is just to my amazement. The day was a little nasty and my husband wanted to walk everything so it made our tour a little longer then normal. But, this is something for all ages. If you are a adventure and like to hike, then you can take these different hikes to different viewing points. As you walk along the sidewalk all of the benches tell a story. My favorite part of the Giants Causeway was climbing the rocks out into the water. It was a little scary but so worth it. After you are done with the hiking and viewing of the causeway then you can go inside and read all about it or watch videos. They have a small giftshop and they also do money exchange there as well. They also have a cafeteria with some really good food and drinks. If you are planning on stopping by and it is suppose to be cold outside I would suggest dressing really warm and get one of the audio guides (with headphones) and it will explain everything to you as you walk.

    Giants Causeway View from uptop
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    ~ Dunluce Castle ~

    by RavensWing Written Oct 6, 2014

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    We had arrived at Dunluce Castle with only 20 minutes to spare. That just wasn't good enough to pay our admission and only have such a short time. Instead we walked around the outside the buildings and grounds.

    Such a shame that I didn't get to actually go into the Castle. On my next visit I will definitely make a stop. The outside is beautiful, I'm sure the inside is amazing.

    Opening Times and Admission Fees Click here

    Dunluce Castle Dunluce Castle Dunluce Castle
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    ~ A Dram of Whiskey ~

    by RavensWing Updated Oct 6, 2014

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    Do you know how whiskey is distilled? Well I didn't so I thought I'd head over to the Bushmills Distillery and take their tour. My son and I headed over to the admissions area and purchased our tickets - only £7.50 each. The nice man behind the desk asked us where we were from and we said "Canada, does that mean we get a discount?" He laughed and said "Had I known that, I'd have charged you more." and laughed.

    We headed into a meeting room where the guide told us the 'rules' of the tour. Your typical safety rules - stay inside the lines when outside, this is a working distillery. The one I thought was strange was 'Please turn off all cameras and mobile phones' - which we all did - then he went on to say that the day before one of the people hadn't turned off their device and the plant had to be shut down. Well I don't want to be responsible for shutting the plant down, easy enough, I turned off my camera. So why do we need to do this? This is due to the high levels of ethanol which can be present in the atmosphere in production areas.

    Through the door and off to stage 1 - The Ingredients - The whiskeys produced here use the finest natural raw materials - barley, malt, yeast, and pure clear water. The malt is dried in closed kilns without the use of peat smoke. This is why Bushmills Whiskey tastes different than Scottish Whisky, there is no smoky peat in Bushmills Whiskey.

    Next up - Fermentation - here you get to peer into the vast tubs where the yeast is added. If you're lucky you will get to see the difference between two batches being 'cooked'.

    Head down to the - Distillation area - Here the 'wash' is distilled 3 times. Again another difference between Irish and Scottish whiskey. Scottish whisky is only distilled twice while Irish is distilled 3 times. There is a 'Spirit Safe Monitor' - happens to be a man behind the desk who watches to make sure he is completely happy with the distillation.

    Across a small sidewalk, into the warehouse. Here you see how many barrels they have in production - well not all of them. They have many warehouses on site, makes me wonder how much they are capable of storing. There's a display of barrels showing the evaporation through the years the whiskey is in the barrel. Starting at the 5 year barrel - the loss is about 5%, by the time you get to the 21 year whiskey it is over 50% loss. No wonder 21 year whiskey is so expensive they only get 900 bottles out of the batch.

    Out the door and off to the bottling plant. There are 3 bottling areas, the first one we visited being the largest. They just happen to be bottling Jameson whiskey. The guide assured us that they were only bottling the whiskey, there is no production of Jameson whiskey on their site.

    Finally off to the lounge where we can get our 'dram of whiskey'. We were advised that if a person wasn't a big whiskey drinker to try the Bushmills Irish Honey, it is supposed to be smoother and easier to drink --- well in my honest opinion it still tasted like whiskey to me.

    There is no where else Bushmills can make their whiskey. The water is drawn from the river Bush that flows over the beds of bosalt rock, the same rock that lends it's unique character to another famous attraction - the Giants Causeway

    If you enjoyed the whiskey, then you can hit the Gift Shop on the way out. There is an exclusive Whiskey available only available to visitors. A 12 year reserve Single Irish Malt Whiskey - for a special gift you can add your friends or relatives name onto the bottle label.

    Even though I'm not a whiskey drinker I found the tour incredibly interesting. It's always nice to know how things are made.

    For the Current tour times and admission rates click here.

    Bushmills Distillery Welcome area while you wait for the tour Collect your Dram of Whiskey here Sit and sip your whiskey Bushmills 21 year Single Malt
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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Old Bushmills Distillery

    by Maryimelda Updated Jul 22, 2014

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    I thoroughly enjoyed this tour and would go back tomorrow to do it again. The guide was a young Irishman who had really done his homework and could answer any and all questions about the distillery and its workings.

    The tour concludes with a free sampling of the whiskey. I couldn't decide which one I wanted so the barman gave me two. No complaints from me. The honey version was to die for.

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  • stevemt's Profile Photo

    Dunluce Castle

    by stevemt Written Jun 19, 2014

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    Dunluce Castle which was the seat of the MacDonnell family is one of the Icons of Northern Ireland.

    Parts date from around 1500 and more was built in stages from that date.

    The national trust got guardianship of the property in 1928, and have administered it ever since.

    It is well worth a visit, the are audio guides, guided tours, guide cards etc to assist you in your tour.

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    A walk around Bushmills

    by Maryimelda Written Jul 22, 2014

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    Bushmills is a quaint and very pretty little town which is quite delightful to wander around. The main street of the town centre is lined with all manner and means of shops, cafes, pubs and sites of historical interest.

    A particularly pretty area is that around the bridge where the Salmon Fishery is situated. Then on down to the main street and it doesn't matter whether you turn left or right, you will have plenty to keep you occupied and your trigger finger clicking on the camera.

    Some of the attractions I will feature separately as they need plenty of room for photos.

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Dunluce Castle

    by Maryimelda Updated Jul 26, 2014

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    The ruins of Dunluce Castle can be found a short drive by car (or bus) from Bushmills.

    Perched high on a cliff, it's quite a mystical sight especially in misty weather.

    It was here that during the course of a huge dinner party some centuries ago, that the kitchen area of the castle actually broke off and plunged into the sea below killing all the staff who were working there that night.

    This is a fabulous photo opportunity, so much so that I wish I was a decent photographer. Sadly I'm not. There is a wonderful little tea/souvenir shop on the property, but that's another review as it has a lot of merit all of its own.

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  • stevemt's Profile Photo

    The Giants Causeway

    by stevemt Written Jun 19, 2014

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    This is Northern Ireland's Iconic world heritage site.

    Its stunning, and some very wonderful scenery.

    So much has been written about it that I am not going to add to it all, except to say, it is a MUST visit.

    There is public transport from many places to get to it.

    Opening hours :/- vary due to the seasons, please consult the web site

    Entry fees :/- Adult £6.80, Child £3.50

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  • leafmcgowan's Profile Photo

    Old Bushmills Distillery

    by leafmcgowan Written Oct 6, 2010

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    Bushmills is the home of the identically named Irish Malt Whiskey that is distilled in the Old Bushmills Distillery. This Distillery is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world. Bushmills has been manufacturing since 1608 for over 400 years. They are also notorious for their Single Malt Whiskies called "Bushmills" and "Black Bush". "Irish Whiskey" is also called the "Uisce Beatha" which means "Water of Life" in Irish Gaelic. Bushmills is known for their warm, distinctive tastes and the arts/crafs used by the Distillery to distill them, which has been passed down for generations. The Distillery hosts daily 2 hour tours educating visitors in the process and craft as well as providing tasting opportunities. Bushmills utilizes the magical waters from the Springs of St. Columb's Rill, processes it, runs it through triple distillation in its copper stills, then matures the spirits in oak casks. Irish Malt Whiskeys are closely related to the Scotch Malt Whisky with the differences of Irish Whiskey is spelt with an "e", and in Scotland the malted barley acquires a peaty smoky characer as it is dried whereas Bushmills is never smoked thereby granting it a honeyed malt flavor. Bushmills is very proud of its ingredients and processes. Bushmills is gluten free (distillation removes glutens from the cereals), is Kosher (status awarded by Chief Rabbinate of Ireland) and are suitable for vegans and vegetarians as they are made from barley, corn, or wheat, and other cereal grains, water, and yeast. They are distilled in oak casks which previously only contained spirit or fortified wine - no animal producs used in production. Bushmills is healthy, and a 25 ml serving of the whiskey is only 56 calories and an ABV alcoholic strengh of 40% (alcohol by volume). The Distillery reserves typically range from 50 to 60% abv.

    It began in 1608 when the distillery became licensed by King James I. By 1784 the Distillery became an officially registered company and word spread of the elixir especially from 1740-1910 with the Irish emigrants to the USA. The 1920's Prohibition in the United States banning sale and consumption of alcohol harshly hurt Bushmills but they managed to ride through it even though at many levels they were dependent on sales from the USA. The Director at the time, Wilson Boyd, took the advantageous step in predicting the end of Prohibition and had ready to export large stores of whiskey. Isaac Wolfson bought Bushmills after WWII, and the Irish Distillers group took it over in 1972 controlling all Irish whiskey at the time suffering serious neglect as their whiskey stocks decreased in order to increase market shares of Jameson Whiskey which is Irish Distiller's main brand. The French group Pernod Ricard took over Bushmills in 1988 and then in 2005 it was purchased by Diageo for 200 million pounds.

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    The Salmon Fishery

    by Maryimelda Written Jul 23, 2014

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    The Salmon Fishery is a small complex beside the bridge in Bushmills which is used today as a research centre to obtain important data on the salmon population and their lives and habits.
    Unfortunately it is not open to the public other than to apply for fishing permits but its setting beside the river almost in the centre of town is quite magnificent and a great photo opportunity in any walk around Bushmills.

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    Flowers and Gardens Galore....

    by Maryimelda Written Jul 23, 2014

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    A walk around Bushmills is filled with delights of many different kinds, many of which are beautifully and colourfully adorned with very pretty flowers. There are gardens in private residences, along the roads and streets or many in pots adorning the local businesses. This is a feature not only of Bushmills but of so many towns in Northern Ireland and the Republic that I just love to see.

    I don't have to direct you to them. They are quite simply all over the place. Enjoy!

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    The Giant's Causeway

    by Maryimelda Written Jul 25, 2014

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    No visit to Northern Ireland would be complete without seeing the Giant's Causeway. It is an amazing natural phenomenon and probably the most visited site in the country. It stretches from Co. Antrim in the north across to Scotland.

    Legend has it that the Giant Finn MacCool built the Causeway to enable him to walk between Co. Antrim and Scotland hence the name "Giant's Causeway". And it is further claimed that giants don't like getting their feet wet so that is why he chose to build it. It's a grand old story.

    Members of the National Trust get free parking and free admission to the site. The visitor's centre houses the ticket sales office as well as a café and gift shop and information centre. Buses run from the visitor's centre down to the causeway at very regular intervals. Cost is 2 Euro each way.
    Many people choose to walk down but most use the bus to come back.

    Open all year round.

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    Causeway School

    by leics Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    It would be easy to miss this little Arts & Crafts school building, now a museum set up as it was in the 1920s.

    But if you have a few minutes to spare it's worth a wander round.

    The school was designed by architect Clough Williams-Ellis, who created the rather lovely village of Portmeirion in North Wales, where the cult series 'The Prisoner' was filmed. Williams-Ellis also designed many of the houses in the pretty village of Cushendall, just south of Ballycastle.

    Causeway School Bronze plaque outside school entrance
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