Things to do in Bushmills, Co. Antrim

Discover the charming village of Bushmills, nestled in the heart of County Antrim, Northern Ireland. This picturesque destination is home to the Kiln Wing an old  cornmill conserved and cared for by Irish Landmark Trust that sleeps two guests.  Bushmills and the surrounding North Antrim Coast offer a wealth of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy, making it the perfect base for an unforgettable holiday. From exploring the world-famous Giant’s Causeway to sampling the finest Irish whiskey at the Old Bushmills Distillery, there’s something for everyone in this gorgeous corner of Ireland. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a taste of traditional Irish culture, Bushmills has it all. So, let’s dive into the top things to do in Bushmills and the North Antrim Coast, day by day.

Property History

Palmer’s Corn Mill, built in the 1830s along the Bush River in Bushmills, played a significant role in the village’s history. The river powered the mill and provided water for the Old Bushmills Distillery, as well as electricity for the Giant’s Causeway tramway until 1949. In 1977, the mill was listed as a B1 building due to its historical importance.

In 1986, retired engineer Sam Huey and his wife, Jan, took on the challenge of converting the dilapidated mill into a home while preserving its original elements. Throughout the restoration, Sam Huey maintained a balance between creating a living space and showcasing the mill’s history, retaining features such as cogs, wheels, and original door heights.

The restored mill features vernacular furniture and ornaments that highlight the local heritage, including farm implements, documents about salmon fishing, Old Bushmills bottles, and postcards of tourist attractions. Sam Huey’s passion for recycling is evident in the use of salvaged materials like tiles, timber flooring, beams, and lampshades throughout the property.



Day 1: Causeway Tour and Cliff Path Walk

Start your day by visiting the Giant’s Causeway, a mere 10-minute drive from Bushmills. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-see attraction, featuring over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns formed by ancient volcanic activity. Begin your visit at the Giants Causeway Visitor Centre, where you can learn about the history, geology, and legends surrounding this natural wonder. Guided tours leave the centre throughout the day, providing fascinating insights into the formation of the Causeway and its significance in Irish mythology.

During your exploration of the Giants Causeway, be sure to seek out the Giant’s Boot and the Wishing Chair, two iconic features that have captured the imaginations of visitors for generations. The Giant’s Boot is a large, boot-shaped rock formation said to have been left behind by the legendary giant Finn McCool, while the Wishing Chair is a natural throne-like formation where visitors can sit and make a wish.

If you’re looking to save on admission fees and support eco-friendly travel, consider arriving at the Giants Causeway by public transport, bicycle, or on foot. By doing so, you’ll save £2 on adult admission, £1.25 on child admission, and £4 on family admission. These green savings are applied at the Admissions Point, and pre-booking is advised to ensure availability.

For those seeking a more immersive experience, the Clifftop Experience Walk is an excellent option. This 5-mile trek departs daily from the visitor centre at 12:15 and takes you along the stunning coastline to Dunseverick Castle. The walk returns along the cliff top to the Giants Causeway, offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the rugged North Antrim Coast. The entire walk takes approximately 3.5 hours to complete and is a fantastic way to appreciate the natural beauty of the area while getting some exercise.

To book your place on the Clifftop Experience Walk, visit the official National Trust website. This guided walk is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the local history, geology, and wildlife from knowledgeable guides, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

After a day of exploring the Giants Causeway and the surrounding coastal walks, return to the comfort of your accommodation in Bushmills, where you can relax and unwind, ready for the next day’s adventures.

Day 2: Causeway Coast Scenic Route

Set out on a stunning drive along the Causeway Coastal Route from Bushmills to Derry, which takes approximately 1 hour without stops. However, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to explore the numerous hidden gems and secret places along the way. Don’t hesitate to venture off the beaten path – even if you get lost, the friendly locals are always happy to help you find your way back to the main road.

To make the most of your journey, check out the full itinerary at. This guide will help you plan your stops and ensure you don’t miss any of the breathtaking sights along the Causeway Coast.

Some highlights to look out for during your drive include:

  • Dunluce Castle: A stunning mediaeval castle ruin perched on a cliff edge, offering incredible views of the coast.

  • Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge: A thrilling rope bridge crossing suspended 100 feet above the crashing waves, connecting the mainland to the tiny Carrick-a-Rede Island.
  • Ballintoy Harbour: A picturesque harbour featured in the hit TV series Game of Thrones, known for its rugged beauty and charming atmosphere.
  • Dark Hedges: An iconic avenue of intertwined beech trees, also made famous by Game of Thrones, creating a hauntingly beautiful tunnel effect.

Once you arrive in Derry, you’ll find a wealth of activities and attractions to enjoy. From exploring the historic city walls to visiting the Museum of Free Derry and the Tower Museum, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. 

Some must-see attractions in Derry include:

  • City Walls: Take a walk along the 17th-century walls that encircle the city, offering stunning views and a glimpse into Derry’s rich history.
  • Peace Bridge: Cross the iconic Peace Bridge, a symbol of unity and reconciliation, connecting the city’s historically divided communities.
  • Guildhall: Visit the impressive neo-gothic Guildhall, which serves as the city’s civic and cultural centre, hosting various events and exhibitions throughout the year.
  • Bogside Murals: Explore the powerful and thought-provoking murals in the Bogside neighbourhood, which depict the struggles and history of the city during The Troubles.

Day 3: Beach Day

Take a short 10-minute drive from Bushmills to the stunning Portstewart Strand for a day of relaxation and outdoor fun. This two-mile stretch of golden sand is considered one of Northern Ireland’s finest beaches, offering breathtaking views of the Inishowen headland and the iconic Mussenden Temple perched on the cliffs above. It’s the perfect spot for leisurely picnics, surfing, and long walks through the sand dunes.

Portstewart Strand is more than just a beautiful beach; it’s also an important nature conservation site with precious habitats and way-marked trails to explore. Nearby, the Bann Estuary serves as a sanctuary for various waterfowl and wading birds, such as curlew and redshank. Take some time to visit the hide on the west side of the River Bann, which provides endless opportunities to witness the spectacular display of birdlife in the area.

For more information on Portstewart Strand and its facilities, visit Discover Northern Ireland’s website.

When lunchtime rolls around, head over to the popular Harry’s Shack, conveniently located right on the Portstewart Strand beachfront. This charming, upmarket shack serves fresh, locally sourced fish, meats, vegetables, and more from their extensive menu. Harry’s Shack caters to everyone, offering brunch, lunch, and dinner options, making it a favourite among beach-goers and locals alike.

Take advantage of the beautiful weather by enjoying a stroll along the beach or setting up camp on the National Trust-owned strand. Whenever you feel peckish or in need of a caffeine boost, simply make your way to Harry’s Shack for a tasty meal or refreshing drink throughout the day.

After a day of soaking up the sun, exploring the natural wonders, and indulging in delicious local cuisine at Portstewart Strand, head back to your comfortable accommodation in Kiln Wing at Old Corn Mill. 

Day 4: Golf & Spa Day

For golf enthusiasts, the Royal Portrush Golf Club is a must-visit destination. This prestigious club boasts two world-class links courses, the Dunluce and the Valley, both offering stunning views of the North Atlantic coastline. The Dunluce course, in particular, has hosted numerous major championships, including The Open in 2019, cementing its status as one of the finest golf courses in the world.

To book a golf day at Royal Portrush, visit their website. Here, you can find information on green fees, tee times, and club facilities. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a casual golfer, a round at Royal Portrush is an unforgettable experience, combining challenging play with breathtaking scenery.

After a day on the golf course, treat yourself to a relaxing spa day in the Causeway Coast and Glens area. If golf isn’t your thing, you can skip straight to the pampering and indulge in a full day of spa treatments and relaxation.

The Causeway Coast and Glens region offers a wide range of spa experiences, from luxurious hotel spas to intimate, boutique retreats. Some notable options include:

  • The Spa at Galgorm:(35 minute drive) Located in the stunning Galgorm Resort & Spa, this award-winning spa offers a wide range of treatments and facilities, including a thermal village, indoor and outdoor pools, and a relaxation garden.
  • Sea Haven Seaweed Baths in Ballycastle (10 minute drive) offer seaweed baths and a list of relaxation treatments. 

For more information on spa experiences in the Causeway Coast and Glens area,this guide provides insights into various spa options, helping you choose the perfect retreat to suit your preferences and needs.

Day 5: Bike Tour

Head off on a self-guided bike tour along the stunning Causeway Coast. The Causeway Coast is an ideal destination for a cycling adventure, with its well-maintained roads, diverse landscapes, and abundance of natural and cultural attractions. As you pedal along the coast, you’ll encounter iconic landmarks such as the Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle, and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, all set against the backdrop of the glistening Atlantic Ocean.

Throughout your cycling journey, you’ll have the opportunity to stop and explore the many attractions along the way, from ancient castles and historic sites to quaint shops and cosy cafes. 

After an invigorating day of cycling, return to the Kiln Wing, where you can rest and recharge for the next day’s adventures. With its perfect blend of natural beauty, history, and outdoor activities, the Causeway Coast is a cyclist’s paradise.

Day 6: Stay Local & Whiskey Tour

After an action-packed few days exploring the Causeway Coast, take a well-deserved break and enjoy a lazy morning in your cosy accommodation. Sleep in, savour a leisurely breakfast and spend some time simply relaxing and soaking up the peaceful atmosphere of the Kiln Wing.

In the afternoon, immerse yourself in the rich history and craftsmanship of Irish whiskey by taking a guided tour of the renowned Bushmills Distillery. As the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world, Bushmills has been producing high-quality spirits for over 400 years, using traditional methods passed down through generations.

During your guided tour, you’ll learn about the fascinating history of the distillery, from its humble beginnings in 1608 to its current status as a global brand. Discover the secrets behind the unique triple distillation process that gives Bushmills whiskey its smooth, distinctive flavour, and witness the skill and dedication of the master distillers firsthand.

No visit to the Bushmills Distillery would be complete without a tasting session. At the end of your tour, you’ll have the chance to sample some of the distillery’s finest expressions, from the classic Bushmills Original to the rare and highly sought-after 21-year-old single malt. Savour the complex flavours and aromas, and appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into every bottle.

After your distillery tour, head back to your accommodation and enjoy a relaxing evening, perhaps sampling some of the whiskey you brought back with you.

Day 7: Foodie Tour

Immerse yourself in a culinary adventure like no other with the award-winning Causeway Coast Foodie Tours. Created by the passionate and knowledgeable Wendy Gallagher, these tours showcase the best of the region’s mouth-watering, locally-produced food and drink, while also capturing the unique heritage, energy, and people of the world-famous Causeway Coast.

During your tour, you’ll have the opportunity to sample an array of delicious delicacies, from artisanal cheeses and craft beers to fresh seafood and traditional Irish dishes. Meet the talented producers, chefs, and farmers who are dedicated to creating exceptional, sustainable products, and learn about the fascinating stories and traditions behind each bite and sip.

To book your Causeway Coast Foodie Tour and discover the full range of experiences on offer, visit Causeway Coast & Food Tour’s website. Whether you’re a die-hard foodie or simply looking to immerse yourself in the local culture, these tours promise an unforgettable journey through the flavours of the Causeway Coast.

After your food tour, continue your culinary exploration by dining at one of the many excellent restaurants in the charming town of Bushmills. Some top recommendations include:

  • The Bushmills Inn: This award-winning restaurant offers an exquisite dining experience, with options for afternoon tea and a delicious Sunday Lunch. On a sunny day, enjoy your meal in the lovely al fresco dining area.
  • Tartine at The Distillers Arms: A chic, modern brasserie-style restaurant that showcases the best of local ingredients in its creative dishes.
  • The French Rooms: A cosy, European-style restaurant with a beautiful French theme, serving brunch and dinner in a charming atmosphere.

For guests staying at The Kiln Wing, Irish Landmark Trust has partnered with Co. Down-based food company Hara at Home to offer a premium meal delivery service. Visit O’Hara’s website to browse the menu and pre-order your selection for the required date, ensuring a delicious and convenient dining experience in the comfort of your accommodation. Please note deliveries are available on Friday only and orders must be placed in advance. 

When is a good time to visit?

Bushmills and the Causeway Coast are wonderful destinations to visit any time of the year, with each season offering its own unique charm and a wide variety of events and activities to enjoy.

One of the most exciting events in the area is the annual Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival, which takes place every autumn. This festival celebrates two of the region’s most iconic products – its world-famous whiskey and its delicious salmon – and features a diverse programme of activities and events. 

In addition to the Salmon and Whiskey Festival, there are numerous other events happening throughout the year in the Causeway Coast and Glens area. From music festivals and food markets to sporting events and cultural celebrations, there’s always something exciting going on. To discover the full list of events and plan your visit accordingly, check out Causeway Coast and Glens.

When booking your stay at the Kiln Wing or any other Irish Landmark Trust property, keep in mind that the longer you stay, the more affordable the nightly rate becomes. With so much to see and do in the area, it’s well worth considering extending your visit by an extra night or two to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of the Causeway Coast.

Please note that these suggestions are meant to help you plan your trip and are based on information available as of Spring 2024. Always check individual websites for the most up-to-date opening times and booking details before finalising your itinerary.

Featured Property

Salterbridge Gatelodge

Salterbridge Gatelodge, located in the glorious Blackwater valley, dates from the mid 19th Century.

View Property

Sign up to our
mailing list

Get the latest news, exclusive deals, and more from Irish Landmark.

Enter your name
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Booking Conditions


It is possible to reserve dates online at but bookings are not confirmed until a confirmation email is received from the bookings desk.     


Your booking must be for holiday purposes only.  Irish Landmark reserve the right to refuse hire for purposes other than holiday accommodation. When you make a booking, you accept full responsibility for all persons who will use or visit the property during the period booked.  When you book, you agree to indemnify us against all loss and damage arising directly or indirectly to the property and its contents from any deliberate or negligent act or omission by yourself, or any person accompanying you. 


The hiring contract shall be between the Hirer and Irish Landmark and made subject to these Booking Conditions . The Contract of Hire is not effective until Irish Landmark dispatches to the Hirer written confirmation of a booking. 


Irish Landmark reserves the right to increase or decrease the price of unsold holidays at any time. However, such amendments to price will not be applied to holidays already confirmed.   


All prices quoted are based on current prices and rates of V.A.T. at the time of going to press. Irish Landmark is unable to absorb increases in Value Added Tax or any new forms of taxation which may be introduced. Any such increases will be charged as notified and will be payable. 


All bookings can be paid for in full at time of booking. All bookings made within 12 weeks of stay must be paid in full at time of booking. Bookings made more than 12 weeks in advance of stay require a 30% non-refundable deposit with the balance due 12 weeks before arrival.  Irish Landmark shall be entitled to treat any failure to pay by the due date as a cancellation of the booking and will notify the Hirer by email.  The maximum number of payments for a booking will be limited to two – the deposit and balance payment.   A separate payment may be due where an amendment has been made to the original booking.  


Payments can be made by credit/debit card (Visa or Mastercard ONLY).    

Payments for properties in the Republic of Ireland are taken in Euros, payments for properties in Northern Ireland are taken in Great British Pounds. 


Please note that only one voucher can be used per booking.  Vouchers have a strict expiry date. 


Upon receipt of payment by our bookings office, you will receive a confirmation of your reservation.  All charges for the booking will be confirmed in this notification.  Once confirmation has been issued, the Hirer is responsible for the total advertised price of the property and any extras notified.   

AMENDMENTS TO BOOKINGS (excluding cancellations):    

Irish Landmark does not offer a transfer of dates option. A complete change of dates is treated as a cancellation 

CANCELLATION POLICY: We hope that you will not have to cancel your stay, or part of your reservation.  If for any reason this is unavoidable, cancellations must be notified by email to In the event of cancellation (this includes a reduction in number of nights) your deposit is non-refundable and the following cancellation charges will apply:  

Date of Cancellation 

Cancellation Charge 

More than 12 weeks before start date 

The deposit of 30% 

84 – 28 days before start date 

50% of total rental 

Fewer than 28 days 

100% of total rental 

Irish Landmark does not operate a cancellation insurance scheme for any reason, including Covid-19, and strongly recommends that all guests take out full holiday insurance cover.    

PARTY SIZE AND COMPOSITION:  In no circumstances may more than the number of persons listed on the booking form occupy the property overnight.   Irish Landmark reserves the right to refuse admission if this condition is not observed. Bookings can only be made by adults and cannot be accepted from anyone under the age of 21.  Irish Landmark only allows guest stays where the lead guest is aged 21 years or over.   


Upon receipt of final payment, you will receive Access Details and Important Information via email about your rental. This includes the contact information of the Local House Manager, directions to the property, arrival and departure time, etc. However, the specific arrival time must be agreed with the relevant local House Manager at least four days prior to holiday start date.  It is the responsibility of the Hirer to arrive at the property at the time agreed with the House Manager. Irish Landmark reserves the right to levy an additional charge if the property is not vacated in accordance with these terms on the day of departure.  


The number of day visitors will be limited to the capacity of the property – i.e., a 2-person property may have 2 day visitors, etc.   Prior written consent must be obtained from Irish Landmark Trust for additional numbers of day visitors. 

PERSONAL BELONGINGS: Baggage and personal belongings are always at the Hirers risk. No responsibility can be accepted for loss or damage to any car or its contents. 


Only certain Irish Landmark Trust properties accept a dog.  ALWAYS check this before you book.  Hirers who have made a reservation and are taking a dog will be required to read and agree to special terms, which details the conditions of bringing a dog to one of these properties.  Failure to comply with these conditions could result in the guest being asked to leave a property.  The rental cost is non-refundable in such cases.   


Irish Landmark respectfully request that you charge your electric vehicle at the nearest charging point and not at the property.  


The Hirer is responsible for the property and is expected to take all reasonable care of it. Our House Managers work hard to maintain and clean the buildings and aim to ensure that the property is in a satisfactory condition for your enjoyment.  We ask that you leave the property in a clean and tidy condition upon departure, including all equipment, utensils etc. If the property is left in an unsatisfactory condition and additional cleaning costs are incurred, Irish Landmark reserves the right to recover these costs from the Hirer.   All breakages and damage must be reported to the House Manager immediately so that they can be rectified. All breakages and damage are the legal responsibility of the Hirer and the cost of repair or replacement must be paid to Irish Landmark upon demand.   If there are problems relating to the functioning of the building, please let the House Manager know immediately. Please note that candles are NOT permitted at any Irish Landmark property. Smoking is not allowed inside any Irish Landmark property. 


While every effort has been made to ensure that the representations stated on our website, or any printed literature, are made in good faith, neither they nor any oral representations made by employees or representatives of Irish Landmark Trust will create liability on the part of Irish Landmark. 


There shall be no liability for any claim arising from the act, omission or neglect or default of Irish Landmark Trust, its employees or representatives unless proved to be done with intent to cause damage or recklessly and with knowledge that loss or danger would probably result. Irish Landmark’s agents, servants and employees or other representatives have no authority to waive or modify these Conditions other than in writing. 


On rare occasions Irish Landmark may need access to the property for essential maintenance work, should it be necessary, Irish Landmark will give you as much notice as is possible.   There is no need for you to stay in the property since our House Manager can accompany any such visits. 


If you have any complaint during your holiday, please contact the House Manager.  If the matter is not dealt with to your satisfaction, please email outlining details of your complaint.   


Irish Landmark reserves the right to refuse any booking and cancel any booking already made, if in its absolute discretion it considers this to be necessary. Where a booking is cancelled by Irish Landmark, every effort will be made to offer an alternative holiday at no increase in cost.  If the Hirer does not accept the alternative holiday offered, Irish Landmark will return to the Hirer the deposit paid and any other sum paid to Irish Landmark by the Hirer.  Liability for all consequential loss, damage and disappointments is accordingly limited to such return. 


It is the hirer’s responsibility to ensure they book a specific dog-friendly property if they are bringing a dog.  There are specific terms and conditions that to which the hirer must adhere: 

We allow a dog, but only when they have been booked in and paid for. The “Taking a Dog” option must be selected at time of booking.  A charge will apply.  

Our policy is strictly ONE DOG. If you arrive at the property with more than one dog the House Manger is entitled to deny you access to the property.  If it becomes known during/after your stay that more than one dog is/was with you, you may be asked to vacate the property and a charge of €100/£100 per dog will apply. 

You must bring your own crate/bed in which your dog can sleep.  Please also bring bowls, towels, and waste bags for your dog. 

Your dog must be house-trained and kept under proper control.  Dogs are STRICTLY not permitted on beds, sofas, or any furniture.  There is no exception to this rule.  

Before departure, please thoroughly clean the property, paying particular attention to removing pet hair from rugs and soft furnishings.  A vacuum cleaner is available to you.   

If there is evidence that you have not cleaned up adequately after your stay, you will be charged a flat rate of €100/£100.   

You must double-check that the outside area around the property is free of any foul. Dog fouling inside the property is completely unacceptable.  Guests will be asked to vacate the premises immediately if this is discovered.  

Your dog must not be left unsupervised in the property.  We ask that you take your dog with you when you go out.  Please be mindful of any livestock nearby. 


By accepting a confirmation of a reservation from Irish Landmark the lead guest agrees: 


I have read and agree to be bound by the Booking Conditions. 

I agree to be held responsible for the balance of hire for the property due and payable in accordance with these terms. 

I understand that most Irish Landmark properties have no television or internet access; that some have no washing machines or dishwashers; and that many have limited mobile phone coverage. 

I understand that as the Lead Person, I am responsible, before their arrival, for informing all guests of Irish Landmark’s booking conditions, and for their observance of same. 

If I am bringing a pet or having day visitors, I have particularly noted the special conditions that apply in these situations 


Hirers making a reservation over the telephone are deemed to have read all Booking Conditions and agree to be bound by them.   


Availability Calendar

Check availability for all of our properties at a glance here.

Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

Important Notes

1-night stays are not permitted.

Bank Holidays & Special Dates have a set minimum number of nights.

Deposits are strictly non-refundable & non-transferable.

Cancellation Fees will apply if you cancel your reservation.

Terms and Conditions apply to all bookings.

Special Offers and Discounts are not valid against existing bookings.

There are restrictions on arrival and departure dates over the Christmas and New Year periods.
Strictly no arrivals or departures on 24th, 25th and 31st of December.