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Bushmills is a small Northern Irish town with two big claims to fame. Firstly, it's the home of the eponymous Bushmills whiskey, which has its 400-year-old distillery on the banks of the Bush River. Secondly, it's the closest settlement to the Giant's Causeway, with the surreal pillar-like formations that earned this area an entry into the UNESCO World Heritage listings. The traditional pubs and historic town centre make for a cosy night out, complete with traditional live music, a pint of Guinness or a local dram, and no doubt a singalong or two.
Put yourself in prime position to beat the crowds by staying in the closest Bushmills hostel to the Giant's Causeway, or in a place that's 5 minutes from the Bushmills whiskey distillery. Start your day off right with a free breakfast, and choose a hostel in Bushmills with either dorms or private rooms, depending on your group type. Some hostels in Bushmills have common spaces like outdoor terraces too – perfect for swapping stories in the evening.
The town of Bushmills itself is built around Main Street. Historic listed buildings line each side, and its shops and cafés make for a perfect way to spend an afternoon. The town of Coleraine is 11km away and is known for its outdoor sports, including pony trekking, surfing and snorkelling. It also has some thrilling historic sites, with human settlement in the area dating back nearly 8,000 years. Ballycastle and its pristine Blue Flag beach is just 19km west.
Bushmills' major attraction is its proximity to the dramatic, fairy-tale landscape of the Giant's Causeway. You can catch the Bushmills Railway, a traditional tram-type train, to the coast, taking in Northern Ireland's lush green fields on the 15-minute ride. Stand on top of the cliffs for a different view, and make sure to see the Giant's Boot and Wishing Chair. Hike the rugged coastline along the Causeway Coastal Route and stop off in one of the traditional pubs along the way. The Old Bushmills Distillery is the oldest licensed working distillery in the world, and you can take a tour to uncover its secrets.
Derry Airport is the closest one to Bushmills, though you can only fly there from a small number of UK locations. There are more flights into Belfast Airport. From there, you can catch a train or bus to Coleraine, and then get another bus (total journey time: 2.5-3.5hrs). The centre of Bushmills is walkable, and the Rambler bus service links up the coast.