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Celebrating 30 Years' of The Bushmills Inn

The Bushmills Inn first opened its doors in 1987 and we have recently toasted our 30th year with six major awards including ‘Hotel of the Year’ and ‘Customer Service Excellence’ at the 2017 Northern Ireland Tourism Awards.

The Bushmills Inn has a rich history that has shaped the hotel into the award-winning facility it is today. Before opening its doors as a successful hotel, The Bushmills Inn was once an old Coaching Inn and Mill House. Our award-winning restaurant was the coach house and stables. This is the oldest part of the hotel and dates back to 1608. This also happens to be the same year when “Old Bushmills” was given the world’s first licence to distil whiskey.
In the 1820s, the town embarked on a major redevelopment by Sir Frances Workman Macnaghten, who was a local landowner at the time. During this redevelopment, the Coaching Inn was refurbished into a remarkable hotel and it wasn’t long before it became a safe haven for weary travellers on their way to explore the Giant’s Causeway. After a long journey on horseback, they’d stop at the hotel for a taste of the famous whiskey and a restful night’s sleep.


Unfortunately, the hotel lost a lot of its business due to the arrival of a tram link to the Giant’s Causeway. With this easy route to the mythical attraction, travellers no longer felt the need to take rest at the hotel after a tiresome journey. From the 1890s, the Inn was used as a boarding house, a private dwelling and a bicycle factory. At one stage, the top floor was used as a cosy home for plump chickens!

In 1987, the chickens retired and the hotel was redeveloped to its former glory. 22 additional bedrooms were incorporated ten years later in the Mill House section of the hotel. These rooms are closer to the River Bush and offer beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.


An additional large-scale development was undertaken in 2009 and this brought the hotel to its current status of 41 spacious guest rooms and luxurious suites. A new lush courtyard garden was also added, along with impressive conference facilities, an exclusive Still Room Cinema and a stunning Garden Room extension to the restaurant.
Over the years, The Bushmills Inn has become the epitome of Irish hospitality and we take pride in the fact that our local staff lie in the heart of all that we do. We’ve grown from 64 members of staff in 2007 to 95 in 2017 and each of them has helped transform The Bushmills Inn into the prestigious and successful establishment it is today. The Bushmills Inn is going from strength to strength as we head into our 31st year of business. Our rich history and commitment to customer service makes us one of Northern Ireland’s most attractive and well known places to stay.

We would like to say a special thank you to all of our valued customers over the past 30 years. 

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