Aficionados may be surprised to learn that Bushmills suggests adding a little water to their golden nectar. "A nip of water is necessary," according to my guide, "to let the Bushmills expand and release its full flavor."
The lovely Bushmills Inn was our home for the night. Sections of the historic coaching inn date back to about 1608, when the distillery was granted its first license. Most of the inn was added in the 1820s, and recent renovations were sufficiently spectacular to earn the place a Golf Hotel of the Year award.
The next morning, we continued on to the Giant's Causeway, Ireland's only UNESCO World Heritage site. Legend ascribes this strange geological landscape to the giant Finn McCool, a creature who fell in love with a lady giant on the Scottish island of Staffa and built an immense pathway to bring her to Ireland. Scientists offer a less imaginative explanation: The columns were created when lava flows hit the ocean 60 million years ago.
Whichever source you believe, exploring the stepping stones, huge pencil-like leads stuck in the ground and sea at varying heights, is an awesome experience. The octagonal-shaped edges nudge together like puzzle pieces to form an unusual ground cover. Visitors clamor up and down the polygonal stacks of basalt and carefully tip-toe out towards the pounding water.
Back in the car, we continued for a short drive along the craggy coast. The romantic ruins of Dunluce Castle (seen on the first page of this feature) soon appeared, teetering on the very edge of a sheer rocky cliff. A portion of the 14th-century castle fell away
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