Ireland 2015, Day 4: Bushmills and Dunfanaghy

Day 4! I need time to slow down, especially now that I am starting to feel like myself again. 

We were greeted with another bright morning in County Antrim and put our last few hours in Northern Ireland to good use. We stopped by Dunluce Castle again to give Scott an opportunity to properly look around and explore. I picked up some treats for our little nieces (Wee nieces! Everyone says wee here. Am adding it to my vocabulary now.) at the gift shop. 

Next stop was Bushmills Distillery. Scott LOVED it. The tour was very interesting and definitely gave me a new appreciation for Irish whiskey. The first distillery license granted to Bushmills was in 1608. All Bushmills whiskey is made at Bushmills, triple-distilled and aged from one-to-five years. Bushmills uses madiera, sherry and bourbon barrels for aging its whiskey. All the bourbon barrels are from Jim Beam. Lucky Scott got to enjoy triple samples as Mom doesn’t care for whiskey and I don’t care for drinking it straight. We also got to take a few minutes and FaceTime with Brooke, Houston, Jackson and Lucy! Scott was excited to show Houston part of Bushmills. 

Somehow I feel like it is very appropriate that my father’s family descends from a land of giants and whiskey. 🍀💗

We hit the road to County Donegal after the tour, taking us from the Causeway Coastal Route to the Wild Atlantic Way as we traveled from Antrim to Letterkenny to Dunfanaghy, a small town by the sea. Our first stop in Dunfanaghy was lunch at Muck n’ Muffins — muck for the pottery shop downstairs, muffins for the delicious cafe upstairs. I got vegetable soup, Scott and mom had ham and Brie sandwiches. Delicious meal. Scott got us a beautiful piece of pottery to take home.

   
    Our family checked in to Rockhaven B&B for the night. The rooms are all en suite, very, very nice and incredibly clean and the view from the sitting areas and dining room is beautiful.

B&B proprietor Heather greeted us very warmly and gave us suggestions about dinner and what to do. 

After walking around town we spent some time exploring the area around Dunfanaghy. My favorite part was probably my close encounter with these guys…

   
   We decided to drive up to the famous Horn Head after we checked in. The scenery at Horn Head and the north of Ireland feels different from other parts of the country. Different, but not at all in a bad way. Our favorite guide book calls Donegal’s landscape dramatic and I think that’s fair. Our view switched from rocky to forestland to mountains to rolling green hills in the span of an hour’s drive. 

Horn Head is famous for its views and 600-foot drop to the Atlantic. Today we could only see a few heather-covered yards in front of us. A thick mist was rolling in over the hills. Really, a rolling most.  Mom aptly called it “Jane Eyre-esque.” 

  

We stopped at the Oyster Bar and enjoyed some awesome traditional Irish music and drinks before heading over to the restaurant at Arnold’s Hotel for dinner. Great food and at 9:30 … More traditional Irish music. Such a good day.

   
  

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