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A WAGs' guide to Portrush and the north coast ahead of The Open

Galgorm Hotel and Spa
Galgorm Hotel and Spa
The Old Bushmills Distillery in Co Antrim
Bushmills Inn
Bushmills Inn, Bushmills

The world's biggest golfing stars will soon be arriving on the golden shores of Portrush for the highly-anticipated Open Championship.

The competition makes its return to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951 when Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell will be among those to take to the famous Dunluce Links next week.

Top class golfers will be flying in with their other halves (or 'Gwags' as sports writers like to call them) by their side to lend their utmost support.

We'll undoubtedly spot Northern Ireland's own Gwag Alison Clarke, managing director of model agency ACA and spouse of Darren, beaming with pride from the sidelines.

And Erica Stoll, the former PGA employee who wed Rory McIlroy in Co Mayo in 2017, will surely be in Portrush supporting her Holywood spouse.

Graeme McDowell's wife Kristin Stape and Tiger Woods' partner Erica Herman may also be pictured around Northern Ireland's north coast, and, if the rumours are true, they might even find time between holes to sip bubbles with the Beckhams.

Here's where the Gwags might spend their time in Northern Ireland:

Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort

  • Ballymena
Thermal Village Outside (1).jpg

While it's a business trip for the golfers, the WAGs are in Northern Ireland for pleasure.

Where better to kick their feet up than Galgorm, the luxury hotel and spa only a forty minute drive from Portrush. The sportmen's partners can treat themselves to a Skinceuticals facial (J-Lo's favourite) or unwind in the hotel's thermal spa village.

They'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to eating with a host of restaurants including the River Room, Fratelli and the Bar & Grill at Gillies all on the resort grounds.

Bushmills Whiskey Distillery

  • Bushmills

The Old Bushmills Distillery in Co Antrim

After the golfers' wives have exhausted all the usual attractions (Giants Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the umpteen Game of Thrones filming locations), they might want to visit Bushmillls to learn about one of Northern Ireland's most infamous exports.

In the small village, settled on the banks of the Bush river, you'll find the Bushmills Whiskey Distillery - the oldest working distillery in all of Ireland.

The distillery's annual maintenance programme will be completed on July 12, just in time for visitors in town for The Open to discover more about the origins of the world-famous whiskey.

Bushmills Inn

  • Bushmills

Bushmills Inn

The Bushmills Inn is a traditional yet luxurious four-star boutique hotel that sits between the famous Giant's Causeway and Royal Portrush Golf Club - the perfect spot for a bite to eat in between your beau's turn on the green.

Harry's Shack

  • Portstewart

Harry’s Shack

Perched on the edge of the north coast, this National Trust-owned wooden shack is home to one of the area's most popular retaurants.

Harry's Shack, which boasts a stunning view of Portstewart Strand, uses fruit, vegetables and herbs from its own organic farm as well as fresh, local meat and seafood in simple but sensational dishes such as megrim sole with cockles and seaweed butter and Mulroy Bay mussels in Irish cider.

Gwags and tourists alike should take the advice of restaurant critic Jay Rayner, who, in his glowing 2015 Observer review wrote, "Coming to Northern Ireland right now and not going to Harry’s Shack would be a stupid thing to do".

Lost & Found

  • Portstewart and Coleraine


Jet lag coupled with long days on the course will call for substantial cups of joe.

Lost & Found is an independent cafe with locations in Coleraine and Portstewart. Their expertise is in delicious coffee and simple and seasonal produce for a short but sweet breakfast and lunch menu.

Morton's fish and chip shop

  • Ballycastle

Fish doesn't come fresher than at Morton's: local boats unload their daily catch right beside the harbour-side hut and chips are made from locally farmed potatoes.

This family business was established more than 100 years ago and is still reaping huge success. If the WAGs are looking for proper, traditional fish and chips up north - Morton's is the spot.

Ramore Wine Bar

  • Portrush
The Ramore Wine Bar

While the Ramore Wine Bar is renowned for serving up great value for money, even the rich and famous aren't to opposed to a bargain feast.

Visitors to The Open are sure to catch wind of the hype surrounding the harbour restaurant and be dying to see what all the fuss is about.

The Harbour Bar

  • Portrush

The Harbour Bar is famous for its Guinness, huge selection of premium gins and live entertainment.

Celebrations are inevitable as The Open draws to a close and we're predicting champagne showers aplenty. Let's hope they've stocked up on Dom Perignon.

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