The Old Inn

15 Main St., 16 km (10 miles) east of Belfast on A2, Crawfordsburn, Co. Down, BT19 1JH, Northern Ireland

Set in the village of Crawfordsburn, this 1614 coach inn, reputedly Ireland's oldest, certainly looks the part: it's pure 17th-century with a sculpted thatch roof, half doors, and leaded-glass windows. As it was near one of the leading cross-channel ports linking Ireland and England, the coach always stopped here, sometimes bearing visitors with names such as Swift, Tennyson, Thackeray, Dickens, and Trollope. Some of the finest bedrooms have 17th-century-style woodwork, sitting rooms, and faux-Jacobean beds, while public salons have beam ceilings and roaring log fires. In the refurbished Lewis Restaurant, named after C. S. Lewis, the Belfast-born author of The Chronicles of Narnia, you can tuck into Finnebrogue venison or braised shoulder of Mourne lamb. Over the centuries, large portions of the inn were rebuilt, and the East Wing is a completely modern take on Irish Georgian style.

PROS

  • a proverbial step back in time
  • lots of character
  • comfortable rooms

CONS

  • slow service
  • breakfasts not always up to snuff

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 028-9185–3255

HOTEL DETAILS

31 rooms, 8 suites
Rate Includes: Breakfast

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