#StayNI : Dufferin Coaching Inn
A short break in Northern Ireland is always a great way to enjoy all the stuff tourists come here to see and discover.
One of the chosen accommodations popular with tourists for a number of reasons is Dufferin Coaching Inn in the lovely village of Killyleagh.
Dufferin Coaching Inn appeals so much because it’s a home from home. This charming bed and breakfast feels like you are staying in your granny’s perfectly preserved country house. It’s a beautiful yellow painted building just down the hill from Killyleagh Castle in what used to be an old bank, complete with its original bank logo in the window and wall, and the door to the vault in the basement.
The main residents lounge in this multi award winning B&B is where you sign in and get your key (and it is a key, none of this high tech keycard stuff here) before heading upstairs to your room. Our traditionally decorated large room featured a four poster bed and a lovely en suite bathroom. It was bright, airy and spotless.
The building, with its multiple uses over the years is a bit of a rabbit warren with corridors and rooms leading into private quarters, hidden rooms, the breakfast room and the surprise of a large venue out the back.
The old stable yard have been converted in to what is now a wonderful wedding or event venue with a stunning traditional entrance staircase down from the roadside. With a large bar and bar area just off the main venue it’s a great place for an alternative wedding.
There’s a great restaurant just down the road, the Smugglers Table. A short stroll to the bottom of the hill and you arrive at a converted home which houses this little gem of a restaurant with great food. Definitely worth a visit.
Another reason to stay over in Dufferin Coaching Inn, is the Smugglers Table drinks menu! With that now mandatory Gin menu, there’s also a Whiskey menu and a Rum menu. And you can enjoy it all in the cosiest homely bar you’ll ever see out the back!
What are the reasons tourists stay in Dufferin Coaching Inn?
Well, apart from its cosy home from home feel, tourists visit to research their Irish ancestry. Surrounded by historic graveyards the area seems to be a hub for Americans coming over to find their Irish roots.
As I discovered on my St Patrick’s tour recently, the area surrounding Killyleagh has so much history nearby, with St Patrick returning to Ireland nearby and Downpatrick round the corner, it’s a key area in St Patrick’s story. Read more about my St Patrick’s tour here.
The Strangford Canoe trail, yes there is one, and I’ve done part of it. What an experience, and part of the trail is right at the end of the road from Dufferin Coaching Inn. Check out the part of the Strangford Canoe trail I experienced here.
Let’s not forget that this particular area of County Down is Game of Thrones country. With Castle Ward, Audley’s Castle and Inch Abbey all close by, guests at the Inn are a stones throw from the filming locations of the largest fantasy TV show in the world.
Almost next door to Dufferin Coaching Inn is Killyleagh Castle. We had a really special treat here!! Huge thanks to Gawn Rowan Hamilton, the owner of Killyleagh Castle, who showed us around his home to tell us about the history of Ireland’ longest-inhabited castle. Gawn is very involved in his local village and keeps up to speed with everything that’s happening. It was a real treat and privilege to be shown around and to stand on the rooftop overlooking County Down. You can actually get married in the castle, now that would be a memorable wedding venue. Follow up the wedding ceremony with your reception in Dufferin Coaching Inn at the bottom of their beautiful entrance staircase to the great and quirky venue would be a delight!
If a home from home is what your after for an award winning B&B staycation, then you might just love Dufferin Coaching Inn, with its cosy country vibe, superb breakfast, with a lot to see and do nearby then this is your place.