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This month’s pub is Smugglers Creek Inn, located in Rossnowlagh, County Donegal, a town with a population of 50 in the winter and 1000 in the summer. This pub is perched on a cliff above Donegal Bay and boasts stunning panoramic views of the wild Atlantic below. Smugglers Creek Inn gets its namesake from local folklore surrounding a notorious sea captain, pirate and smuggler who roamed the nearby seas with his cut-throat crew, and used the creek below the Inn to land his vessel so they could haul their booty up the cliff using on an old hidden path.
The Inn was originally opened as the Strand View Hotel in the early 1900’s and was considered the best hotel in the area up until the 1960’s when it fell into disrepair and was shut down. In 1992 Connor Britton, a local from Rossnowlagh, purchased the Inn and undertook several major renovations to bring it back to life, and renamed it Smugglers Creek Inn. It has since won many awards for its food, drink, and craic. During the economic downturn of 2009 the future of the Inn was in question again, but it was purchased by Emily Browne who saw the potential and added an extension and massive windows so that all patrons can delight in the panoramic views of the sea below.
Smugglers Creek Inn is a warm, inviting pub, restaurant and B&B worthy of a trek off the beaten path. Visitors will feel welcomed, nourished, and get a true taste of rural Irish history and hospitality.
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