Duncreigan Country Inn of Mabou
Mabou is a place of incredible beauty with... hours, days, weeks and years of discovering. Here you will find some of the best warm water beaches and coastal vistas in Cape Breton. The rugged coastal wilderness has miles of excellent hiking, biking and skiing trails. The harbour provides excellent sailing, kayaking, canoeing and fishing. Mabou is the heartland of Gaelic culture with ceilidhs, festivals and concerts happening throughout the summer and into the fall and winter. It is difficult to find a part of this island that isn't beautiful, but many people consider Mabou to be one of the most special places.
"This is Cape Breton's gentle shore, the sunset side of the island, where the sea is warm, and there's an eerie magic about the winds from the Northumberland Strait that sweep shadows across summer fields full of Queen Anne's Lace, buttercups and clumps of wild roses."
(Paul Waters of the Montreal Gazette)
The original Duncreigan was an elegant country home built by Senator John McKeen for his granddaughter's wedding to Alexander Hawley, a local harness maker. For years it was a welcoming place to many travellers as a stage coach stop. Mr. Hawley built a summer house on the point overlooking the harbour where he could watch the busy wharf. Coastal steamers brought hemp, molasses and rum in exchange for the products from farms and sea. Duncreigan is a Gaelic word meaning "high rocky place" ~ an apt name for it today, as it looks out on the village, the highlands and the picturesque St. Mary's Church across the water. When we first fell in love with the site, the house was "after falling down," as local people would describe it.
The inn of today was built in 1990. We incorporated many of the architectural details of the original house into the new building. The result is a charming combination of yesterday and today. The rooms are spacious and airy with large bay windows. The decor is bright and cheerful furnished with our personal collection of antiques as well as most comfortable beds and lounging furniture. In 1996 we built the Spring House with four additional rooms, styled after a traditional rural Cape Breton home with appropriate furnishings. Guests enjoy the parlour in the Main Inn for quiet times of reading, listening to music, playing the piano or a game, visiting with friends or enjoying a cup of tea. Adjoining the parlour are the two dining rooms where breakfast is served ~ one with a cozy fireplace, the other overlooking the harbour.
From our harbour side deck we enjoy the comings and goings of our resident pair of bald eagles, the many water and woodland birds, and the boats touring the harbour. The old wharf below the inn has been replaced with a modern wharf for touring and sailboats.