A halcyon waterfront haven
Westerly House, County Cork
This spacious American-beach style timber home is set amid glorious gardens that slope down to the lapping shores of Bantry Bay, with a private pontoon, moorings and exquisite Atlantic sunset views.
For family breaks, Westerly House is one of those unique treasures that are exclusive to wonderful west Cork.
A delightful and idiosyncratic home
A broad canted bay window with panoramic views of the shoreline fills one wall of the living room and introduces a bright interior of mellow timber flooring where conventional leather sofas and quirky Christo-style wrapped armchairs provide the seating.
For quick informal snacks there is the hi-stool breakfast bar, and just outside a alfresco terrace that straddles one end of the house and overlooks the rambling garden.
The upstairs accommodation is accessed by two separate stairs.
The Victorian bedroom is sublime with an unexpected but delightful free standing slipper bath, an open fire place, king size bed, and an eclectic mix of furniture and lighting.
The ensuite master bedroom is on the ground floor and has a king size bed.
The cushy bedrooms range from delicate hues chalky grey through mat Wedgewood blue and on to wallpapered rooms of tight floral explosions or busy blue.
There is more than one-and-a-half acres of mature garden with random pathways, benches, and swings for kids.
A large outdoor heated Jacuzzi nestles among the trees and shrubs keeping watch across the water.
A private floating pontoon on the bay is accessed from the pine fringed shore via a gangway, making this a perfect spot to sip a sundowner.
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Designer basins are plumbed into ensuite vintage genre furniture in the bathrooms.
Lime washed floor boards and furniture prevail throughout.
These two rooms share a bathroom and may be twin or doubles.
The house comes equipped with pretty much everything you would expect in a luxury home.
In addition there’s a large outdoor jacuzzi, a charcoal barbecue, a 65” flat screen TV with DVDs as well as lots of books and games and internet. The freezer is in the utility room.
Three Kayaks are available on request
Smoking is not permitted in this home
Pets and Dogs - No, sorry!
The owners regret Stag or Hen parties are not admissible.
Care obviously needs to be taken with young children with so much accessible water!
Out and About
Bantry is ideally located in magical west Cork between the isolated Beara peninsula to the north and the remote Sheep’s Head to the south. The sea, the air the history, there’s so much to explore...
Here are links to some of our favourite activities-
- Casual lunch at Mannings
- Bike around Beara
- Take a bowl of mussels in Bantry
- Play a round of golf
- Go for a leisurely Pony trek
- Stroll through an exotic island at Garnish
- Cross the bridge to Mizen
- Walk around a Sheep's Head
- Wind your way across Healy Pass
Annual festivals a-plenty include:
- Ballydehob Jazz Festival
- Traditional Irish music Festival
- The Chamber Music Festival
- The West Cork Literary Festival
About the Locality
Westerly House borders Bantry Bay at Ballylickey, in the crook of the sound 5 minutes from the vibrant town itself. There is an excellent gourmet café and deli just two minutes walk from the house. Bantry is host to a fine farmers market on Friday mornings, and there are several supermarkets, restaurants, and Pubs.
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Bantry Bay is renowned for mussel fishing, and there is a deep water harbour at Whiddy Island (need to take ferry).
The island once served as an oil terminal for berthing supertankers until in 1979 the French tanker Betelgeuse exploded in what remains the biggest maritime disaster in Irish history.
At the end of the 18th century a republican group seeking to overthrow British rule in Ireland, and spurred on by activities in America and France, managed to persuade the French to send a sizeable fleet of ships and some 14,000 troops to Bantry Bay.
Storms and general mismanagement doomed the Armada – an exhibition in Bantry House details more of this, plus the gardens are fantastic.
The narrow Sheep’s Head peninsula spans the southern shores of Bantry Bay and has a pedestrian loop that makes for a completely unique walking experience.
Sailing is the most ubiquitous pastime along this stretch of Corks coastline, and from Crookhaven to Kinsale there are countless regattas throughout the summer, and great opportunities for the serious sailor to up their skills.
West Cork is blessed with an exceptionally warm and wet micro-climate. The Gulf Stream ocean current ensures that summer sea temperatures are about 17 C, approximately the same as Long Beach California.
Here you can find palm trees, luxuriant sub-tropical vegetation and exotic flowers growing in abundance. Fuchsia abound, and have become the unofficial emblem of West Cork.
Glengarriff, only 10 minutes away by car, is the jump off point for visits to the magnificent and quirky and exotic gardens on Garnish Island.
The Ring of Beara road twists its way around this rugged headland that forms the northern part of Bantry Bay, exposing colourful hamlets in its path. Narrow, but with minimal traffic it is a splendid tour, and the views are spectacular. For Cyclists or walkers the Beara Way offers a safer route.
At the tip of the peninsula a spur off the loop road continues to Ballaghboy. From here you can catch Ireland's only cable car for the ten minute ride to Dursey Island. The rickety car carries six passengers (or the equivalent in sheep) about 250m above infamous Dursey Sound, where strong tides make traveling by boat hazardous.
With magnificent views stretching from the Skellig Islands to Mizen Head, only a handful of inhabitants brave this wild and windy island. Dolphins, whales and innocent basking sharks are frequently seen in the surrounding seas.
How to get there - Car advised..
By Air: Cheap flights to Kerry Airport (Farrenfore) Cork, Dublin or Shannon.
Kerry Airport - approx 1 hour from house.
Cork Airport - approx 1.5 hours from house.
Shannon Airport - approx 2 hours from house.
Dublin Airport - approx 4 hours from house.
By Sea: Ferry crossings from Pembroke/Fishguard to Rosslare.
Stena Express - 120 mins (summer only from Fishguard)
Swansea/Cork Ferry is 1.5 hours from the house.
Rosslare Port is approx 4 hours from house
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has a fast crossing and is approx 4 hours from house
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Gallery of photographs