An Isolated Atlantic Floral Affair
Cleandara House, County Cork
On a steep sheltered north facing ridge amongst the ancient native oaks above Cleandara harbour, hides this mature 1980’s cottage where time seems to stand still.
Secluded and private, this is a consummate retreat in an ever changing west Cork panorama. Perfect for rambling, writing, reflection and feasting.
Diverse and distinguished
A regular matrix of expansive teak framed windows punctuate the external walls of the cottage, ushering in spectacular views of the Kenmare Bay shoreline and airily animating the interior.
The furniture and ornaments are an eclectic and very personal collection of vintage and cosmopolitan – as in the elegant sitting room - part library, part snug, complete with rustic stone open fire.
When night falls a combination of Roman blinds and heavy curtains quarantine the shadows.
Bedrooms muster along the northern flank of the cottage with more of those stunning views, while the bathrooms and utilities occupy the opposite side of the hallway.
All the beds are substantial and luxurious with goose down duvets. Bathrooms are spacious with generous tubs served by separate hot water tanks.
The house is equipped with everything you would expect in a quality holiday home - from WiFi to gas fired barbeque and table heater, Stanley range, clothes dryer, two fridges and loads of books.
If you have a particular requirement, be sure to tell us…
Smoking - No, sorry!
The owners regret Stag or Hen parties are not admissible.
Children - The property is not suitable for toddlers or children under the age of 12, please check.
Pets – Possibly, check with us.
The house is remotely located, and obscured from the narrow road - the final approach is along a gated sylvan driveway. Apart from a broad lawned terrace surrounding the house the garden is variously planted with a collection of fine rainbow bright azaleas, rhododendrons and exotic shrubs and trees to delight the horticulturalist.
A series of linked gardens cascade down through four acres of informal private woodlands, where enthralling panoramas of the Kerry Mountains, and Kenmare Bay can be enjoyed from thoughtfully placed benches at selected viewing points.
Cleandara harbour is about 100 meters past the front gate. It is a natural inlet used by local fishermen.
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Out and About
Isolated but not remote, the Beara Peninsula defies analysis.
The ocean, the air the history, there’s so much to explore, so many paths to walk
Here are links to some of our favourite activities-
- Walk around the loop
- It's all about copper
- Go for a hole in one
- Scuba dive with dolphins
- Sup a slow pint in O'Neill's
- Get on yer Bike
- Dine with Tom
- Visit an exotic garden
- Check out some seals
- Get out on the water
- Meditate a while at Dzochen
- Visit the Cuas cliff caves
- Enjoy a pint with McCarthy
There are terrific walks locally with maps in the house with routes marked and walks described.
About the Locality
The nearest town for basic requirements is Ardgroom just 5km away. There is an excellent Village Shop and Pub that serves good food.
Close to the village there is a picturesque stone circle, one of a plethora of megalithic monuments to be found in the region.
For more serious shopping, gourmet restaurants, and an informal farmers market on Wednesdays, Kenmare is a delightful 45 minute drive back up the Bay.
photo Mary & Angus Hogg
The Ring of Beara road twists its way around this headland, 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.
Click here to find out more...
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 the infamous Dursey Sound, where strong tides make travelling by boat hazardous.
photo Michael Pabst
With magnificent views stretching from the Skelligs 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.
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For a period during the 19th century copper mining was a major industry in the area, and much evidence still exists in the small town of Allihies where there is an interesting museum. Many miners ended up in Butte, Montana after the mines here closed – an often tragic story. The Documentary is here...
photo Nigel Cox
Castletownbere on the southern side of the peninsula is Ireland’s largest white fish port. The harbour is deep and is reputed to be one of the safest in the world. Sheltered by Bear Island, it has a long military history.
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.
The tiny Garnish Island, just off Glengarrif demonstrates this in a series of gardens flush with rhododendrons, azaleas and other surprising plants.
The Caha Mountain range runs down the spine of Beara, and Hungry Hill is the highest of its peaks. The panorama at the top is of course staggering, but the route is a bit all-terrain and needs fine weather.
To cross back to Cleandara, don’t miss the Tim Healy Pass. This zigzag road is worth it for the wonderful scenery, and is one of the classic Irish Car Rally stages.
There are ample sites for fishing into deep water straight off the rocky Beara shoreline. Glenbeg Lake, is also teeming with trout and the short Glenmore river spate is extremely prolific, with runs of Spring Salmon coming in March, and Sea-Trout in mid-June to late July.
How to get there - Car advised..
By Air: Cheap flights to Kerry Airport (Farrenfore) Cork, Dublin or Shannon.
Kerry Airport - approx 1.5 hour from house.
Cork Airport - approx 2 hours from house.
Shannon Airport - approx 3 hours from house.
Dublin Airport - approx 4.5 hours from house.
By Sea: Ferry crossings from Pembroke/Fishguard to Rosslare.
Stena Express - 120 mins (summer only from Fishguard)
Rosslare Port is approx 4.5 hours from house
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has a fast crossing and is approx 4.5 hours from house
Gallery of photographs