The most South West you can go...
Gortadrohid, County Cork
On a causeway-linked island - one of the throng at the edge of Roaring Water Bay - and wrapped in 15 acres of wildlife and flowers, this impressive and recently constructed two storey family home enjoys spectacular views and a unique relationship with the ocean.
It’s well known that West Cork is where food, festivals and family fun flourish.
Spacious, Comfortable, Contemporary and Private
T shaped in footprint, the westerly wing of the trio is an open plan space and the core of this family home. The room spans more than 12 metres from an informal corner group seating area, with smart flat screen TV, to a powder-blue kitchen at the extreme end. There is stone floor throughout.
In the kitchen, devotees of the culinary arts are not only treated to exquisite vistas of the coast, but are spoiled by an American fridge and an exceptional three oven cooking range topped by a ceramic hob.
The Belfast sink has a companion countersunk in the preparation island, and twin dishwashers stand side by side to accommodate the debris of ambrosia.
The centre of this living space - occupied by a humble but long dining table - is lined with patio doors that open north and south framing panoramic views across landscaped gardens, the River Illen and North West towards Mount Gabriel.
Mimicking one in the front porch, a slender arched window illuminates the double height entrance hall, where roomy volute rail stairs make a return to the first floor gallery landing, at the centre of the house.
The more formal drawing room in the North wing benefits from multiple views, with windows everywhere, including French doors to catch sunsets on the northern terrace.
A contemporary, cosy wood burning stove enjoys centre stage below flat screen technology.
Still on the ground floor, there is a delightful and accessible double bedroom with shower and toilet in the opposite wing.
Three generous double bedrooms and a kid’s room with single bed and bunks, construe the upstairs accommodation. All the rooms are blessed with more of those ubiquitous views.
The master bedroom is ensuite - there is a shared family bathroom for the rest. King size beds may ‘zip and link’ into two where required.
Adjacent to the home, a charming Artists studio of traditional stone construction has extra accommodation on the first floor – a spacious double bedroom with an additional single bed, serviced by its own ensuite shower room. Large French doors open from the studio onto a dedicated south facing terrace.
The house is well insulated and employs the latest heat recovery technology. The Fridge Freezer has an ice-maker and water dispenser, while the washing machine has an extra-large capacity. There are two dishwashers. You will find a wide selection of books, DVD’s, and there is internet – in short everything you might require.
If you have a particular requirement, be sure to tell us…
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The property sits on an island connected to the mainland by a causeway. A long driveway takes you through 15 acres of private land, dotted with heather and gorse, seals, otters and hares. Several paths lead down to the water’s edge where there is a slipway and moorings, and a stretch of private sandy shoreline. Bring your kayak, RIB or dingy because there are a lot of inlets and islets to explore!
From the two garden terraces, there are stunning views of Baltimore harbour, the multiple islands of Roaring Water Bay and Mount Gabriel beyond. A large sandpit for kids, and landscape lighting in the picturesque stone walls are delightful additions.
Smoking - No, sorry!
The owners regret Stag or Hen parties are not admissible.
Pets – No, sorry!
Out and About
It’s easy to see why West Cork is such a magnet for family vacations, there’s just so much happening.
Plus, if like Rat in Wind in the Willows, you find “there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats…” you’re in the right place.
We can’t list everything, but here are a few of our favourites...
Here are links to some of our favourites
- Play a round at Skibbereen
- Go moonlight kayaking
- Dinner on Heir Island
- Dive off Baltimore
- Get the full Irish Breakfast in the Gardens
- Learn to bake at Firehouse Bread School
- Hire yourself a boat
- Dine in style in the Mews
- Enjoy some Sea Angling on the Rooster
- fish in the River Ilen
- Check out the market in Skibereen
- Take a Sea Safari
- Treat yourself to lunch in Good Things
There are few regions where you will find quite so many Festivals – there always seems to be something magical in full swing. Here are just a few: Traditional Irish music Festival, Fastnet Maritime and Folk Festival, Skibbereen Food Festival, Cape Clear Storytelling, Baltimore Seafood and Wooden Boat Festival, O'Driscioll Clan and Midsummer Festival, Baltimore Pirate Festival, Baltimore Regatta, Baltimore Sea Angling Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, West Cork Literary Festival, Baltimore Fiddle Fair
Gortadroid is idillic, a pleasurdome of pure luxury perched atop an island of serenity.
The views in the morning are enough to defibrillate even the most exhausted city dweller and the pink sunsets soften the soul like the enzymes in the centre of expensive chocolate truffles.
The house itself is clean, bright and comfortable with many useful practical considerations. All the rooms are fitted with double blinds for extended snoozing and the kitchen is generously fitted out in every direction to make it the ideal entertaining space.
The house is warm at all times due to a magic and apparently invisible heating system and the baths are large and deep. There is a snug with a wood-burner for those that like to indulge in light pyromania and walks in all directions are imbued with panoramic views and the kind of refreshing solitude you expect from such a remote part of the world.
The local fishmongers, pubs and shopping are only a ten minuet drive away which is very useful and there are treasures to be found in the weekend markets, charity shops and antiques places even for the novice scavenger.
We absolutely loved it and plan to return just add soon as we can.
Moses Van den Bogaerde, March 2019
About the Locality
Baltimore village with restaurants, shops and pubs is less than ten minutes by car, and just a mile by sea. This is probably as far south as towns get in Ireland.
The town was the country largest fishing port at the turn of the last century, and a long tradition of boat building. Most of the catch was destined for America, with some seven train loads a day leaving the port.
There is a small archipelago known as Carberry’s 100 isles in this most southerly parish in Ireland. Actually there are only about 50, and they all bear the scars of Atlantic attrition that has left a jagged combed striation in the sandstone.
The Baltimore Seafood and Wooden Boat Festival runs the last weekend in May.
Sailors and boat-lovers gather for a weekend of sailing, talking, learning and partying in true West Cork style!
Food tents line the pier hosting West Cork’s finest fish smokers, cheese makers and organic gardeners showcasing unique cuisine.
Click here to find out more...
The lively town of Skibbereen is about 12 km inland, and the principal town in the region. Excellent for Artisan food and crafts, there is a vibrant market here on Saturdays.
There is a fine heritage centre in the town for tracing your family, especially if you are a McCarthy. Baltimore is strong O’Driscoll territory though, so if you’re from that clan, that’s the spot for you.
The local population was decimated during the great potato famine – there are said to be 9,000 victims in burial pits outside the Skibbereen.
Some escaped west to the New World on ships like the Jeanie Johnston (pictured) which carried more than 2,500 passengers in very cramped conditions over seven years without loss of a single life.
Every two years an 1,126 km yacht race from the Isle of Wight around Ireland’s most southerly point, the Fastnet Rock, takes place. Severe weather famously took the lives of 18 sailors in the 1979 race, resulting in the largest ever peace-time rescue operation.
Baltimore is a good choice for ferries to the islands, where the best beaches are to be found, and boat tours of Roaring Water Bay.
How to get there - Car advised..
By Air: Cheap flights to Kerry Airport (Farrenfore), Cork, Dublin or Shannon.
Kerry Airport - approx 2 hours from house.
Cork Airport - approx 1.5 hours from house.
Shannon Airport - approx 3.5 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 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