About Us @Kilcoe Cottage West Cork
After the wild, yet mild, exhilarating days of a West Cork Winter, Spring brings first daffodils and primroses, then white hawthorn and clumps of yellow gorse which herald the high summer drifts of ox eye daisies, buttercups and purple foxgloves. As autumn nears, the landscape turns dramatically orange and scarlet with masses of fiery montbretia and hedges of abundant fuschia and this riot of colour borders the little boreen that leads to our home at Kilcoe Cottage from the road between the market town of Skibbereen and the picturesque colour-washed village of Ballydehob.
A leisurely evening stroll further along the lane will bring you to Roaring Water Bay where you might be lucky to catch a spectacular sunset which brings the russet tones of Kilcoe Castle to life, reflected in the still waters on the rocky shore. You might even be tempted to take a little dip at Poul Gorm, a tiny pier which our children call The Dancing Pier, where they love to go to picnic and, for some reason known only to children, to dance.
After dark, on a cloudless night, the Milky Way and the Constellations are so clear as to be awesome for city-dwellers, broken only by the rays of the Fastnet Light, or Old Blinky as we like to call it, that reminds us just how near we are to the Atlantic Ocean and also, of our previous life.
We, Sharon and Mark, came home to Ireland, to settle in this lovely place, having spent ten years at sea, sailing around the world whilst cosseting other people’s guests on their magnificent yachts. We dreamt of welcoming our own guests here as well as bringing up our two boys on dry land but never far from the sea.
When planning the conversion, to a spacious holiday home, of the old stone barn, situated near our 1859 West Cork “longhouse”, comfort and attention to detail were the paramount criteria. Six years later our dreams for this have come to fruition and we are ready to welcome our guests.
Having spent so many years waking to see, from the water, exotic locations such as Bora Bora, Newport R.I, The Galapagos Islands or Auckland Harbour, we are content to wake now to the sights, sounds and smells of the Irish countryside. We are inviting you to come and share with us our laid-back, friendly and restorative West Cork lifestyle.
Living adjacent to your holiday home from home, we can offer you a bespoke service that very few others can provide, whilst safeguarding your peace and privacy. I, Sharon, am a professional cook, trained in the famous Ballymaloe Cookery School and can provide full catering for you to a very high standard should you so wish. Or perhaps a meal or two here and there to spoil you on your holiday, or even fill your larder and fridge with goodies before you arrive. All the basics from coffee to flour to loo roll and soap await you on your arrival, plus a few little extras. You can even indulge in private cookery lessons or wine appreciation, visit local farmers markets or artisan producers who have made West Cork synonymous with the best of Irish food. Or for the more energetic amongst you, we hold bespoke triathlon training camps and walking weekends using local experts in the field.
You might join me, Mark, a professional skipper, and the boys Fionn and Killian, on the water for a picnic on Sherkin Island or for a spin through some of Carberry’s 100 isles. If you are lucky you might see seals or even some dolphins. Whale watching is also available in the area and the unique habitat of Lough Hyne is a fascinating place to study as well as a super place to swim, or to kayak through the rapids.
The many beaches and rocky coves are reached by driving easy distances through some of the most spectacular scenery in Ireland. Barley Cove is a family favourite, with crashing rollers, a quiet lagoon and offers a lot of fun boogie-boarding downriver with the tide.
Magnificent walks on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula, to Mizen Head or Three Castle Head, in Glengariff, on Mount Gabriel or further afield on the Beara Peninsula are unparalleled. Sailing, kayaking and other watersports are all available in Schull, seven miles away. Gougane Barra, one of Ireland’s most atmospheric retreats is an easy drive away.
A work in progress, our gardens are starting to produce and your own private raised beds are there for the plundering. Already, the garden is taking shape with its little pond, eight person hot-tub, Weber top-of-the-range barbecue and comfortable garden furniture placed to catch the sun.
At 1,750 square feet, but with just two luxurious bedrooms, every detail in the house has been thought out for your comfort. The double bed (which can be converted to twins) in each room is a 6ft super-king-size, with pillow-top mattresses and Egyptian cotton bed linen. The spacious bathrooms have walk-in wet rooms with high pressure showers and the master bedroom has a claw-foot tub.
The large, open-plan living area has a lounge area with copious squishy couches, satellite Sky TV, DVD surround sound system and Wi-Fi and is equipped with plenty of books and games. A second reading area is situated in the sunny conservatory beside a large dining space. The leisure area is part-separated from the very large kitchen by a breakfast counter which can double as a cocktail bar.
The kitchen, with its Rangemaster cooker and American fridge-freezer is equipped as only a professional cook knows how!
French doors and windows are a feature of the house and are in fact French, found on an epic journey to the heart of the Massif Central. The easy to keep tiled floors, with toasty under floor heating and thick rugs, masses of cushions and throws and interesting artifacts collected on our travels are conducive to a lovely “lived-in” feeling in the house.
We look forward to welcoming you to our home away from home.