€295k Clonakilty home has been completely renovated by its owners
This home in Clonakilty was completely renovated by its owners
They say nature sets the pace in west Cork, which would explain why so many people flee hectic city lives to relocate to this unique corner of Ireland. The owner of this detached four-bed home in Ganniv Mór in Ardfield, left Dublin nearly 20 years ago for Clonakilty and never looked back.
"We were accepted into the community straight away," says the owner. "It was very easy to blend in with lots of other blow-ins coming from the UK, Europe, Dublin and even Cork city. Ardfield village is classic west Cork - it has the pure locals and a lovely mix of people who moved there for the lifestyle.
"It's such a great place to raise children. Red Strand beach is a 10-minute walk from the house and most days it is like the local crèche, with mothers and their kids meeting up to play and catch up."
The owner, who specialised in the restoration of old buildings, completely renovated the property six years ago. "We knocked down a third of the original cottage and we rebuilt to get a bigger footprint, but kept as many of the original features that we could. Because we had lived there for several years before the renovation, we knew exactly what we wanted and how to make use of light. It's a very comfortable home."
This four-bed farmhouse-style property has a floor area of 1,808 sq ft and has been renovated to make the most of the light, while keeping the original features intact.
Downstairs is all open-plan. The living room has timber flooring and a solid-fuel stove, with doors leading out to the garden. This room leads into the kitchen/dining area, which has a beamed ceiling and is fitted with white, wooden units and timber worktops. There is a utility room and shower room with hotpress off the kitchen.
The conservatory can be reached by doors from the kitchen. It is a bright, large space with a tiled floor and access to the garden. There is also a double bedroom on this level.
A bespoke, open staircase to the rear of the kitchen brings you to the upper level. Here you'll find three large bedrooms. The master bedroom and guest bedroom are en-suite. The landing has a small study area, which would be ideal for a home office.
Outside, there are a number of outbuildings that are being used for storage. There is parking for several cars, and the gardens are mature and well-maintained.
Services at the property include mains water supply, oil-fired central heating and broadband.
Ardfield is a small, coastal village that sits between Rosscarbery and Clonakilty near Galley Head. It is just over 10 minutes from Clonakilty, famed for its character and black pudding. A drive to Cork city and airport would take about an hour on the N71. The journey to Dublin takes over three and a half hours. The village itself has a couple of shops, a post office and a pub. All of the action is in Clonakilty, or 'Clon' as it is affectionately known by locals. Residents shop at the farmers' market on Fridays and at Scally's Supervalu, which has won numerous fresh food awards. There is an Aldi in Dunmanway, which is about half an hour north of Ardfield.
What To Do
The beaches are the obvious place to start in this part of west Cork. The closest one to the house is Red Strand, which is dotted with rock pools and very popular with families.
The best known beach around these parts is Inchydoney, which is just a few miles from Clonakilty, and has vast expanses of sand and dunes. Further up the coast, Long Strand overlooks the Galley Head lighthouse and is a haven for surfers, but isn't safe for bathing due to a dangerous undertow. The Warren in Rosscarbery has safe bathing and a pitch and putt course in the adjacent dunes.
The proximity to Clonakilty is one of the real advantages of this property. The colourful town has an historical feel to it and has been designated as west Cork's heritage town by Fáilte Ireland. The narrow streets open out onto elegant squares, where you can discover the many cafes, restaurants and craft shops on offer.
While in Clonakilty, a trip to the Model Railway Village is a great way to spend a few hours. The village is a fully scaled handmade model of the old West Cork Railway line. Each model is a replica of the town as it was in the 1940s. There is also an indoor soft play area for kids, and a cafe and gift shop.
Eating and Drinking
You are spoilt for choice with a foodie town like Clonakilty on your doorstep.
In 2003, it became Ireland's first Fair Trade town and is part of the global Cittaslow (go-slow) movement, which promotes the idea of taking time to think about and enjoy everything we do, while respecting seasonality and authenticity of our food.
Restaurants like An Súgán, Richy's Restaurant and RCafe and farm source their quality ingredients from local and independent producers, and always receive rave reviews.
The buzzing farmers' market on a Friday is a great opportunity to sample some local fare. Here you'll find fishmongers, foragers, cheesemakers, bakers and coffee roasters, to name but a few.
For a drink in Clonakilty, DeBarras, An Teach Beag, Scannells Bar and the Courtyard Bar all have a great atmosphere and a good pint. O'Donovan's Bar at Fisher's Cross is a short walk from the property, and is a great place to catch up with local gossip.
Ardfield is typical west Cork, with a community made up of locals, ex-pats and blow-ins from all over Ireland and Europe. While it gets busier during the summer months with tourists staying in holiday homes around the area, the town is lively all year round with a very strong sense of community amongst its small population.
What's Not To Like
Storms and coastal erosion have taken their toll on the coast around Red Strand, with the damage becoming very evident in recent years. In an interview in 2014, local historian Con Scully said: "The beach has taken a new face. How long it will stay that way is hard to say. I think there has to be a permanent solution found to protect it."
Ardfield, Clonakilty, Co Cork
Asking price: €295,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald O'Neill, Clonakilty (023) 8833995