Saturday 21 October 2017

Board and boats in the Kingdom

Kerry guesthouse makes a splash with its own moorings for 22 craft

Lakelands Farm Guesthouse enjoys an enviable location, next to Lough Currane
Lakelands Farm Guesthouse enjoys an enviable location, next to Lough Currane
A balcony from which to enjoy the surrounding countryside
An aerial view of the property
One of the bedrooms
The private moorings
Bedroom with views
Reception room

Róisín Carabine

There's good reason why many of us choose to escape the fast-paced, screen-fuelled rhythm of our modern lives and take a holiday by the sea or near a lake. Or why others dream of retiring to the coast. There's a sense of calm and clarity that comes from being near water.

Science knows it too. In his book, Blue Mind, renowned American marine biologist and best-selling author, Dr Wallace J Nichols examined seas and oceans, lakes and rivers, swimming pools and even bath water to discover the scientific reason why so many of us are drawn to water - emotionally, physically and psychologically.

His research revealed how being near or in or even under water makes us happier, healthier, more connected and better at what we do.

"When you see water, when you hear water, it triggers a response in your brain that you're in the right place," says Nichols.

A balcony from which to enjoy the surrounding countryside
A balcony from which to enjoy the surrounding countryside

That 'right place' could be on the breathtakingly scenic banks of Lough Currane, on Kerry's Iveragh Peninsula, surrounded by rugged mountainous terrain and miles of big open skies.

Covering 2,500 acres and separated from the Atlantic Ocean by only 500 metres of the Cunneragh River, Lough Currane is one of Ireland's premier still water fisheries for salmon and sea trout.

For decades fishermen have flocked from all over the world to fish its spring salmon, grilse and specimen sea trout "renowned for their size and fighting ability", according to Angling Ireland. Visit any restaurant or pub in Waterville and you'll see photos of happy fishermen proudly holding their catch adorning the walls.

The fishing season begins on January 17 and ends on September 30.

The lough and tales of its promising catch are well documented in the film Sea to Stream, which features angling duo Richie Johnston and Charlie Stuart's fishing journey of the Currane, narrated by actor Niall Tóibín - a must-view for all fly anglers.

Of course fish isn't the only attraction in these waters. There's history too. At the centre of the lough is Church Island and the remains of a 12th century monastery built in the Romanesque style.

One of the bedrooms
One of the bedrooms

There's a submerged castle on the southern shore, which can be seen from the road when the waters are low, and on the western shore is the horseshoe-shaped Beenbane Fort and series of Beehive Huts.

Nestled on 7.9 acres and boasting its own private shoreline on the lough is also Lakelands Farm Guesthouse, ideally located half-way round the world famous Ring of Kerry and within the very heart of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Very rarely do properties of its kind in this stunning location come on the market.

Run as a successful Bed & Breakfast for over 30 years by the same family, the addition of two extensions in the late 1990s transformed it into a luxury 3-star Bord Failte approved guesthouse.

It is being sold as a going concern, but selling agent Pauline Sugrue says this substantial country pile could also easily make for a stunning lakeside retreat - "there's room here for a helipad" - or retirement home.

This elegant 8,000 sq ft property has been thoughtfully designed and built to take full advantage of its picturesque location, with a mix of floor-to-ceiling windows and glazed doors offering outstanding panoramic views of the lake and mountains.

The private moorings
The private moorings

Guest accommodation consists of 12 en suite bedrooms, some with balconies and Jacuzzis, two living rooms with fireplaces, laundry room, a large spacious dining room that can easily seat 28 people comfortably, and a professional, stainless steel kitchen, from which the current owners serve up home-cooked Irish breakfasts to guests, for which they get great reviews on TripAdvisor.

The travel website gives Lakelands 4.5 stars out of a possible 5, with 72pc of reviewers rating it as excellent.

Indeed, of the 13 B&Bs/inns in the Waterville area, it currently ranks number 5 on the site.

Living accommodation for new owners here consists of three bedrooms and a sitting room.

Outside, a private roadway leads down to the lake shore and to a slipway and private boat moorings for up to 22 boats, which was running at full capacity up until a few years ago. There are two large boat sheds too.

A designated picnic area provides even more opportunity for guests to enjoy the outdoors.

The property is just 2km from the heart of Waterville and is the perfect location for exploring south Kerry.

Aside from the popular water activities of fishing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking and swimming here, there's plenty to enjoy on land too, with hiking, horse riding, walking, cycling and of course golfing all well catered for.

Nearby Waterville Golf Links, flanked by Ballinskelligs Bay and the River Inny Estuary is a championship links course and ranked by Golf Digest Ireland as the country's 5th best course. Famous players include Tiger Woods and Mark O'Meara to name but a few.

The new (almost complete) Hogs Head golf resort, redesigned by noted golf architect Robert Trent Jones junior and boasting world-class greens, a 48-bed lodge and 15 cottages, is less than three minutes away.

There are many beautiful, unspoilt beaches in the area including Waterville beach, Derrynane, White Strand, Inny Strand and Ballinskelligs.

With its vast and varied selection of outdoor activities, it's not difficult to see why Kerry is regarded as the adventure capital of Ireland.

Lakelands Farm Guesthouse is for sale through Kerry Property Sales with a guide price of €1.3m.

It could provide both a home and a tourist business for those who want to diversify. Or, if you would like it all to yourself, it could be a huge private residence on its own waterside grounds.

Lakelands Farm Guesthouse

Eightercua, Lake Road, Waterville, Co Kerry

Asking price: €1.3m

Agent: Kerry Property Sales, (066) 947 4310

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