Curraghbinny home with water frontage is on the market for €985k
Strand Lodge is on an acre of gardens and has 250ft of water frontage
Sailors are masochists. They like nothing better than being cold and wet, in cramped conditions with inferior sanitation, while being shouted at day and night about something to do with ropes.
Seaside gardeners are also masochists, persevering stoically season after season as their tenderest flowers are shrivelled, scorched and wind-blasted to kingdom come.
If you're both a seaside gardener and a sailor, then you'll be able to have double the punishment in Strand Lodge at Curraghbinny, Co Cork. It's on an acre of exquisite gardens right at the edge of the Owenabue Estuary, and comes with its own boathouse and slipway. So when the salt wind blows - which it's likely to - you can celebrate either by getting soaked in a sailboat or by tallying the loss of your hellebores.
The garden at Strand Lodge was designed in the 1970s by the celebrated Cork gardener Nancy Minchin, and, in fact, the hellebores to be found here are doing very nicely indeed. So are the roses, hydrangeas, azaleas, camellias and acers, along with the daffodils and tulips and irises.
The house itself is a sprawling 4,773 sq ft in a dormer arrangement. It faces south over the river, and that is where all the living rooms are, so while at leisure you're looking out over the beautiful garden, across the estuary to Crosshaven and its marina.
There are five of these rooms in which you might find yourself surveying the exterior scene and planning an assault on the garden or the tide.
Double doors in the entrance hall lead into a huge lounge, measuring roughly 26ft by 17ft. It has a 9ft ceiling and a big window looking south, and there's a fireplace in carved white marble for when the weather is inclement.
For formal meals there's a proper dining room measuring 20ft by 13ft, which also has a south-facing picture window. But nosh-ups with family and friends are usually enjoyed in the eat-in kitchen, where there's both a mahogany breakfast bar and a dining area with French doors leading to the sunroom.
In that sunroom you'll find no less than four floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the garden and the river. There's also a family room with a beamed ceiling and a stone fireplace, and French doors there lead to the patio.
One of the four bedrooms is on the ground floor - a guest suite with French doors to the garden and an adjoining shower with his and hers sinks.
The other three bedrooms are on the first floor. The master bedroom has an en-suite with a double bath and a sauna, and in the bedroom there's a bay window looking south. The second bedroom on this level has a door out to a balcony and an en-suite with a sunken bath. The third of the upstairs bedrooms is used as a dressing room for the master suite, with fully fitted wardrobes and another bay window.
Directly outside the house is a flagstone patio, and there are steps down from there to a lower-level patio with a pond, flanked either side by admirably healthy-looking lawns. Roadside the property is sheltered by mature trees, so there's perfect privacy from that angle, and no one to see you from the riverside either unless someone in a boat should develop a weird determination to be nosy.
The property comes with almost 250ft of water frontage, with a boathouse and slipway at the water's edge. The boathouse has loft storage and built-in cabinets, and there's an electric winch and a bath for washing your sails.
There's also a double garage on the grounds with attic storage, and a garden shed for potting up your cuttings and storing your tools.
Curraghbinny is a promontory jutting into Cork Harbour, on the northern bank of the Owenabue river, and is famous for its woods.
Managed by Coillte, the forest consists of 87 acres of mostly broadleaf trees including oak, sycamore, birch, beech and ash. It's a popular local amenity, with woodlands trails and wonderful views across the river to Crosshaven. There's a Bronze Age cairn, known as the Giant's Grave, an octagonal gazebo and wildlife, such as badgers, foxes and rabbits, plus herons nesting in the trees. The woods begin almost directly behind the house, so when not gardening or sailing, you can be rambling in the woods within a few minutes.
The nearest towns are Ringaskiddy, about five kilometres to the north, and Carrigaline, about seven kilometres to the west. Cork city is about half an hour's drive away. If you want to visit Crosshaven, on the other side of the estuary, it will mean either a 14-kilometre trip by road or a much more appealing 500-metre trip by water.
Strand Lodge is for sale with agents Cohalan Downing in Cork (021) 427 7717 and has an asking price of €985,000.
Curraghbinny, Co Cork
Asking price: €985,000
Agent: Cohalan Downing in Cork (021) 427 7717