This stunning lakeside abode in Co. Cork is the home of dreams
Waterside location at entrance to Mizen Peninsula
Published 08/07/2016 | 02:30
Every lighthouse is different. Ireland's tallest and most famous lighthouse, the Fastnet, for instance, flashes a white light once every five seconds.
This is known as the 'character' of the light, and it's how mariners can tell where they are.
They observe the sequence of the beam, compare it to the Light List, and then exclaim, "Avast, me hearties, this here be hard by Mizen Head," or words to that effect.
Well, that used to be how mariners could tell where they were. Nowadays they know exactly where they are because their boats are equipped with GPS navigation.
As far as the modern seafarer is concerned, lighthouses such as the Fastnet are just for decoration.
Lake House, in the townland of Toormore, is located at the entrance to the Mizen Peninsula which, as the crow flies, is more than 15 kilometres away from the Fastnet. That's just over eight nautical miles - well within the lighthouse's range of 27 nautical miles - and the Fastnet beam passes by the house at night.
That's the only artificial night light the owners see, as The Lake House is set in a secluded spot about half a kilometre from the coast, with no visible neighbours.
It was built in 2008, having been cleverly designed in such a way that it appears to rise discreetly out of the surrounding jagged landscape.
It's on 1.65 acres but quite a bit of that land is underwater.
Beside the house is a small, man-made lake - more of a large pond really - with a deck on stilts over the water, from where you can take in long views of the complicated west Cork sky.
The stretch of water also reflects the stars and the firmament, lending a mirror vista on those fine dusky evenings as the sun goes down.
It's not a massive house, at 2,100 sq ft, but it's all on one floor - that way you gain the high ceilings you need to generate a loftier and airier space within.
It's roughly T-shaped, with the four bedrooms on one leg of the T and the living rooms on the other. There are three of these, all interlinked and all roomy and clean, with white walls and plenty of glazing to bring the outside in. The entrance hall has a set of double doors to the right leading to the dining room, where there's a sloping ceiling and a polished walnut floor, and two windows overlooking the lake.
There are two sets of sliding glass doors opening from the dining room to a living room at the corner of the house. This room also has a glossy walnut floor and a fireplace with a log store and built-in bookshelves either side.
Most impressively, it has a fully-glazed wall with French doors opening to the deck over the water outside.
Then, on the other side of the dining room, there's yet another set of glass doors opening to the kitchen.
With its white tiled floor and white cabinets, the kitchen is a vision of almost unearthly cleanliness.
It also has a narrow breakfast bar beside a pair of lakeside windows.
At the opposite end of the room there's a door to a utility room and a guest toilet - the utility also leads to a 175 sq ft garage.
Off the entrance hall is an office which could presumably serve as a fifth bedroom if necessary. Three of the bedrooms are either side of a skylit hallway in the southern wing of the house, as is the main bathroom. Two of these bedrooms face due west and have doors to the garden, and the third, which doesn't, has an en suite by way of compensation. Then the master bedroom, which measures roughly 17ft by 11ft, sits at the end of the property.
It has a tiny, neat fireplace with a log store, a large en suite shower room and also has a door to the garden.
Outside, as well as the deck, there's a wooden jetty floating on the water, close to a built-in barbecue area. If you set out from the jetty in your little boat, you could at least be sure you wouldn't get lost, having the Fastnet to guide you.
The property is less than 10 kilometres from the town of Schull. As you're almost as far southwest as you can go, it's going to take almost two hours to get from here to Cork city by car.
The Lake House is for sale with Charles McCarthy in Skibbereen, (028) 21533, and has an asking price of €695,000.
The Lake House
Toormore, Co Cork
Asking price: €695,000
Agent: Charles McCarthy, Skibbereen, (028) 21533