Double delight: Two homes for the price of one in West Cork for €395k
House-hunters seeking character and charm in West Cork can get two for the price of one
Mount Gabriel, the highest peak in West Cork, is crowned by an air traffic control radar station that looks like a pair of giant golf balls. This fell victim to the tinfoil hat brigade in 1982 when the INLA blew it up after suspecting it of supplying radar assistance to NATO.
The peak rises 407 metres above sea level just north of Schull. From the summit you can see the whole of West Cork, from Roaring Water Bay in the south to the Beara peninsula in the north.
Mount Gabriel looms large in most West Cork views and especially that of the White House in the townland of Lisheennacreagh (Lisín na Cré), six kilometres from the mountain as the crow flies - or just over three nautical miles, as air traffic control types would have it.
The White House is a two-storey, two-bedroom farmhouse dating from at least the early 19th century (it appears on the 1842 Ordnance Survey map), which has been sympathetically restored of late.
An outbuilding dating from the same period on the grounds has been turned into a separate two-bedroom cottage. It's done in pink limewash and is known locally as The Pink Cottage.
The owner is a dedicated gardener, and has turned the four acres of land around the houses into a bit of a wonderland.
There are patches of neat lawn and carpets of unruly wild flowers, groves of stately trees and vigorous blossoming shrubs, wandering pathways and tranquil places to sit.
There's a meadow planted with fruit trees, as well as a kitchen garden. The whole is a pleasing combination of wildness and order.
The main house is a fairly compact 1,000 sq ft in size, and is very simply laid out, starting with a slate-floored entrance porch with a guest toilet off it.
Inside, the ground floor has just two good-sized rooms - or really, one open-plan room, as they're divided by only a curtained archway.
First, you meet a kitchen and dining room measuring over 14ft by 19ft, with pale painted cabinets with wooden countertops. There's a wooden floor and the ceiling is also wooden, painted white, with beams.
Then you turn left into a sitting room, measuring around 14ft by 13ft, with another panelled ceiling with recessed lighting. The room is lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and has a fireplace with a stove in it.
Upstairs, there's a nice-sized bathroom, measuring almost 14ft by 10ft, with red walls, a wooden floor and a low-slung window.
The two bedrooms are also on this level. One of these, the master bedroom, is roomy at over 15ft by 12ft, and it has a fireplace with another dainty stove in it. The other bedroom is a small guest room, measuring 9ft 6ins by 6ft 6ins, and painted in duck-egg blue.
The cottage offers 800 sq ft of accommodation, all on one storey but with vaulted ceilings and skylights.
It has an open-plan, wood-floored kitchen and living room with a wood-burning stove set into a hobbit-hole style recess against one wall.
Off this is a little hallway with a shower room and a smallish (11ft by 9ft) bedroom to the right. Straight ahead is the main bedroom, which has French doors opening to the yard, with a little garden opposite.
Off this main bedroom is an en-suite with wood-panelled walls painted in a dove-grey shade, and with a matching rolltop bath.
Both of the bathrooms have pebble floors. Having been renovated to this extent, the least the cottage could do was offer to pay for itself. It's been available for holiday rental, with a weekly rate of €695 in high season, falling to €450 a week in the winter.
As well as the lavish gardens, the grounds include several outbuildings, among them a greenhouse and a utility area adjoining the main house.
The piggery at the end of the cottage has been turned into a play castle for the owner's grandchildren, who've also converted the henhouse into a fun museum, known as the 'Guggenhen'.
The nearest town is Ballydehob, some seven kilometres away. Schull is about 25 minutes' drive away, and you can reach Cork city in about an hour and a half.
The White House and the Pink Cottage are for sale together for €395,000, and the agent is Charles McCarthy in Skibbereen (021) 21533.