Four of a kind... Waterside
Swimming near Skibbereen
Lough Hyne is Ireland's first Marine Nature Reserve and an area of special conservation, a beautiful and unique seawater lake that offers diving and water sports opportunities.
Just 1km long and 3/4km wide, Lough Hyne is connected to the Atlantic Ocean via Barloge Creek, a narrow tidal channel known as the Rapids. Tidal flows fill Lough Hyne twice a day, creating a unique habitat of warm oxygenated seawater, which sustains a huge variety of marine plants and animals, including 72 species of fish. It is regarded as one of the most important marine habitats in Europe.
Above the narrow rapids are the ruins of an 8th century church dedicated to St Brigid which was in regular use in penal times, and in the centre of the lake is Castle Island, on which stands the ancient ruins of Cloghan Castle, once a stronghold of the O'Driscolls.
Approached by a private drive, Lough Hyne Cottage occupies an elevated and secluded position with magnificent views over the lake. The 2.5 acre site offers a opportunity to create sub-tropical gardens in the unique micro-climate specific to this area.
The cottage has 140sqm of living space and as currently configured has three reception rooms, three bedrooms and a shower room. It is described as being in need of modernisation.
The location is equidistant between Skibbereen, which has good shopping, and Baltimore, a mecca for sailing enthusiasts and a gateway to the islands lying off the coast.
The area is known for an abundance of good cafes, pubs and restaurants. Cork International Airport is an 80-minute drive away.
Agent: Charles McCarthy (028) 21533
Splashing in Salthill
This two-bedroom first-floor apartment at Ocean Towers in Salthill on the outskirts of Galway City has views out over Galway Bay and the Blackrock diving boards. Ocean Towers is a self-managed, secure and private complex adjacent to Salthill Promenade and Galway Golf Club. No 21 is located on the far left of the complex and has a south/ south west aspect and a large private patio. Off the hall is an open-plan kitchen/ dining/ sitting area, which is light and bright thanks to large double-glazed windows. There are two double bedrooms, one of which is en suite, as well as a family bathroom. The property has been fully refurbished and redecorated by the current owners and the development is in excellent condition both internally and externally.
Agent: O'Donnellan & Joyce (091) 564 212
Dipping in Dugort
Beach View Heights in Dugort on Achill Island in Co Mayo occupies an elevated site at the foot of Slievemoore Mountain, with sea views across to Blacksod Bay and the Belmullet Peninsula. The house is 650m from the blue flag beach at Silver Strand. The three-bedroom house is in walk-in condition, with 178sqm of living space. On the ground floor there's an entrance hall, sitting room, open-plan living/dining/kitchen, utility room, one double bedroom and a bathroom. Upstairs there are two further double bedrooms, both with en-suite shower rooms and walk-in wardrobes. The house is 2km from Dugort's other beach, Golden Strand, and there is a wide range of outdoor activities on the island.
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Crowley (098) 29009
Bathing at Brittas Bay
Seaspray is a detached four-bedroom house on a site of half an acre with rare direct access to Brittas Bay Beach, one of the finest beaches on the east coast, with a 5km stretch of white sand dunes. The beach has held coveted EU Blue Flag status - the international emblem for the highest quality beach areas in Europe - for five consecutive years, and is suitable for bathing, sailing and walking. The dunes are home to many rare wildlife and plant species. The house has a private walled garden with lawns and sunny, sheltered patios and is an ideal family beach house. The main bedroom and one other are both en suite, and there is also a family bathroom. There are also two reception rooms, a kitchen and a large conservatory.
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Catherine O'Reilly (0404) 66466