Galway home in the heart of Connemara offers stunning views of Ireland's 'Wild West' for €350k
Escape to scenic Connemara and the set of Ireland's first western
The new owners of Cois Easa in Oughterard will really be buying into the Wild West, for just down the road from the house is the Glengowla Mines, which is the location for TG4's award-winning series An Klondike.
The bilingual drama is Ireland's first western. It traces the path of 19th century Irish emigrants to the gold rush regions of north-west Canada. The set of the fictitious Dominion Creek has been built on the grounds of the mines, where the scenery of Oughterard impersonates the Klondike Valley at the height of the gold rush.
The director, Daithaí Keane was in northern Canada filming a documentary when he was struck by the similarities between the landscape there and that of Connemara, saying at the time, "When the concept for an Irish western came up, I knew it was achievable to shoot on location in Ireland and make it look like the wild, wild west of north America".
The town is no stranger to showbiz though, with The Quiet Man Bridge just out the road on the N59. Part of the 1950s film, starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, was filmed in Connemara and the bridge is still a very popular spot with tourists looking for photo opportunities.
Cois Easa is a four-bed detached house that is up for auction on April 21. It is well presented and has a floor area of over 1,700 sq ft, so would make a decent, family holiday home.
Off the hall is a study, which could very easily be converted into an extra bedroom for guests. The living/dining room is a bright room with wooden floors, a wood-burning stove and access to the rear garden. The kitchen has solid timber units, a gas hob and tiled floor. There is a guest bathroom on the ground floor.
Upstairs there are four bedrooms. The master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom, and there is also a family bathroom with bath and shower.
Outside there is a separate building that is currently being used as a home office. This spacious unit has a floor area of over 300 sq ft, and has a wood-burning stove and views out to the garden. It could be used as an art studio, workshop or extra living space for older teenagers looking for a bit of independence.
The low-maintenance garden is mostly set in lawn with some shrubs and plants. It would be a pleasant place to sit back with a glass of wine in the evening with the gentle sounds of the nearby Owenriff river and waterfall in the background. Canrawer is a quiet, countryside location that is within walking distance of Oughterard village, which has a good range of shops, pubs and restaurants.
Galway City is only 20 minutes away by car on the N59. Oughterard is about an hour-and-a-half from both Knock and Shannon airports. A car journey to Dublin takes just over two and a half hours.
The Glengowla Mines was a place worth visiting well before the An Klondike crew rolled in. You can take a tour of these fascinating mines, buried beneath the Connemara mountains and discover how lead and silver were mined in the 1800s. A popular activity for kids is the panning for gold at the panning station, with the added bonus of being allowed to keep any gems you may find. Glengowla is also a working farm with regular sheep-herding and turf-cutting demonstrations held for the public.
On a good day there is nothing more pleasant than a boat trip on Lough Corrib. Corrib Cruises have a trip that departs from the pier at Oughterard and takes you around the lake and on to Inchagoill Island. Here passengers are given a guided tour around St Patrick's monastic site, which dates back to the 5th century. Then it's on to Ashford Castle and the village of Cong, where most of the The Quiet Man was filmed in 1951, and then back on the boat to Oughterard.
Hikers will be in heaven in Connemara, with many walks to choose from in this particular part of the district. You can join a local walking group on Sundays in Oughterard that will lead you on the right track, or you can take it at your own pace on the popular trails like the Owenriff Way Walk, The Heritage Trail or the Tonwee Wood Walk.
You won't get better than The Greenway Café on the Main Street in Oughterard for quality home-cooking. Whether you're after a healthy breakfast of creamy porridge, a seafood chowder lunch or Connemara Smokehouse salmon washed down with a local craft beer, this place will not fail to please.
For a more traditional experience, Power's Thatched Bar & Restaurant, also in the town, is a beautifully restored pub run by Frank and Mags Kinsella that showcases local food like Killary mussels and Castlemine free-range pork. The courtyard is the place to be on a warm, sunny day, enjoying a cold pint and some live music.
Also in Oughterard, The Boat Inn is known for a good pint of Guinness, and Breathnach's Bar is the place to go to if you want to keep up with local gossip.
The housing market in Oughterard is quite a local one. It can get busy in summer months with bus-loads of tourists making their way into Connemara. It's also a popular spot with anglers from the UK and Ireland, who are drawn to Lough Corrib for its trout and salmon.
Cois Easa is up for auction next Friday, April 21 through agents Donnellan & Joyce with a guide price of €350,000. The auction will take place in the Harbour Hotel in Galway at 2pm.
Canrawer, Oughterard, Co Galway
Asking price: Guide price of €350,000 at auction on April 21
Agent: O'Donnellan & Joyce Auctioneers (091) 564212