On the trail of the Donegal Eskie
Gate Lodge, Lough Eske €275k
Lough Eske in south Donegal is said to have its own monster. According to an almost 20-year-old report in the popular press, witnesses saw something unidentifiable moving on the water, and they were quoted as speculating about the sea currents connecting Donegal to Scotland, and Lough Ness.
The reports do not seem to have been much substantiated since then, but they did prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there's a species of regional tourism activist prospering in that habitat.
Should you be interested in trying to spot 'Eskie' - or indeed, in trying to secure for yourself some of those much-vaunted tourism dollars - you could do worse than set up a base in one of the former lodges of the Lough Eske Castle estate. You'll be in good company if it's tourists you're after - Lough Eske Castle itself, a 19th-century manor on the estate of the once mighty O'Donnells - is now a hotel and spa. This lodge is said to have been built as a gamekeeper's cottage, and is directly opposite the avenue leading to Lough Eske Castle.
It's been carefully and very tastefully restored by its current owners, who preserved authentic features such as the dainty dimensions, decorative barge boards, and the original sash windows.
The front door leads into a small entrance porch, and inside you'll find two reception rooms - a living room and a lounge, along with a study, a kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom.
There's also a workshop on the grounds measuring roughly 485 sq ft.
Donegal town is less than five kilometres away to the south-west, while the shores of Lough Eske itself are less than two kilometres to the north-west. The lake is popular with walkers and anglers.
The agent is Schiller & Schiller in Sligo (071) 916 3284 and the price is €275,000.