Peace and privacy aplenty in Kenmare bungalow on the market for €395k
Kenmare bungalow appeals to international buyers or Dublin retirees
Kenmare has always appealed to international visitors, some more famous than others. Woody Allen and Mia Farrow have holidayed there. Riverdance producers Moya Doherty and John McColgan have a home there. Pierce Brosnan and Don Johnson were reportedly house-hunting there, and Russell Brand once said he'd like to live there.
Lavender Lodge in Killaha, Kenmare is the type of property that will attract overseas interest. It has been run as a holiday letting for the past few years and has received rave reviews from guests from all over the world. A visitor from America had only good things to say about the time she spent in the area.
"Not only did I love everything about my experience at Lavender Lodge, I made memories to last a lifetime. Months later, I still find myself looking at pictures of the home, and reliving the great times I had at the house. I made more friends in two weeks in Kenmare than the three years in the town I currently live in the USA.
"The house is luxurious and you instantly feel at home. You could stay inside, but the view outside is magnificent. The mountain ranges change with the time of day and the weather - it is truly the best reality programme you could ever hope to watch. Deer and rabbits scamper through the lovely garden and you will see them early in the morning or at dusk. I am dying to go back again."
Unfortunately for this guest a return visit may prove problematic as Lavender Lodge is now on the market. Agent Elaine Daly of Sherry FitzGerald Daly believes it will sell to either a Dublin buyer with a view to retiring in Kenmare or an international buyer who has a connection to the area.
Lavender Lodge is a three-bed bungalow that has been extended to now provide a floor area of 1,313 sq ft. It's down a quiet cul-de-sac so would make a perfect getaway for anyone looking for peace and privacy. You enter into a double-height hallway with tiled floor and chandelier. On the ground floor, the living room has double aspect windows with views out to Kenmare Bay and an open fireplace.
This leads into the extension, which is now a sunroom and study. This room has the sun from morning until late evening with a door out to the patio. The study has a purpose-built computer table with fitted bookshelves.
The kitchen is fitted with white units with marble worktops. There is enough space here for a large dining table.
A utility room off the kitchen has more storage, a fridge-freezer, washing machine and dryer.
The master bedroom is located on the ground floor and has the most wonderful views out to the bay and town. It has fitted wardrobes, a dressing table and an en-suite bathroom with power shower.
The two upstairs bedrooms also have en-suite bathrooms and sea views.
The house sits on 1.58 acres. This is mostly landscaped with lawn and mature plants and shrubs. There is a patio outside the sunroom and parking for several cars on the gravel driveway.
There is a detached garage that is about 270 sq ft. It has a workshop at the back with a window and electricity.
The house is down a quiet cul-de-sac off the Killaha Road, 2.5km from Kenmare. The picturesque Kerry town links the world-famous Ring of Kerry and the more rugged Ring of Beara. In the early 1990s, Kenmare was officially designated a 'heritage' town by Bord Fáilte.
It is a 40-minute drive from Killarney and about 30 minutes from Glengarriff.
Kerry airport in Farranfore is under an hour away and Cork airport is about an hour and a half away. A road trip to Dublin takes four hours.
What To Do
Kenmare is about 30 minutes away from a host of sandy beaches. The best of these are probably Castlecove and Derrynane. Don't be put off by the drive because the views along the Ring of Kerry are well worth it.
For the more daring family, Star Outdoor Adventure Centre is on the shores of Kenmare Bay and provides a range of activities from sailing, kayaking and windsurfing to paintballing, crazy golf and pedal boats. Or if you want someone else to do the hard work, you can sit back and enjoy a boat trip on the Star of Kenmare.
The Park Hotel in Kenmare is perfect for high end scones and tea and also has the famous luxury Sámas Spa which brings them in from all around Ireland.
About 10km from Kenmare on the N71 is Bonane Heritage Park. The park is a living link to the first settlers who colonised the Irish countryside. There is a number of well-preserved archaeological sites including a ringfort and a stone circle.
For walkers, the Kerry Way and the Beara Way walking routes are right on your doorstep, providing you with such a variety of trails, that you'll never tire of the area.
Eating and Drinking
If you don't want to venture too far from home, Sailor's Bar and Restaurant is just down the road from the house. The steaks are good but be prepared to battle through crowds of cyclists who use it as a stop-off during high season.
In Kenmare, you're spoiled for choice but two restaurants worth trying are Tom Crean Fish & Wine and Mulcahy's. Tom Crean's is run by the explorer's granddaughter and uses the best of local produce. His granddaughter, Aileen, recently introduced a craft ale to the restaurant in honour of her grandfather called Expedition Ale.
Bruce and Laura Mulcahy opened their restaurant in 1995 and it has been included in best restaurant lists ever since. With dished like prawn and lobster sausage, and pork belly with salt-baked celeriac, chorizo and puffed crackling, it's not hard to see why it always receives such great reviews.
PF McCarthy's and Crowley's Bar are traditional pubs that serve a good pint with a side of live music.
Kenmare has always found favour with wealthy overseas buyers because of its raw beauty and slower pace of life.
Agent Elaine Daly says that 50pc of their buyers are from overseas. Americans are the ones who usually buy up the high-end coastal properties, but there is no shortage of buyers from Germany, France and the UK.
Many Dubs also make the decision to retire to the area after too many hectic years in the capital.
What's Not To Like
While the house is comfortable and well-presented, the new owners will want to upgrade the décor which is very 70s/80s.
Killaha, Kenmare, Co Kerry
Asking price: €395,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Daly, Kenmare (064) 6641213