Scandinavian cottage over-looking stunning Donegal coast could be yours for €259k
Holiday properties on the market: Colourful scenery comes as standard with this dwelling, courtesy of the Trawena Bay skies
Eighteen years ago, a Dutch couple came to Donegal in search of a unique Irish property to make their own. They fell in love with Jacob's Cottage, which at the time was in a bit of a sorry state.
They spent nearly two decades building, renovating, refurbishing and tweaking until it was just right.
Two decades of hard work paid off and the 200-year-old dwelling now sits proudly on Trawena Bay as an example of the modern rural vernacular.
This cottage comes with some serious extras. The once snug abode has been extended in Scandinavian log cabin-style to include three extra rooms. The extension complements the original building, with the thatch roof continuing to the new part of the property.
This might provide enough space for some, but the vendors kept right on going and built a detached timber summer house elsewhere on the site. For family groups looking to share holidays and weekends away, this could be useful as it allows for shared experiences with independent accommodation.
Alternatively, it could provide extra income as a rental.
There is also a small barbecue house and a restored stone shed on the grounds. Although this holding is very private, it's not so remote that you feel cut off from civilisation, with Dungloe a 10-minute drive away.
A painted timber door on the original cottage opens up into an open-plan kitchen/living area. This room is decorated in traditional style with exposed beams, solid oak flooring and an open fireplace. The kitchen has fitted units, granite worktops, a Belfast sink and a double oven.
From here, stone steps lead into a conservatory with high vaulted ceilings, a stone floor and glazed double doors out to a deck. Back indoors, the main bathroom has a bath tub, stone-effect tiled flooring and a linen cupboard. The last room in the old part of the cottage is a bedroom, also with exposed beams, fitted wardrobes and solid oak floor.
The lobby, which has plumbing for a washing machine and dryer, has a door that leads into the Scandinavian-style extension where there is a shower room and two more bedrooms, one of which is currently being used as an office.
The newly-built detached cottage, meanwhile, has a stable door leading straight into an open-plan living area. The whole property has timber walls and ceilings. The kitchen comes with a range of units, Belfast sink, and oven and hob.
The living room has floor-to-ceiling windows to make the most of the view over the bay. There is one bedroom and a shower room with electric shower and heated towel rail.
The grounds total 0.5 acres and include a timber entrance gate and lantern lights to a gravel parking area; a timber barbecue house close to the shore, and a thatched and stone storage shed. There is a large deck area that makes the most of the views and a separate deck complete with its own hot tub.
The property is situated just outside the Gaeltacht village of Lettermacaward, with its population of just over 600, and a strong Irish-speaking tradition.
Jacob's Cottage is on the N56 at Gweebarra Bay, between the towns of Dungloe and Glenties. Nearby are two shops, three pubs, and a lively GAA club for local team Na Rossa.
It is just 10 minutes from Dungloe, which has everything you will need, with plenty of local, independent stores, as well as Supervalu, Lidl and Aldi.
A drive into Donegal town from the property takes about 40 minutes, and a trip to Dublin is just over three and a half hours. Donegal airport is half an hour away, with regular flights to and from Dublin and Glasgow.
What to do
With the sea on your doorstep, there are plenty of companies providing surfing, scuba diving and fishing lessons. Dungloe itself is a centre-point for keen anglers who can make their way to the various fishing areas, including Dungloe Lake, Craghy Lake, Lough Meela and many more..
Golfers are well-catered for too, with three courses nearby: Cruit Island, Portnoo and Gweedore.
Walkers will be in their element too, with Slí na Rosann, a 65km circular route through a dramatic and harsh landscape.
Or let the train take the strain - a three-mile return journey on the Fintown Railway, the only operational railway in Donegal, provides a good family day out, as does a trip to Glenveagh National Park, with its walking trails, gardens and tea rooms.
Let's not forget Donegal's main man, wee Daniel. Locals are so proud of the O'Donnell that they've opened a visitors' centre in Dungloe, where you can watch videos, view his gold and platinum albums, and get up close to his wedding suit and his wife, Majella's, bridal gown.
Eating and drinking
You'll never be stuck for a pint, with three pubs in the village of Lettermacaward: Elliot's Bar, Gweebarra Bar and Packies Bar.
For food, head to Dungloe and The Bayview Bar on Main Street for chowder and crab claws. The Butterrock is a good lunch option, with cakes and bread made in their in-house bakery. Scrummylicious has lovely tea rooms with a good range of salads and sandwiches.
For a night out, pop in to Patrick Johnny Sally's in Dungloe, for music and banter.
This part of Donegal draws huge crowds in summer, especially in July for the Mary of Dungloe Festival, when women come from across the world in hope of being crowned this year's Mary.
For those who want to settle in the area, selling agent Paul Franklin said the majority of buyers are still from Ireland and the UK, though in recent years he has seen growing interest from overseas.
Forty per cent of his sales are sterling sales, and although he has noticed that Brexit has put the brakes on this to some extent, he said the interest is still strong as property in Donegal is still seen as being good value.
What's Not to Like
Donegal is not the easiest place to get to in a hurry, so prospective buyers should take into consideration the motorway-free car journey and absence of a rail service. That said, if actress Sarah Jessica Parker can travel from New York to her Donegal "home", who are we to complain about a wee car trip?
Lettermacaward, Co Donegal
Asking price: €259,000
Agent: Franklins, Letterkenny, (074) 9188000