Achill Beach Cottage
A lazy stone’s throw from the Atlantic
Achill Island, County Mayo
As the name suggests, this classic if rare small stone cottage lies right on the edge of a barefoot beach of bleached powder sand on the Wild Atlantic Way.
There are 79 miles of coastline and five Blue Flag beaches here on Achill Island, and much to see that can only be visited by foot or boat in this most westerly outpost of Europe.
Simple Fare for Sandy Feet
Your traditional Irish, vernacular cottage, complete with stable-door entrance, which would once have housed entire family plus animals in its only room, Achill Beach Cottage has been sensitively refurbished into a cosy holiday home.
A turf burning stove provides welcome warmth and a beguiling aroma after a blustery walk.
As is custom, most daily activities share the communal living space that spans the entire original dwelling, with the kitchen, painted dresser, and dining area to one end, and generous and elegant overstuffed seating at the other.
Facilities & Ameneties
• 5 ring electric ceramic hob
• Electric Oven
• Twin Toaster
• Washing machine-dryer
• Electric heating
• Sizes – Two single beds(twin room), one double(main room),
Tech & Entertainment
• Wi-Fi Internet
• Flat-screen TV
• USB charger sockets
• DVD player
• Some books
• Selection of games
The brilliant white interior of rough stone walls contrasts with a flagged floor of black slabs, and is dotted with an assorted collection of coastal paraphernalia.
Obscured from the front, a modest extension to the rear, accommodates a double and a twin bedroom, together with an exotically plum-floored shower room.
Sliding French doors open from this annex onto a sheltered south facing, gravelled al fresco area, with a charming circular granite table bracketed by two matching benches.
To the front, a low wall and picket gate separate the garden from the common land that stretches across a narrow road and straight on to Pollawaddy strand.
Usually you will have the entire beach to yourself.
The iconic Slievemore Mountain dominates to the west, and everywhere the ubiquitous bleating sheep.
Smoking – No, sorry!
Parties – The owners regret Stag, Hen, Wedding or 21st parties are not admissible.
Pets – No, sorry!
living area is actually much bigger than it looks on website, lovely surprise! definitely a ‘unique’ spot. Would love to try it out in the Autumn, would image it’s very cosy with the wood burners going. Would have liked a 12 noon check out, but I understand the cleaning up logistics of a place like that…
I have already recommended/shared it with friends! Thanks.
Dera, July 2019
Out & About
The mountain bogs and ocean inform activities in this most westerly part of Europe.
There are five Blue Flag beaches on Achill Island, and much to see that can only be visited by foot or boat.
Here’s a mixture of our favourites…
- Surf with or without a kite
- Cycle along the Greenway
- Scuba dive in a cave
- Enjoy Achill lamb at Calvey’s
- Book a boat trip
- See Sea Salt in the making
- Savour a yummy dinner at Achill Cliff
- Get on yer bike
- Gallop along the strands
- Brush up your oils
- A pint and some Trad at Lynott’s.(A small pub not for the faint hearted. Public speaking encouraged. Ideal location for debates and non-amplified singing, where a pub is a pub and a pint is a pint!)
The nearest major town is Westport at 40K but there are supermarkets at Achill Sound 15 minutes away, and in Keel – which also has a great butchers shop – Achill Mountain Lamb is renowned worldwide.
Click here to find out more…
Achill is the largest off-shore island of Ireland. It is a Gaeltacht, or Irish language speaking region. Since 1887 it has been connected to the mainland by a short bridge over the sound. About 85% of the island is peat bog. Battered by huge Atlantic storms, the landscape is a testimony to the power of the elements.
The name Achill is possibly derived from Eagle – although none have been seen here for well over a hundred years. If you’re into raptors though, you might spot the fastest animal on earth, the peregrine falcon, instructing it’s young to fly along these cliffs in the autumn.
The northern side of Croaghaun Mountain has the highest sea cliffs in Europe. Stretching 1.2km in length and 600m high, they are three times higher than the more famous Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs can only be approached by foot or from the sea.
Basking sharks, dolphins and orcas are regular visitors to these waters, and large pods of porpoises are frequently sighted, often from the back yard.
At 42 km, the Great Western Greenway, constructed on the route of the redundant Westport to Achill railway, is the longest dedicated walking and cycling trail in Ireland. It is a magnificent way to experience this part of Mayo.
Sheep have free range on the island, easily outnumbering the permanent inhabitants.
The island’s current population of just under 3,000 is about half of what it was before the Great potato famine of the mid 1800’s. A Deserted Village at the base of Slievemore Mountain has the remains of over eighty dry stone cottages that are a bleak reminder of the famine times. The houses are aligned north-south, and would have been originally thatched. An entire family together with livestock would inhabit the single, windowless, main room, utilising beds of heather and rushes.
Constructed in 1429 by the forefathers of Grace O’Malley, the legendary pirate queen who was born and buried on Clare Island, the 12 meter high Tower at Kildavnet is well worth a visit as you cycle around Achill.
How to get there – Car advised..
By Air: Flights to Ireland West Airport (Knock) from the UK
Knock Airport – about 1.5 hours from house.
Shannon Airport – about 3 hours from house.
Dublin Airport – about 4 hours from house.
By Sea: Ferry crossings from Pembroke/Fishguard to Rosslare.
Rosslare Port is about 5.5 hours from house
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has a fast crossing and is about 4 hours from house.