Turtle Cottage

Turtle Cottage

Turtle Cottage

The Way We Were…

Book This Home

County Down

AS SEEN ON BBC 1 television Countryfile on Sunday 24th April 2022…
On a private island off the western shore of the singular Strangford Lough, is an enchanting 250-year-old cottage. A historical home of unique character where generations of families have escaped.
Secluded, and with stunning views and bird-life; direct access to the lough and a tennis court, it’s hard to believe you’re just 45 minutes from Belfast.

Heritage with a good dollop of fun

The eponymous Turtle family lovingly restored this cottage in 1935 as a summer retreat, and sensitive extensions over the years have retained many original features, including deep-set window sills, quarry-tiled floors and Belfast sinks – quirks and curiosities have been deliberately left unchanged.


The rambling layout of interconnecting rooms divides naturally into two wings, and is ideally suited to a couple of families holidaying together or multi-generational (3G) families.

The principal entrance is through the original kitchen. Idiosyncratic lemon panelling and hand-built furniture are typical to the cottage, as is the sizable Victorian hand pump, once the water supply.

AT A GLANCE

  • Sleeps
    6 to 8 guests
    From €2,250 per week
  • Bedrooms
    Two double bedrooms – 1 ensuite
    Two triple bedrooms
    Two Bathrooms
  • Other Rooms
    Sitting room and Living room
    Family Kitchen
    Entrance Porch/Conservatory
  • Features
    Wood-burning stoves
    Oil fired central heating + electric heaters
    All-weather Tennis Court
    Loughside Jetty & Slip
  • Contempo
    2 Flat screen TV, WiFi internet, DVD players
    strong 4G Cell phone reception
  • Availability
    High season Weekly only: Saturday to Saturday
    Weekends: Friday to Monday
    Midweek: Monday to Friday
  • Restrictions
    Children are welcome
    Pets by arrangement
  • CHECK HERE

The main living room has an eclectic collection of sofas with a wood burning stove as the focus.

There is also a vintage piano for sing-songs, and a gramophone with a selection of old 78 rpm records to explore.

Here a wonderful bay-window dining area with a panoramic view of the lough extends southwards.

A short hallway connects to the second sitting room, carpeted, with an enameled stove, and its own cushioned bay window.

Between the two, is a family bathroom, and opposite, a sunny porch-conservatory opening onto the South-facing lawn.

Facilities & Ameneties

Kitchen Appliances

• Electric Rangemaster twin oven
• With 5 ring gas hob
• Fridge-freezer
• Dishwasher
• Toaster
• Microwave

Utility Appliances

• Washing machine and dryer in Bathroom
• Iron

Bedrooms

• Sizes – Two double beds, six single beds
• Travel cot
• 2 Hairdryers

Tech & Entertainment

• Wi-Fi Internet
• 2 Flat-screen TVs
• 2 DVD players

Other

• Large selection of books
• Large selection of DVDs
• Children’s high chair
• Children’s books
• 2 woodburning stoves
• All weather Tennis Court, racquets and balls
• Charcoal Barbecue

Bedrooms

There is a double bedroom and a triple in both wings, with some reached through the adjoining bedroom, and two having  direct access to the garden.

Again, with a nod to the past, the conspicuous flower pattern on the curtains in one room, is an exact copy of one used to decorate some of the first-class cabins on Titanic.

The black cooking range used by a series of evacuee families during the second World War, is still to be found in “The Kitchen Bedroom”.

Beyond the last bedroom in the West wing, is a large, rustic, pine-paneled bathroom that also serves as a laundry room. It can also be reached directly from the garden.

Its vintage, cast-iron shower/bath has been adapted for modern use with an electric shower.

Outside

The lawn gently slopes to a rocky shore where there is access to a slip and a concrete jetty for launching. In addition, you may utilize a second slip for trailer launching via the lane that runs down the side of the house  – so if it floats, bring it!

In addition to the shoreline, there are amazing walks through woods (award-winning arboretum) and some breathtaking birdlife.
There is also an all-weather tennis court on the property.

Provisional Booking Form

This Home is normally only let by the week, except as follows:
Mid-week bookings run from Monday PM till Friday AM – 4 nights
Weekend breaks run from Friday PM till Monday AM – 3 nights
Important – A Week’s booking runs from Saturday to Saturday

Christmas and New Year are high season as above, for other Public holidays – please apply for rates.

A refundable breakages deposit payable with the rental amount will be refunded within seven days of departure.

Christmas 2022 – 23rd to the 27th December – €2,800
New Years’ 2022 – 
29th to the 2nd January – €2,6800

  Per week Weekend Mid-week
October to April €2,250 €1,300 €1,300
May to September €2,800 Not Available Not Available

Select your Dates

AVAILABLE BOOKED

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Please select a date first.

We don't take payment until your enquiry is confirmed.

Your travel arrangements are important, so all provisional bookings are double checked with the owners to ensure that your plans do not conflict with theirs, this can take up to 24 hours, but we haven’t forgotten about you.!

Provisional bookings will be followed up by email, at which point we can answer specific queries you may have, verify your booking and request a deposit to confirm.

Please note that all unconfirmed provisional bookings will expire after 3 days.
If your preferred dates are not available, please click here to review all houses that match your dates.

Restrictions

Smoking – No, sorry!
Parties – The owners regret Stag, Hen, Wedding or 21st parties are not admissible.
Pets – Possibly, check with us.

Available
Booked
Pending
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Out & About

The lough is home to a multitude of yacht clubs – the local one around the corner caters for water sports – canoes, paddle boards, etc, – better still, bring your own water toys…

There’s so much to see and do, we just can’t list them all, so here are some of our favourites…

The Locality

Mahee is a small privately owned island on Strangford Lough, the last in a chain linked by road causeways to the mainland. The nearest neighbours are a couple of fields away – mostly with woods between properties – but the nearest sizeable town is Comber, on the mainland 25 minutes away.

This is an island steeped in history, starting with the ruins of Mahee Castle (1570) and Nendrum, a 5th century monastery at one end of the island with its own small museum, and Europe’s oldest known tidal-mill site from the 7th century.

More recently the island became home in the 17th century to the industrious immigrant Andrews family from Scotland, who subsequently achieved diverse acclaim, including the design of the Titanic.

You may be interested in a recently published book curated by the daughter of the eponymous Helen Turtle – Midnight Again – a collection of poignant letters written to her mother and sister in America before and during the war when she lived here with her young children.

Strangford Lough is one of the most richly bio-diverse regions in Europe, with over 2,000 marine species spread across 150 km2. It is the largest sea inlet in the British Isles, and boasts at least seventy islands and multiple drumlin islets.

The narrows are also subject to a highly energetic tidal race. With water moving backwards and forwards at up to 15kph twice a day the channel has become a test-bed for experimental power generation, most lately by a Swedish company who are currently trialing their fascinating “sea kite” technology.

For a bird’s eye view over the lough, the tower at the top of Scrabo Hill, 20 minutes north, is one of Northern Ireland’s best-known landmarks and the views from the platform at the top of the 122 steps are spectacular.

Migrating Brent Geese in their thousands arrive from Arctic Canada to Strangford Lough from October through the winter months to eat the lough’s eelgrass before the long journey back to Arctic Canada to breed. It is a spectacular sight and a great venue to see this is WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre, 5 miles from the Cottage and one of the venues for BBC Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch 2021/2022.

From the Strangford village at the bottom of the lough, there is an entertaining ferry – every 30 minutes – across the narrows to Portaferry on the Ards Peninsula, where there is a small Aquarium (Exploris ) that is popular, and an important lifeboat station.

Shellfish is the name of the game around these parts, with pot fishing, mainly for prawns and crabs and licensed shellfish farming within the lough, so it’s not surprising that you will come across some of the finest seafood restaurants in Ireland. For divine Fish and Chips, make a wee journey to the pier at Ardglass farther down the coast…

Castle Ward is an 820-acre walled demesne owned by the National Trust on the edge of Strangford with terrific sheltered woodlands and trails, great for walking, running, cycling. The historic farmyard was the location of Winterfell where the deadly Game of Thrones® series is set in motion.

If you’re fond of the odd G&T you must be sure to try some of the home-grown local varieties that have sprung up in recent years. The Echlinville Estate lists Jawbox amongst their brands, and invite you to enjoy a tour of their distillery, or you may prefer to try Shortcross from the 500-acre Rademon estate.

The Titanic, which has strong links to the nearby town of Comber, has its own “Comber Titanic Audio Trail” which guides you to special places of interest throughout Comber that relate to the Titanic story. If you are going to Belfast – don’t miss a visit to the renowned Titanic Belfast Experience.

How to get there – Car advised…

By Air: Flights to Dublin, Belfast or Shannon airports.
Dublin Airport – is about 2 hours from the cottage.
Belfast Airports – Belfast International is just over an hour from the cottage & George Best’s City Airport, Belfast, is 35 minutes away.

By Sea: Ferry crossings
Ferries from Belfast, about an hour away, run to Liverpool and Scotland
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has a fast crossing and is about two hours from the cottage
Rosslare Harbour for Ferries to South Wales is about 4 hours from the cottage.

Map

Candlewick Cottage

Candlewick Cottage

Candlewick Cottage

The Edge of Lough Eske

Book this home

The Edge of Lough Eske

County Donegal

Perched on the scenic slopes above Donegal town, this secluded contemporary cottage has everything for an ideal family retreat, including a Japanese hot-tub, sensational veranda and dedicated children’s play area.
Donegal, with its abundance of mountains, lakes and beaches remains one of Ireland’s most under exploited Counties. A gem on the Wild Atlantic Way.

 

Ivory beams and oriental flavours

At the heart of this spacious stone cottage, and extending southwards, is a large luminous living room. Glazed on three sides, a complete wall of bi-fold doors can concertina to integrate a raised and sheltered timber veranda that enjoys exceptional views of the Eske valley.

AT A GLANCE

  • Sleeps
    Up to 10 guests
    From €2,100 per week
  • Bedrooms
    Two Doubles & One Twin bedroom
    Master is ensuite with shower
    One mezzanine bedroom with huge bed
    One Twin Kids room with Family Bathroom
  • Other Rooms
    Sitting room, Dining room, Kitchen
    Living room den
    Japanese Hot-Tub shower room
    Utility room
  • Features
    Covered terrace with bi-fold doors
    Comprehensive Children’s playground
    Ceramic Green Egg charcoal Barbeque
    Two wood burning stoves
  • Contempo
    Large retractable screen
    with integrated TV projector
    Flat screen TV, DVD player, WiFi internet
    Good Cell phone reception
  • Restrictions
    Sorry, pets are not permitted

For the digitally dextrous, there is a baby grand piano; perhaps less conspicuous is the remotely operated screen that unfurls from ceiling, with video projector linked to sky and Netflix.

Separated by stylish dual-aspect log burning stove, the dining area is furnished with folksy refectory mode table and benches.

Off to the side, the impressive and eclectic kitchen stretches along through the original cottage, an abundant mixture of the most contemporary of gadgets, often couched in retro rustic styling.

Facilities & Ameneties

Kitchen Appliances

• Gas range with 2 ovens and 6 rings
• Full height Fridge
• Full height Freezer
• Dishwasher
• Toaster
• Nespresso coffee machine
• Blender
• Rice steamer

Utility Appliances

• Washing machine
• Spin-dryer
• Iron

Bedrooms

• Sizes – Two double beds, two single beds
• One 10ft Super-wide bed (4)
• Two single beds with two kids Trundle beds underneath
• 2 Hairdryers

Tech & Entertainment

• Wi-Fi Internet
• Sky sports, Spotify and Netflix
• DVD player
• Large retractable screen
• With integrated TV projector
• Flat-screen TV

Other

• Comprehensive Children’s outdoor play area
• Indoor Japanese Hot-tub with shower
• Good selection of books and games

Beyond the kitchen, there’s a cosy sitting room. Still with the cottage ambience – a stone slab floor and a wood-burning stove, it’s a more intimate TV den.

A small entrance lobby opens to the front, while ahead lies a charming twin bedroom.

In the attic space above, a delightfully quirky bedroom hosts an unusually wide bed that could happily accommodate four. Accessed by stairs from the bedroom below, the room overlooks the spaces below, mezzanine-style, through a glazed wall at one end.

The far end of the cottage is a more recent addition. There is a chic and well-appointed utility / laundry room to the rear, and a uniquely serendipitous bathroom with wooden Japanese hot-tub and overhead shower.

 

At the far end, in its own grey steel clad structure, the master bedroom floats above the cottage.

From the central free standing bed, the unique view through the grand picture fame window is a delight to wake up to.

 

The two bedrooms are served by a generous and radiant bathroom just off the TV den, featuring a double ended slipper bath and walk in rain shower.

The landing in the loft space above, is extended by views of the kitchen through more glazed voids formed by the chalky roof trusses.

To one side of the landing there is a twin bedroom with two single beds, which have additional pull out trundle beds underneath – primarily intended for kids.

Opposite, there is a discreet attic double bedroom with a typical confining ceiling, to one side.

An elegant ensuite with walk in shower and exotic basin adjoins it to the rear.

Outside

At the end of an exclusive leafy laneway, the cottage is not visible from the narrow road that winds up across the Bluestack Mountains, enjoying stunning views of Donegal Bay and the Eske valley on its way.

 

Across the broad paved area immediately surrounding the cottage, there is a magical and prodigious children’s playground, just packed with excitement for young ones, from Wendy house to countersunk trampoline.

Provisional Booking Form

This Home is normally only let by the week, except as follows:
Important – A Week’s booking runs from Saturday to Saturday
Important  –
  No Pets are allowed on this property

 

Holidays’ Dates for 2022 are priced as following.
Easter Week 14th-  19th April 2022 – €2,800
Halloween   27th- 1st October 2022 – €2,800
Christmas  23rd to the 28th Dec 2022 – €2,800
New Years’  30th December 2022 to the 2nd January 2023  -€2,800

A refundable breakages deposit of €600 is payable with the rental amount will be refunded within seven days of departure.
Public Holidays are at high season rates unless otherwise stated, thank you.

May to September €2,800 per week Minimum 7 nights
October to April €2,600 per week Minimum 7 nights

 

Select your Dates

AVAILABLE BOOKED

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Please select a date first.

We don't take payment until your enquiry is confirmed.

Your travel arrangements are important, so all provisional bookings are double checked with the owners to ensure that your plans do not conflict with theirs, this can take up to 24 hours, but we haven’t forgotten about you.!

Provisional bookings will be followed up by email, at which point we can answer specific queries you may have, verify your booking and request a deposit to confirm.

Please note that all unconfirmed provisional bookings will expire after 3 days.
If your preferred dates are not available, please click here to review all houses that match your dates.

Restrictions

Smoking – No, sorry!
Parties – The owners regret Stag or Hen parties are not admissible.
Pets – No, sorry!

Available
Booked
Pending
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Please select a date first.

We don't take payment until your enquiry is confirmed.

Reviews

 

Just wanted to drop you a quick line…

to say a massive thank you for sharing your exquisite home with us.We could have happily spent weeks there! It had everything we needed for an enjoyable stay and really was very well suited to our family, made all the better by your attention to detail and the little extras…the DVDs, children’s books (Poo Bum being the favouite! lol)
The house was pristine and so well presented and stocked. Thank you for all the preparation you put in for us coming..labeling the lights, the wine and cordial, the divine soap (loved it so much that we ordered some for our own house), the fluffly towels,travel cot, high chair etc. all adding to a pleasurable, hassle free stay.
The girls used the circular wooden bathtub every night and loved it so much I had bother getting them out of it and the two little twin beds were perfect for our two oldest girls. We wrapped up well and got out to the play park despite of the rain and watched Willy Wonka on the projector screen in the evening.
Glad we went away when we did as I’m sure we’ll be on lock down here soon!
Once again, huge thanks for everything and we will certainly be recommending Candlewick Cottage to others. We might even get back for a weekend in the summer if and when the weather improves.

Michelle and Niall McCullagh, March 2020



We never got anything lined up with the caterers. I had a difficult time coordinating with Feasta but it turned out that she was in London on a family vacation.
You are going to laugh but we discovered Kavanaghs Super Value ten minutes from our home and fell in love with the ready made dinners. They were all delicious and so easy. I’ve never found anything of that quality in America. We had lunch out every day on one of our adventures and it would have been too difficult to go out again for dinner with our grandkids.

The house was so comfortable that we just enjoyed spending time together and Pierce and Georgie loved the playground.

Thank you again. We can’t wait to return to Ireland soon.
Alice USA, October 2021


Our stay was wonderful.

WE loved the house and its surroundings. We really had an amazing time and we recommended the house and your company to many of our friends.
We would hope to go back there in the future.

Fabrice Rousseau October 2021

I just wanted to let you know…

that we’ve spent a week at your wonderful property and it really is something special. The house is simply stunning with every comfort a weary person could need. We all feel energized after our stay. Gerry has been very helpful. He’s a lovely man. I particularly enjoyed rambling the roads nearby. It’s so peaceful. Coming from Dublin there is a certain tension around the whole covid situation and we felt we could relax here in this beautiful property. To be honest I don’t want to leave. I’ll be walking out the door leaving the house the way we found it. One small thing I need to report. I’ve misplaced the soda stream lid from the bottle. I’ve searched everywhere for it. Even going through the refuse bins! But it’s disappeared into thin air. Apologies about this. I hope perhaps the handover crew might discover where it’s hidden. You’ve got an exceptional property here. I just wanted to commend you and your husband on it. It’s a rare find

Susan and Eugene, July 2020

Out & About

 

Wild mountains and churning oceans, fine food and hospitality, just some of the attractions of Donegal.

Here are some of our favourites…

The Locality

 

Donegal town, about ten minutes away by car, is the nearest centre for pretty much anything from groceries to fishing tackle. The centre of the town is known as The Diamond, and can get very busy in high season, with great pubs and live music.

photo Avramescu Marius

You can’t miss the recently restored Donegal Castle, built by Red Hugh O’Donnell in 1474, but there is also a charming harbour which you can reach along the Bank Walk beside the River Eske as it flows into the bay.
The town was invaded by the Vikings in the 8th century and they used it as a port – hence its Gaelic name Dun na nGall, which means ’Fort of the Foreigners’.

The county is renowned for its golden surfing beaches, such as Murvagh beach, and Rossnowlagh which is one of Europe’s finest. The European Surfing Championships have been held here on three occasions. Donegal Bay’s funnel-like shape encourages huge Atlantic rollers, occasionally as high as 7 metres (20 ft).

County Donegal is the largest in Ulster and the only one that is not in the UK.
Population decimated during the famine, still only about half of what it was in the mid-19th century.

Wild Atlantic Way
Click here to find out more…

Only half an hour away, Killybegs is home to Ireland’s largest off-shore trawler fleet, so it’s not surprising that some of the best fresh fish food is to be found here. The town is famous for its tapestries and carpets, some of which were produced on the biggest carpet loom in the world at the Donegal Carpet Factory. The carpets, known as Donegals, are hand-knotted in the Turkish style.

The Blue Stack Mountains straddle the county and its scenic trails are popular with hill-walkers. The Blue Stack Way walk connects Donegal Town with the town of Ardara further north – a three day hike.

The stunning sea cliffs at Slieve League are worth a visit. At 600 metres high, they are nearly three times higher than the more famous Cliffs of Moher. A narrow twisting precipitous road will take you to the best viewing point at Bunglass.

photo Terry Stewart

Lough Eske is a small and placid lake only a few hundred metres from the cottage. It is popular with anglers in the summer months, and is has numerous forest paths around its shores and a fine hotel restaurant.

During the Second World War this area experienced a lot of airborne activity as sanctioned flying boats from Lough Erne in the UK flew missions out over the short Republican corridor into the Atlantic. It was a Catalina from Lough Erne that spotted the notorious German battleship Bismarck out in the Atlantic – and this led to her demise by the British Navy who had been in pursuit but had lost contact in heavy fog.
The word Éire remains crafted in white stones on headlands around Donegal, which acted as navigation aid for those flying above.

How to get there – Car advised..

By Air: Flights to Dublin, Donegal (regional), Belfast or Shannon airports.
Dublin Airport – approx 3 and a half an hours from the cottage.
Donegal Airport – approx 1 and a half an hours from the cottage
Belfast Airport – approx 2 and a half hours from the cottage.
Shannon Airport – just over 3 hours from the cottage.

By Sea: Ferry crossings
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has a fast crossing and is about 3 and a half an hours from the cottage.
Rosslare Harbour for Ferries to South Wales is about 5 hours from the cottage.

 

Map

Station House

Station House

Station House

Take this stop for Lakeland Luxury

Book this home

County Fermanagh

No train has passed this way for nearly sixty years and the tracks are gone, but this redundant small town terminal has been lovingly transformed into a spacious, stylish and luxurious contemporary home.
15 minutes from Enniskillen, Station House is perfectly placed for exploring the wonderful waterways and mythical landscapes of Ireland’s Lakeland County, whether by bike, car or boat.

 

Four unique reception rooms…

The original Victorian stone building follows an East West linear axis, with sliding glazed doors spilling out onto the patio-platform, and a lawned garden stretching off into the distance.

A sweep of mahogany panels line the considerable reception lounge where railway passengers once lingered.

Bright and airy with enough of the original signage and architecture to remind us of its credentials, this is a perfect space to host a family gathering.

Through the original ticket office window, you can glimpse what is now a cosy study, with an open hearth.

AT A GLANCE

  • Sleeps
    Up to 12 guests
    From €2,350 per week
  • Bedrooms
    Three Double Bedrooms
    One Ground Floor
    And Two Twin Bedrooms
    (one with extra bunks. sleeping four)

    All Ensuite

    Large Reception Room
    Drawing Room
    Sunroom
    Study

  • Other Rooms
    Sitting room, Kitchen with Dining room
    Ground Floor WC
  • Features
    Furnished Patio
    Wheelchair Friendly
    Dog Friendly 
    Firewood
    Barbecue
    Hi Speed Wi-Fi Internet
    Smart Tv’s

 

The commodious drawing room lies through double doors across the ochre tinted hall from the old ticket office.

Wide doorways and sumptuous carpets contribute to the unique character of this home. An imposing log burning stove distributes warmth and contentment.

As befits a home of these proportions, it is endowed with ample sofas and occasional chairs to comfortably seat an extended family.

Stepping through from the drawing room, the mellow dining room can cheerfully entertain twelve. Mottled ceramic floor tiles follow around a dividing wall into the adjacent kitchen.

A complete parade of gleaming appliances await the earnest chef, from Aga and Belfast sink to induction hob, it’s all here.

Wineglasses, tableware, towels and linen, all attest to the emphasis the owners have given to detail. Colours throughout are bold yet passive, and the substantial lighting never intrusive. Architectural features of the railway era have been retained wherever possible.

French doors lead from the kitchen into the brilliant adjoining sunroom, where patio doors to the south facing platform invite al fresco dining.

Facilities & Ameneties

Kitchen Appliances

• Twin Oven AGA range
• plus Electric Oven
• 4 ring electric induction hob
• Two Fridges
• Two Freezers
• Wine Cooler
• Dishwasher
• Microwave
• Coffee machine
• Two Toasters
• Blender

Utility room Appliances

• Washing machine
• Clothes Dryer
• Iron

Bedrooms

• 3 Double beds
• 4 single beds
• 2 childrens bunk beds
• 2 Hair dryers

Tech & Entertainment

• Good Wi-Fi Internet
• Good Mobile phone coverage
• 4 Flat screen TVs
• with Netflix
• DVD player

Other stuff

• Lots of Books
• Some DVD movies
• Children’s high chair

Four of the bedrooms are upstairs, each with its own fully tiled ensuite.

One of the two twin bedrooms actually accommodates four by virtue of a third bunk bed that children will love.

At the far extreme of the main reception, the mahogany theme continues into the Ladies Waiting Room now a self contained ensuite double bedroom with a magnificent carved bed.

Wide doorways and downstairs bedroom, ensure this is a wheelchair enabled dwelling.

Outside

The gap between the up and down platforms has been buried and lawned, but the fine wooden Great Northern Railway waiting room, and the original signal cabin at the east end of the station still remain.
A dining table and abundant chairs prepare this south facing terrace for some memorable meals.

This is a completely private garden which lends itself to croquet and football alike – and is just perfect for children.
There is of course ample parking for cars.

Provisional Booking Form

This Home is normally only let by the week, except as follows:
Mid-week bookings run from Monday PM till Friday AM – 4 nights
Weekend breaks run from Friday PM till Monday AM – 3 nights
Important – A Week’s booking runs from Saturday to Saturday

Easter Week 14th-  19th April 2022 – €2,750
Halloween  26th- 1st October 2022 – €2,750
Christmas 23rd to the 28th Dec 2022 – €2,750
New Years 30th to the 2nd Jan 2023 – €2,750

Public holidays – please apply for rates.

A refundable breakages deposit of €350 payable with the rental amount will be refunded within seven days of departure.

July to August €2,750 per week minimum stay
September to June €2,300 per week Weekend €1,300 Mid-week €1,300

 

Select your Dates

AVAILABLE BOOKED

MTWTFSS
1
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13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
Please select a date first.

We don't take payment until your enquiry is confirmed.

Your travel arrangements are important, so all provisional bookings are double checked with the owners to ensure that your plans do not conflict with theirs, this can take up to 24 hours, but we haven’t forgotten about you.!

Provisional bookings will be followed up by email, at which point we can answer specific queries you may have, verify your booking and request a deposit to confirm.

Please note that all unconfirmed provisional bookings will expire after 3 days.
If your preferred dates are not available, please click here to review all houses that match your dates.

Restrictions

Smoking – No, sorry!
Parties – The owners regret Stag, Hen, Wedding or 21st parties are not admissible.

Allergy Warning! Please note that this is a Dog Friendly Home. If you intend bringing a dog, please tell us about him/her when booking.

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We don't take payment until your enquiry is confirmed.

 

Out & About

 

Here we have a perfect touring base for exploring the Erne waterway and North West Ireland. Ideal for anglers, canoeists and cyclists alike – there is so much to see and do.

Here are some of our favourites…

 

The Locality

 

 
Station House sits on the edge of Irvinestown in the Northern County of Fermanagh. A sizeable town, it has a fine supermarket and a wonderful hotel bar.

photo David Bolton
30% of Fermanagh is covered with lakes and waterways.

The two Loughs of the Erne basin are connected by the River Erne which flows North-Westwards into the Atlantic at Ballyshannon. Lower Lough Erne is further North as it is furthest downstream.

The Counties capital town, Enniskillen, lies on the stretch between the two lakes, and is just 15 minutes drive away.

Both Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde attended Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, though not at the same time obviously.

Lower Lough Erne is a huge expanse of water, over five miles wide at its widest point and 18 miles in length. The lough is dotted with numerous islands, rocky outcrops and reaches depths of over 200 feet in places, making it ideal habitat for Brown Trout and large numbers of coarse fish species. Upper Lough Erne, on the other hand is a maze of channels and islands with vast reed beds and ideal habitats for Pike…

A canal, the Shannon-Erne Waterway, runs between the upper end of the River Shannon and the River Erne, and utilises sixteen locks. The lakes are home to a maze of Islands, the largest being Boa which is 8km long and contains notable pagan stone relics.

Belleek 30 minutes away, is the western-most village in the United Kingdom and Sits on the border between the UK and the republic.
The world renowned Belleek Pottery was founded in 1857 by John Caldwell Bloomfield, who declared that any piece with the slightest flaw would be destroyed. The policy still survives today. Pieces are made in Parian porcelain which imitates marble.

During the second world war this area experienced a lot of airborne activity as sanctioned flying boats from Lough Erne in the UK, flew missions out over the short Republican corridor into the Atlantic.
It was a Catalina from Lough Erne that spotted the notorious German battleship Bismarck out in the Atlantic – and this led to her demise by the British Navy who had been in pursuit but had lost contact in heavy fog.

Interestingly, Fermanagh escaped the potato blight during the Great Famine better than any other county, as the county had so many islands. The disease had difficulty traveling over water. Those Erne islands produced surprising amounts of potatoes (the staple diet on the island, from 1845–1849), whilst the mainland was largely starving in comparison.

How to get there – Car advised…


By Air: Flights to Donegal, Belfast, Knock, Dublin or Shannon.
Belfast Airport – under 2 hours from house.
Donegal Airport – approx 2 hours from house.
Knock Airport – approx 2 hours from house.
Shannon Airport – under 4 hours from house.
Dublin Airport – under 3 hours from house.

By Sea:
Ferry crossings from Liverpool to Dublin or
twice a day from Troon in Ayshire to Larne.
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has six sailings a day including a fast crossing, and is approx 3 hours drive from house.

 

Map

The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary

A recently revised role in the parish

Book this home

County Down

Plucked from the precipice of almost certain ruin, this idle mid-19th century church, with its classical cake-icing façade, has been meticulously reconstituted into a chic holiday retreat.
Located in the heart of Game of Thrones® territory, adjacent to the narrows of Strangford Lough, this is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with easy access to Belfast.

 

Contemporary conservation with class

Tripping across the vestibule, where the stone flags have been polished by nearly 200 years of shoe leather, we find a bright and airy contemporary living space.
In fact most of the lofty sanctuary has been retained as an open plan social forum, loosely zoned by function, with kitchen and dining to one side and lounge and television on the other.

AT A GLANCE

  • Sleeps
    Up to 10 guests
    Short stays from €2,100
  • Bedrooms
    Five double bedrooms
    Four are ensuite with shower
    One with family bathroom
  • Other Rooms
    Open plan Sitting room, Kitchen, Dining room
    Laundry room
  • Features
    Traditional Church Organ
    Barbecue area with gas BBQ
  • Contempo
    50” Flat screen TV plus one in every bedroom
    DVD player
    WiFi internet, Bluetooth sound system
    Under-floor heating in two bathrooms
    Good Cell phone reception
  • Availability
    Weekly: Saturday to Saturday
    Weekends: Friday to Monday
    Midweek: Monday to Friday
  • CHECK HERE
  • Restrictions
    Sorry, pets are not permitted

A modern wood-burning stove with exposed chimney flu, forms the focal point for the lounge area, with plenty of comfortable sofas to take the weight off…

Many of the recognisable features of a church have been retained and put to good use, as with the pulpit which has been incorporated into the stairway, and the original American organ, which had to be completely dismantled and rebuilt due to water damage.

Much care was taken to ensure that the correct materials and traditional methods were used throughout this Award winning conversion, where ornate cornices and plasterwork, wooden panelling and full height Georgian windows all required extensive repairs.

The high spec Shaker style kitchen, while bringing a splash of blue to one corner, also encourages inclusive family cooking by being part of the larger space. Expect the odd extra, like a wine cooler…

Facilities & Ameneties

Kitchen Appliances

• Twin Oven Electric cooker with 5 ring hob
• Fridge
• Freezer
• Dishwasher
• Wine cooler
• Toaster
• Microwave
• Nespresso coffee machine

Utility Appliances

• Washing machine
• Tumble dryer
• Iron

Bedrooms

• Sizes – Three King-size and two Super King-size Zip & Link
• 5 Hairdryers

Tech & Entertainment

• Wi-Fi Internet
• 6 Flat-screen smart TVs
• Netflix etc.
• DVD player in living room
• Marshall Bluetooth sound system

Other

• Good selection of books
• Selection of toys in toy cupboard
• Children’s high chair, stairgates, travel cots

Accommodation lies in what was once the alter end, with two double bedrooms, one of which has direct access to the family bathroom with free standing bath, under floor heating, and separate walk in shower.

A few paces beyond, the single story Session House extension at the rear of the church has been transformed into a spacious panelled bedroom. The original solid doors now lead to its ensuite with generous walk in shower.

Floating on its’ own supports, to limit stress on the original structure, the mezzanine level with its glass balustrade gallery overlooks the living area. Behind it, there are a further two double bedrooms, both ensuite.

Where the tall arched windows now span two levels, a glass floor softens the transition.

Outside

The church is elevated above the street level with views across rolling green fields, and to Castleward Bay. A lawn and Barbecue area to the front is sheltered by mature trees which also provide privacy. Unrestricted parking is readily available on the street directly in front of The Sanctuary.

A laundry room, which doubles as a secure lock-up for bicycles, golf clubs etc. lies adjacent to the church side entrance.

Provisional Booking Form

This Home is normally only let by the week, except as follows:
Mid-week bookings run from Monday PM till Friday AM – 4 nights
Weekend breaks run from Friday PM till Monday AM – 3 nights
Important – A Week’s booking runs from Saturday to Saturday

 

Easter Week 14th-  19th April 2022 – €3,850
Halloween  26th- 1st October 2022 – €3,850
Christmas 23rd to the 28th Dec 2022 – €3,850
New Years 30th to the 2nd Jan 2023 – €3,850
A refundable breakages deposit payable with the rental amount will be refunded within seven days of departure.

June to August €4,500 per week Weekend €2,750 Mid-week €3,250
Sept to May €3,750 per week Weekend €2,150 Mid-week €2,450

Select your Dates

AVAILABLE BOOKED

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We don't take payment until your enquiry is confirmed.

Your travel arrangements are important, so all provisional bookings are double checked with the owners to ensure that your plans do not conflict with theirs, this can take up to 24 hours, but we haven’t forgotten about you.!

Provisional bookings will be followed up by email, at which point we can answer specific queries you may have, verify your booking and request a deposit to confirm.

Please note that all unconfirmed provisional bookings will expire after 3 days.
If your preferred dates are not available, please click here to review all houses that match your dates.

Restrictions

Smoking – No, sorry!
Parties – The owners regret Stag or 21st parties are not admissible.
Pets – No, sorry

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Reviews

 

Great place for a family gathering…

Cleverly adapted and well equipped building. We had 9 people staying and another 9 or so dropping in for food and fun. Plenty of room for all and a good kitchen area too. And it was pleasantly warm despite the weather.

December 2019

A really comfortable place to spend a very happy family Christmas

We all ( that is four generations ) gathered just before Christmas and spent a lovely few days in the converted church in Strangford. The hosts were so welcoming and had described everything to us to make things really easy for us all. There are lovely walks in the areas, very friendly people in the village, shops, restaurants, and bars, the ferry leaving and returning giving a lovely sense of rhythm so that one hardly needs to get in the car. Although the area is great to explore as well. We would thoroughly recommend this as a really perfect place for a family holiday.

December 2019

We stayed – two families

– for a few days including New Year and could not be happier with this wonderful accommodation. Full of character and attention to detail – this Church restoration is a fabulous space in a charming location. Luxurious, cosy and with welcoming hosts! Fully recommend this opportunity to be part of this building’s history!

January 2020

Spectacular…

Had an amazing stay in this beautiful converted church. Every need had been catered for and nothing was too much trouble for Marty and Melanie. A real touch of luxury. Cant wait to go back.

November 2019

Click here for reviews on using Sanctuary in Search for Posts

 

Out & About

 

An abundance of adventures await you in this stunning part of Ulster.
We just can’t list them all, so here are a few of our favourites…

Here are some of our favourites…

 

The Locality

 

 

Most supplies can be found in the local shops on a short stroll down through Strangford village, where there are also several excellent restaurants and pubs. For larger supermarkets, including some that do deliveries, which can be handy for advanced planning, you will need to travel 15 minutes to Downpatrick.

From the village, there is an entertaining ferry – every 30 minutes – across the narrows to Portaferry on the Ards Peninsula, where there is a small Aquarium (Explorus ) that is popular, and an important lifeboat station.

Strangford Lough is one of the most richly bio-diverse regions in Europe, with over 2,000 marine species spread across 150 km2. It is the largest sea inlet in the British Isles, and boasts at least seventy islands and multiple drumlin islets. The narrows are also subject to a highly energetic tidal race. With water moving backwards and forwards at up to 15kph twice a day the channel has become a test-bed for experimental power generation, most lately by a Swedish company who are currently trialing their fascinating “sea kite” technology.

Shellfish is the name of the game around these parts, with pot fishing, mainly for prawns and crabs and licensed shellfish farming within the Lough, so it’s not surprising that you will come across some of the finest seafood restaurants in Ireland. For divine Fish and Chips, make the short journey to the pier at Ardglass.

Castle Ward is an 820-acre walled demesne owned by the National Trust on the edge of Strangford with terrific sheltered woodlands and trails, great for walking, running, cycling. The historic farmyard was the location of Winterfell where the deadly Game of Thrones® series is set in motion.

photo HBO

If you’re fond of the odd G&T you must be sure to try some of the home grown local varieties that have sprung up in recent years. The Echlinville Estate list Jawbox amongst their brands, and invite you to enjoy a tour of their distillery, or you may prefer to try Shortcross from the 500-acre Rademon estate.

There is a fine beach 10 minutes’ drive south on the secluded Killard Nature Reserve, a former NATO Radar Station. On a fine day you can see the Isle of Man and of course the beautiful Mourne Mountains to the south.

How to get there – Car advised…

By Air: Flights to Dublin or Belfast airports.
Dublin Airport – is about 2 hours from the house
Belfast Airport – just over an hour from the house.

By Sea: Ferry crossings
Ferries from Belfast, about an hour away, run to Liverpool and Scotland
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has a fast crossing and is about two hours from the house
Rosslare Harbour for Ferries to South Wales and is about 4 hours from the house.

Map