Perched on its own private ridge a few hundred feet above the sea, and set in emerald pasture and lawns, Cloonee House commands one of the finest settings on Kenmare Bay.
With only the call of sea birds, the crunch of breaking swell and the soft wind’s whistle, luxuriate in the present, peace and calm.
Cloonee House is of historic significance. It was once the home of The O’ Sullivan Beare of Ardea and dates from the late seventeenth century. The handsome local stone work of the north façade reveals its heritage, and the new dormer windows complement the traditional façade, while adding a glorious loft space to the house.
The house has recently been restored and now combines historic detail with every modern comfort, including of course, good mobile and wi-fi connection.
Enter through a bright hallway that gives directly to the spacious ground floor, with a stairway to the floors above.
The sitting-room, leading off the entrance hall, is luxuriously furnished with deep buttoned cream sofas and wing-chairs. The space is heated by a large wood burning stove set in the original imposing oak-lintel fire-place.
Adjoining the living room, the dining room seats up to eight. A fireplace provides warmth and atmosphere. Elsewhere, the house has electric central heating.
To the rear of the house, there is a large dog-leg kitchen in alabaster white with matching floor slabs, that incorporates everything expected in a modern home.
The breakfast counter looks west to the Atlantic and can seat four.
Direct access to the garden from the kitchen is provided through an external door, handy for those occasional damp days!
A washer and drier are concealed in their own cupboard space opposite the breakfast counter.
• Double electric oven
• Five ring gas hob
• Large Fridge-freezer
• Coffee machine
• Washing machine
• Spin dryer
• Sizes – Two double beds plus one King-size and two singles
• Wi-Fi Internet
• Smart TV
• Wood burning stove
• Supply of Fire Logs
A generous, bright, and wonderfully comfortable double bedroom has been added to the ground floor. The room is accessed from the sitting room. Windowed on three sides, it enjoys stunning panoramic views north and east.
A reading desk is provided inviting you to sit and take in the ever-changing light that moves at the pace of the wind and clouds over the sea and mountains beyond.
A small ensuite bathroom consisting of toilet and basin, leads off the bedroom while a larger family bathroom with ample slipper tub and power-shower, lies across the hallway.
The north-facing lawn above the Kenmare River can be accessed directly from the ground floor by an external door between the living-room and the bedroom suite.
On the first floor, either side of the landing are two bedrooms, one a double and the other with two twin beds. There are lovely views north from both rooms. With windows open, those earlier sounds of waves, bird call and wind provide the gentlest path to sleep after a day of exploring.
A shower-room on the landing between the two bedrooms is equipped with a power-shower and basin.
The stairs continue up to the loft which spans the full length of the house. This is a light airy space with good standing height, and a most welcoming double bedroom, with a seating area and ensuite bathroom.
The delightful dormer windows frame views north over Kenmare Bay and the Reekes beyond. A wonderful space, totally cosy even on the billowiest of Atlantic nights.
To the west the Atlantic, to the north the grandeur of the Ring of Kerry and the mountains of the McKillicuddy Reekes, and immediately below the secluded intimacy of Hog and Ormond Islands – home to Curlews, Oyster Catchers, migrating Terns and resident Cormorants.
Cloonee House is set at the end of a long private driveway, within its own lawns that surround the house on all sides. A patio runs around the house so providing a choice of locations in which to site the barbeque and gain shelter from the prevailing wind.
It is in a truly magical setting with an amazing view over the bay. The house was spotless, super comfortable and luxurious and Ophelia was an absolute darling.
The highlight of our holiday was seeing a very rare and beautiful White Tailed Eagle soaring above the house. What a privilege.
We love Ireland and your homes are beautiful. We hope to be back soon.
Thanks again for all your help.
Dawn Barker August 2022
The ocean, the air the history, there’s so much to explore, so many paths to walk.
The house is some fifteen kilometres from the pretty market town of Kenmare, which is in fact the nearest spot for a supermarket, gourmet restaurants, and an informal farmers market on Wednesdays.
Situated at the northern tip of the Beara Peninsula a few kilometres from the county boundary of Kerry and West Cork, this is the perfect base from which to explore the Penninsula’s great and wild beauty. No need to travel far as right on the doorstep (four miles) can be found the wonderful fishing of Cloonee Lakes, the mysterious and magical standing stones at Gleninchaquinn, and the glorious oak forest at Uragh Wood.
There is also magnificent walking in the Caha mountains that rise above and surround Gleninchaquinn itself.
The Ring of Beara road twists its way around this headland, exposing colourful hamlets in its path. Narrow, but with minimal traffic, it is a splendid tour, and the views are spectacular. For Cyclists or walkers, the Beara Way offers a safer route.
At the tip of the peninsula a spur off the loop road continues to Ballaghboy. From here you can catch Irelands only cable car for the ten minute ride to Dursey Island.
The rickety car carries six passengers (or the equivalent in sheep) about 250m above infamous Dursey Sound, where strong tides make travelling by boat hazardous.
With magnificent views stretching from the Skelligs to Mizen Head, only a handful of inhabitants brave this wild and windy island.
Dolphins, whales and innocent basking sharks are frequently seen in the surrounding seas.
There are ample sites for fishing into deep water straight off the rocky Beara shoreline. Glenbeg Lake, is also teeming with trout and the short Glenmore River spate is extremely prolific, with runs of Spring Salmon coming in March, and Sea-Trout in mid-June to late July.
For a period during the 19th century copper mining was a major industry in the area, and much evidence still exists in the small town of Allihies where there is an interesting museum. Many miners ended up in Butte, Montana after the mines here closed – an often-tragic story
Castletownbere on the southern side of the peninsula is Ireland’s largest white fish port. The harbour is deep and is reputed to be one of the safest in the world. Sheltered by Bear Island, it has a long military history.
West Cork is blessed with an exceptionally warm and wet micro-climate. The Gulf Stream Ocean current ensures that summer sea temperatures are about 17 C, approximately the same as Long Beach California. Here you can find palm trees, luxuriant sub-tropical vegetation and exotic flowers growing in abundance.
The tiny Garnish Island, just off Glengarrif demonstrates this in a series of gardens flush with rhododendrons, azaleas and other surprising plants.
The Caha Mountain range runs down the spine of Beara, and Hungry Hill is the highest of its peaks. The panorama at the top is of course staggering, but the route is a bit all-terrain and needs fine weather.
To cross back to Cloonee, don’t miss the Tim Healy Pass. This zigzag road is worth it for the wonderful scenery, and is one of the classic Irish Car Rally stages.
By Air: Flights to Dublin, Cork or Shannon airports.
Dublin Airport – approx. 4.5 hours from the house.
Cork Airport – less than 2 hours from the house.
Shannon Airport – less than 3 hours from the house.
By Sea: Ferry crossings
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has a fast crossing and about four and a half hours from the Cloonee
Rosslare Harbour for Ferries to South Wales is just over 4 hours from the house.
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