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Ducks and Drakes in Doneraile

The Pond House, County Cork

Tucked away in the rolling landscape of the Blackwater Valley, this charming and sensitively converted rural apartment makes a perfect escape for those with a passion for nature, real food, rambling, and all that is good about the outdoors.

front entrance

A romantic rural retreat

A low fenced barbeque area around the sunset entrance to the apartment contemplates the bustling pond and its menagerie of ducks and chickens foraging in free range harmony among the bee hives.

the apartment

The accommodation occupies two large adjoining ground floor rooms in the west wing of an historic house on a hill in the Queen Anne style.
Once home to a Doneraile dowager, Saffron Hill overlooks the expansive parklands of Doneraile Court estate.

dining area living area

There is under-floor heating throughout augmented by a powerful wood burning stove in the main living area for wall-to-wall warmth.

Furnishings have a country house feel with a rustic dresser and dining table. The elemental kitchen has the full range of domestic appliances aligned along one wall.

Rates & Dates eggs garlic kitchen bedroom door
living room

A generous ochre double bedroom can accommodate four by utilising a clever additional double bed which pulls out of the settle sofa.

the bedroom double bed


The house is equipped in modern cottage style - there is WiFi, TV, good mobile coverage, books and DVDs ..
There is also no shortage of logs, honey and other seasonal delights.
If you have a particular requirement, be sure to tell us..


A broad range of produce populate this self sufficient market garden, accompanied by a veritable orchestra of bats, rabbits and bees in this organic good life model.



Smoking - No, sorry!
Dogs would need to be farm-friendly.

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flower blue bathroom settle bed bathroom


The surrounding farmyard sits on 11 acres at the end of a long fern-lined avenue, and includes a two-acre walled garden, which guests are welcome to explore.

yard daisies
view of the park

Out and About

Northern Cork is well placed for a plethora of outings and days of exploration-  here are a few of our favourites..

deer in park
Here are links to some of our favourite activities-


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About the Locality

Doneraile village is an easy 15 minute walk through The Park, and has a good butchers and small supermarket.
The Wildlife Park is an outstanding example of an 18th century landscaped park in the 'Capability Brown' style which in its heyday would have consisted of some 28,000 acres.
Doneraile Court, the magnificent former residence of the St. Leger family, is situated within the Park.

Donerail Court

Possibly due to the magnificent fishing on the Awbeg and Blackwater Rivers, this locality remains a magnet to the landed gentry, with many fine houses and estates in the area. The Munster Blackwater – there being several other rivers of the same name – is Ireland’s second largest river after the Shannon, and unquestionably one of the great salmon rivers of Europe. A lazy snaking river, it is also makes for very fine for canoeing and tubing.

mountain biking

The Ballyhoura Mountains across the valley are home to the largest mountain bike trail network in Ireland, and a must for serious and occasional bikers alike.

How to get there - Car advised..

By Air: Flights to Cork, Kerry Airport (Farrenfore), Dublin or Shannon.
Cork Airport - approx 1 hour from house.
Kerry Airport - approx 1 hour 30 mins from house.
Shannon Airport - approx 1 hour 15 mins from house.
Dublin Airport - approx 2 hours 30 mins from house.

By Sea: Ferry crossings from Pembroke/Fishguard to Rosslare.
Stena Express - 120 mins (summer only from Fishguard)
Swansea/Cork Ferry is 1 hour 20 mins from the house.
Rosslare Port is approx 2 hours 45 mins from house.
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has a fast crossing and is approx 2 hours 30 mins from house.

Mallow is the nearest large town, and is 15 minutes away. If you fancy a flutter on the ponies, then this is the home of Cork racing. Cork city – Ireland’s second largest, is only 45 minutes away by car, but that’s a story for another day.

Mallow races

The eponymous Steeplechase derives its name from an original cross country horse race between two neighbours over 250 years ago. Starting at the village of Buttevant, the finishing line was the church steeple at Doneraile, visible in the distance. The winner is not recorded.

Labbacallee to the north west of Fermoy, is Irelands largest prehistoric wedge tomb and dates from roughly 2300 BC

wedge tomb

photo Liam Hughes

There is an inspiring Donkey Sanctuary in Liscarroll which is well worth a visit.

donkey sanctuary

Take trip to the Mitchelstown caves for some stunning examples of stalagmites and stalactites that deserve their acclaim.

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Photo Gallery

Gallery of photographs