Entry is from the pebbled courtyard to the back of the Vicarage. The utility room, equipped with washer and dryer, gives access to the upstairs living space.
The open plan living area is spacious. It includes a comfortable sofa and armchairs overlooking the fine garden, a well-equipped modern kitchen, a circular dining table that seats four and a small eclectic library that lines the dividing wall between living and sleeping areas.
The tone is cosey and calming. The natural lighting gentle supporting a colour palate that is considered and harmonious. The great and subtle attention to detail reinforces the message of welcome, care and comfort.
The kitchen area is compact but nonetheless very complete provided with top quality equipment. Lighting is deliberately low but the mirror backing casts a fine light and adds mood and atmosphere
The bedroom leads off the dining area, past a small window that gives prettily onto the courtyard below. The bedroom is beautifully appointed and comfortable; the evening lamp lighting casting a warm glow.
N.b: There is a pull out bed in the living area; should it be needed.
The ensuite bathroom is beautifully appointed with a powerful modern shower and barber’s basin. Once again the attention to detail and choice of colours, taps, tiles and towels creates a tone of calm and comfort.
The bathroom can also be accessed from the open space living area so that if the sofa bed provided is required the additional guest has separate access.
To the right of the entrance a compact south facing garden is available to guests. This area of intimate calm and features fine pot plants and shrubs. A lovely feature includes a small fountain that plays from the mouth of a very protective lion.
Please Note: The property is set within a greater garden and guests are welcome to enjoy its beauties
The owner was a wonderful host. We arrived to a beautiful bottle of prosecco and chocolates and the essentials in the fridge. The loft is immaculate with the most fantastic interiors. The surrounding gardens are also such a treat. The care and attention put into the home by the proprietor was superb. Extremely comfortable bed, beautiful rainshower, fully equipped kitchen etc. They also provided a very helpful booklet on walks, cycles and local restaurants in the area. With this being our first time in Laois, we were blown away by the beauty of the county – in particular Ballinakill. Everyone is so kind, welcoming and greets you with a smile on their face. Be sure to check out Heywood Haven for fantastic coffee & treats. Muller & O’Connell in Abbeyleix also has the tastiest sourdough bread! We had our friends stay with us on the last night, thanks to the marvellous pull out sofa, which they noted was extremely comfortable. The owner was more than helpful for our entire stay. We were very sad to leave and will certainly be back! -Niamh, 2021.
Ballinakill is known for its beautiful wooded walks around the old Heywood Demesne and lakes, where Heywood House once stood. It also hosts the Twin Trees Festival, with an emphasis on art, architecture and history. For food lovers there is a range of eateries including Castle Durrow, The Ashbrook Arms, and Bowes Café in Durrow. Mc Evoys, Morrissey’s, The Gallic Kitchen and Papa Nonis in Abbeyleix, which offers delicious Italian food and gluten free pizza. Kilkenny, the gastronomic city of the south east, is an easy 30 minutes drive.
Laois is the hidden treasure of Ireland, with superb mountain walks, leafy trails, unspoiled lakes and gardens. It has excellent fresh produce, dining to suit all tastes, and one of the best sour-dough bakeries in the country (Muller O’Connell’s of Abbeyleix).
Ballinakill is a fine example of a 17th Century market-town. The ruins of Ballinakill Castle are of a late seventeenth-century castle built by the Dunnes (but never inhabited) on the site of one destroyed by Cormwellian troops under Fairfax. The towns broad main street and large central square reflect Ballinakill’s standing in the 17th century as an important centre.
The configuration of streets round the large rectangular square is eighteenth-century. The town’s entrance from Abbeyleix is marked by two trees known as Toll Trees where a toll was paid by visitors to the town. The town had important fairs, a brewery, woollen and tanning factories
A monument in the square is dedicated to the local men who died in the 1798 rebellion.
Almost directly across the road, Heywood Garden was designed by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, who also designed the War Memorial in Dublin and the Viceroy’s Palace in New Delhi, amongst others.
Half an hours drive will have you at Neo-Classical gem Emo Court, the largest private work of noted architect James Gandon. Originally the home of the Earl of Portarlington, the construction took seventy years to complete. The attached gardens (perfect for a picnic) can be visited year round; with the house available for tours from 2021 following renovations.
Just 6km from Ballinakill; Abbyleix is one the oldest planned town of English Settlement. The surroundings are packed with historical buildings and sites; with fountains, an ancient stone circle and some of the oldest pubs in the country.
Click here for more information on Ireland’s Ancient East
By Air: Flights to Dublin, Cork or Shannon airports.
Dublin Airport – an hour and a half from the loft.
Cork Airport – approx 2 hours from the loft.
Shannon Airport – approx 1 and a half hours from the loft.
By Sea: Ferry crossings
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has a fast crossing and an hour and a half from the cottage
Rosslare Harbour for Ferries to South Wales is about 2 hours from the property.
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