Romantic real estate: homes where the heart is
Brandon Lodge, Co Kilkenny
With love in the air as Valentine's Day approaches, here are some happily-ever-after Irish homes to set hearts racing
Rural retreat, €255,000
Brandon Lodge, in Ballinvarry, Co Kilkenny, is a three-bedroom, stone-cut detached property about 8km from Graiguenamanagh. At 95sq m (1,022 sq ft), it is less than 1km off the main road and a similar distance from the South Leinster Way, a walking route running all the way to Tipperary.
Agent: Sherry Fitz McCreery.
Traditional thatch, €188,000
A pre-Famine two-bedroom thatched house in Rockchapel, Co Cork, situated in the heart of Sliabh Luachra, a traditional Irish cultural heartland. It has a wrap-around deck and the interior is charmingly decorated. One of the bedrooms is accessed by a Juliette staircase - not so romantic on rainy nights.
No agent: being sold by owner Seamus Forde (087-6889031); formerglory.ie
Wuthering heights, €550,000
Channel your inner Heathcliff and your outer Sarah Beeney with this granite mountain retreat in need of total renovation. Lug na Groagh, a derelict property 8km from Blessington, Co Wicklow, is set on 71 hectares of mainly commercial forestry. The house is a five-minute drive from the shores of Blessington Lake.
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald O'Reilly Naas
Seductive setting, €2.95 m
Mermaid Isle's price will put most romantics on the rocks, financially, but it's a tale of two properties. The 418sq m (4,500sq ft) six- to eight-bedroom detached house (above right) is set on almost five hectares of mainland overlooking the water; and a five- to 10-minute swim away is (half) your own island (five hectares). The seductive setting comes with a one-bedroom cottage and outdoor hot-tubs. Owners Kevin O'Farrell and Lori Kearney are open to offers.
Enchanted forest, €298,0000
Edenvale Cottage, originally part of Artramon Estate, is two adjoining three-bedroom cottages with interconnecting doors. The 150sq m house, in need of modernisation, is set on .3 hectares down a forest track in Ballyboggan, on the outskirts of Castlebridge, Co Wexford. The River Sow runs 180m from the property. Down from €420,000 (in 2008) to €298,000.
Agent: DNG Property People Wexford
Aga saga €300,000
Cregg House, in Cregg, outside Oughterard in Co Galway is a three-bedroom (one en suite) 1930s property in need of an upgrade. The house has some notable features, including fireplaces in all of the bedrooms and a cream four-door Aga in the kitchen. The house is set on an acre. Included in the sale are some outhouses.
Agent: DNG Martin O'Connor
Chalet chic, €350,000
Iskanaseelna is a wooden Swiss-style chalet, built 150m from the water's edge in Glengarriff, Co Cork. The five-bedroom house has a double-height lounge and 186sq m (2,000 sq ft) of space. Its price has been reduced from €650,000 (in March 2011) to €350,000. It is surrounded by trees masking sea views, and on the shore is a shingle beach and a disused pier.
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Hinchion
Rentals: Happy ever after . . . for the weekend
Gingerbread Cottage, in Tallow, near Lismore , Co Waterford, is postcard pretty. It has two bedrooms, sleeps six and has a minimum three-night letting policy. Available to rent this weekend and next, it costs €198 for a three-night stay starting tomorrow, or €310 for three nights from February 15th. See selfcatering.travel (tel: 091-585585) or hogansirishcottages.com (tel: 01-4319788 ).
The Boat House is a strictly couples experience. The bijou property sits perched above the River Blackwater outside Youghal in Co Cork. It has a double bedroom and kitchenette. You can also keep a look out for some of Ireland's rarer birds, including peregrine falcons, buzzards, hen harriers, egrets and the rarely encountered barn owl. It costs €165 per night through Elegant Ireland at elegant.ie (tel: 01-4732505).
The West Wing at Russborough House, Co Wicklow, is home to two swish self-catering apartments - the garden apartment and the Beit residence. Both are big enough for two families to share and available to rent through the Irish Landmark Trust this weekend, starting tomorrow. The garden apartment costs €574 for two nights for up to seven people. The Beit has four bedrooms, two twin rooms and two doubles. It costs €512 for two for two nights and €724 for up to eight people. See irishlandmark.com (tel: 01-6704733).