Just when you think Glandore couldn't get any more picturesque, it throws another visual treat your way. An hour from Cork Airport, it's no wonder the village is one of west Cork's hot spots for those with the time and money to keep a retreat. You're just as likely to hear someone say "I have a house in Glandore," than tell you they actually live there. Nevertheless, it does have a strong year-round community to balance the blow-ins, and life here for both residents and regular visitors is hard to beat.
Set near the top of a long inlet, Glandore has the sailing side of things sewn up, while opposite, Union Hall is the hub of the fishing industry – the two sides of Irish ocean life facing one another, you might say. For the past five years, Swallow Cottage, which is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald O'Neill for €895,000, has been the holiday retreat of its Dublin-based owners, and its next buyer will benefit from all the work they put in.
At 240sq m (2,583sq ft) it’s a pretty spacious “cottage”. Set on three acres, laid out in landscaped gardens with paddocks and a pond, the four-bedroomed house has been completely re-done from top to bottom.
In fact, the owners turned the house bottom-up, moving the bedrooms downstairs, so that three of the four enjoy French window access to the terrace. The master bedroom has a large dressing area, a luxurious en suite and brilliant windows, so you could stay in bed and still feel like you were out in the world enjoying the fresh air. Because it’s all been so recently and so well done, the house has a BER of B3.
Upstairs, the large lounge and conservatory, which doubles up as a diningroom, give onto a veranda- style balcony that has incredible sea views – perfect for sundowners. The kitchen is beautifully done – the overall style of the decor is Cape Cod Beach House meets Country Cottage (but with excellent taste). The main living space is also very beautiful, with a double- height ceiling, plus arched church- like windows. It has a solid-fuel stove. A smaller lounge area up a short flight of steps from it would make a perfect study or playroom.
There’s also a garage, with interior access for your car, dinghy, kayaks and whathaveyou, or it could be further integrated into the house, if you wanted more accommodation.
Outside, old stone walls and a collection of cut-stone outbuildings, two of which are nesting sites for swallows each summer (hence the house’s name), are a clue to the place’s origins as a farmhouse. Today, while those three acres could happily support a pony or two, their main function is to give you a sense of privacy and space. Lovely rooms are an obvious draw, but what money really buys is that silence and peace.
Last December, Tony O’Reilly’s holiday home in Glandore, Shorecliffe, sold for €942,000; while in January, Baywood, which has the added attractions of extra acreage and stables, made €1.103 million. Swallow Cottage is a two- to-three- minute drive up the hill from the Glandore strip, which makes the vista even better, and it’s a nice walk down to the village.
Local gossip has it that the Marine Hotel is to reopen this summer after a hiatus, while the Glandore Inn and Hayes's are famous for their views, and seafood platters – though locals and regulars still swear by Casey's, just up the steps.