Rent the quintessential Connemara cottage... in south county Dublin

You don’t have to go west to stay in a cute cottage when this one is to let in Dalkey

Sea air coming in through the half door; a few sods of turf in the grate; fishing for mackerel off the pier; taking a run out the island on a boat or strolling into the village for a pint - sounds like an idyllic break in the West of Ireland but in fact you can do it all without leaving Dublin, in a cute summer rental on Coliemore Road in Dalkey.

Biddy’s Cottage, with its white washed walls, crimson half door, and roof space filled with turf, reeks of the West, but it’s is available at the very south County Dublin price of of €1200 per week for the summer months.

The one-bedroom cottage is the home of writer and folklorist Brighid McLauglin who has hosted hundreds of story telling evenings in the livingroom where tourists and locals regularly rub shoulders with celebrities. Pierce Brosnan and his wife Keely have been a regular visitor to Biddie’s Cottage, says McLaughlin. “He told me it reminded him of his mother’s family cottage in Navan.” Viking actor Alexander Ludwig has also stopped by while film maker Jim Sheridan has also spent evenings around the fire, with tea and oat cakes on tap.

Formally known as Rockbrook Cottage, the double fronted house is on a gentle bend of Coliemore Road, a two minute walk from the harboour with its brightly painted boats and picturesque pier. In summer, there’s a ferry service to Dalkey Island, with its Martello tower, ruined church and gun battery.


Neighbouring houses are valued in the millions but the former fisherman’s cottage, built in 1875 is modest by comparison, with its front door right on the street, and one big room inside leading to a small bedroom and a neat little kitchen. There’s a tiny yard with a herb garden and onstreet parking across the road. McLaughlin bought the house 22 years ago, when her father Eoin sent her the details in the post urgin her to come home and settle down. “I was living in the West Indies, I was 34 and my Dad said I was a bit long in the tooth not to have my own home.” He helped her to refurbish the house too, installing a polished pine floors that had come from a c a Donegal dance hall.

The high vaulted ceiling of the main room gives a sense of space, views from front windows stretch across the bay to Howth and the Baily lighthouse and the furniture and décor are a mixture of traditional and new. Stalwarts like a traditional dresser, settle bed, tilly lamp and griddle fit well with a comfortable sofa, professionally fitted kitchen just off and gas heating. The chimney breast, arrayed with family photos - and a St Brighid’s cross - is a focal point.

McLaughlin has taken a break from the stor y-telling evenings, to finish Behind the Half Door, a cookbook she is writing with Australian food blogger Kady O’Connell, an Irish graphic designer and food blogger who lives in Sydney. The book which focuses on old Irish recipes is due in November. She is planning to travel to Sydney over the summer, and so the cottage is going to earn its keep. It’s been been repainted and refurbishe for renting and is ready to accommodate guests who want to “get away from it all” says. McLauglin. “You don’t have to go to Connemara to get peace and tranquillty,” she says. Helpfully in this regard, the cottage has no wifi.

Biddy’s Cottage is available for rent through June and again in August, September and October. It is being let through local agent Nick Crawford.