Mall Cottage is a charming old house in the quiet and historic Irish village of Castletownshend, a cul-de-sac, so there are few cars. The house is very comfortable and well-furnished and has a wonderful view from the kitchen / dining room (and balcony) across the harbour with its fishing boats to the green hills beyond. The garden is on 2 levels with a tennis court on the lower level. A short walk away is Mary Anne's pub with its internationally renowned cuisine (restaurant and bar food). The market town of Skibbereen is 4 miles away with good shopping and a golf course. There are many other good local restaurants and much to do and see in the beautiful surrounding countryside of West Cork.
We live and work in Central London and have enjoyed holidaying in West Cork for over 40 years. It provides the perfect place for a change of scenery to relax together as a family with a wide variety of activities.
We have gone to this village as a family for our Summer holidays since I was 15 years old. My parents bought a house in the village and passed it on to us. Having loved it as a teenager and met my wife there, we have taken our children, and now grandchildren, every year and they all love it too. The harbour, with its small, picturesque fishing quay, was a wonderfully safe place to learn to sail as a teenager. There is something for every age group and every taste, whether it is walking, sailing, fishing, going to the beach, playing tennis or golf, or sitting with a book and enjoying the view. The house and garden are both beautiful and well-maintained and make for a wonderful, relaxing holiday whatever the weather.
The house has a unique charm. Every room is interesting and different. Having enough bedrooms has meant we can be there as a family and invite friends to join us. The dining room table (see photo above), which can seat 14 people, was made by me (Nicky) and our three sons when they were teenagers. We have spent many hours since then sitting round it. In the garden is another table made out of a large slab of stone we found on the beach and brought back to the house in a boat. One of our sons (now a cabinet maker) made some legs for it. In fine weather we have often sat round it having long lunches. The tennis court is an added bonus with one of the finest views for a court anywhere in the world.
Castletownshend is set on the unspoilt coastline of South West Ireland with its green hills and dairy herds. The harbour, well-protected by the islands at its mouth, is one of a number of attractive inlets both East and West within easy reach by car (such as Glandore, Union Hall, Baltimore, Schull and Crookhaven). Castletownshend is a historic village with a number of large houses built by families who first settled there in the 15th and 16th Centuries and home to the authors Edith Somerville and Martin Ross. 4 miles away lies the market town of Skibbereen with good shops and 50 miles away is Cork with its international airport
Other Activities: whale watching, visiting local archaeological sites, kayaking, good surfing (25 minutes away)
Golf: Good and inexpensive local golf course at Skibbereen (25 euros for non-members for 18 holes). Other golf courses within 30-40 minutes away