'According to legend, Clíodhna was a Danaan maiden once living in Manannán mac Lir's country, the Land of Youth beyond the sea. Escaping with a mortal lover, Keevan of the Curling Locks, the couple land on the southern coast of Ireland and he leaves to hunt in the woods. Clíodhna, who remains on the beach, is lulled to sleep by fairy music played by a minstrel sent by Manannán, when a great wave sweeps in from the sea and carries her back to Tir na nOg, leaving her lover desolate. The beach is known as the Strand of Cleena's Wave.'
Situated at Bawnishall crossroads in scenic West Cork, Cliona Lodge is a five minute stroll to the nearest beach, Tra na gCath (Battle Strand). There are more beaches on the way to Toe Head (one mile) and at Tragumna (3 miles), and at Sandycove on the way to Castletownshend (2 miles). For the more energetic, there are wonderful walks to the top of Toe Head, overlooking the Stags and the wreck of the Kowloon Bridge, with views west all the way to the Kedge islands outside Baltimore.
Cliona Lodge, comprising 2,700 square feet on two floors, offers generous amounts of architect designed, light-filled space. The ground floor is open plan with a dining area for ten or more, a spacious kitchen with all mod cons, an office area and a TV room. There are four double bedrooms upstairs with three full baths, one with a jacuzzi tub, the master with its own dressing room. Individual rooms have their own thermostat controlling under floor heating throughout. Top insulation spec keeps things cosy, and solar assisted hot water contributes further green credentials. A fully landscaped garden complete with burbling stream makes for a pleasant outdoor environment. Views from the house are of the farmland set amongst rolling hills with the ocean visible just down the road.
This is rural Ireland, working farms all around, beef and dairy herds grazing nearby. Historic Castletownshend is three miles away with its picturesque harbour, St.Barrahane's Church (early 19th century) and Mary Anne's restaurant, a must for sea food lovers. Skibbereen, 5 miles away, is steeped in history but is also a busy market town with a wide choice of food and shopping opportunities - West Cork has a richly deserved reputation for some of the finest food in the world. Check out the farmers' markets in Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Schull and Bantry.
Previous visitors to Cliona Lodge rate their top 'must visits': Drombeg Stone Circle, just east of Glandore, a window on 1500 BC; Glandore itself, one of Ireland's most attractive locations; Union Hall and Keelbeg pier where you can see fresh fish being landed most days and available for sale from Glenmar fish shop - nothing more fresh than their locally caught lobster and langoustine. Lough Hyne (or Ine) a world famous site amongst marine bioligists and a great place for strenuous walks with magnificent views from the top; Mizen Head, the most southerly point in Ireland reached by a narrow footbridge that sets the adrenaline going; the islands of Cape Clear and Sherkin, easily reached from Baltimore harbour; and all along this part of the coast you can see the Fastnet Rock lighthouse, a major landmark for seafarers and the turning mark for one of the world's greatest yacht races.
This area also enjoys one of the best gardening climates on the planet. Washed by the Gulf Stream, the climate is mild with no temperature extremes. Visit Glebe Gardens near Baltimore, or Lisselan near Clonakilty, and especially the Italian Gardens on Garinish Island (Ilnacullin) reached by five minute ferry from Glengarriff. If you time it right, you may have the opportunity to visit participating gardens in the West Cork Garden Trail, when privately owned prize winning gardens open for charity fund raising.
There is so much to interest people here! Specialised whale watching boats operate out of Union Hall and Baltimore. Ireland is one of the best places in Europe to see these giant creatures with 24 species of whale and dolphin so far identified in these coastal waters. Sea birds abound too and bird watching brings many visitors to this part of Ireland, partcularly in September when the migrants heading south for the winter stop to rest on this, the most southerly part of Ireland, before pushing on to Africa. Atlantic storms sometimes bring us unusual visitors from the Americas. Cape Clear has a dedicated bird watching observatory which brings visitors from all over the world.
With so much to see, it's no surprise that both professional and aspiring wildlife photographers make West Cork top, or close to top, of their list. The light, the atmosphere, the history, the flora and fauna, all conspire to offer the camera enthusiast an unending series of opportunities to capture magical moments.
Many of our visitors are city dwellers who are often amazed at the clarity of the night sky, the Milky Way overhead, the constellations clearly visible. There is a small telescope at Cliona Lodge for those who want to have a closer look at the heavens but nothing beats a walk up to Toe Head when the full moon is shining on the waters below, lighting up the Stags, while the loom of the Fastnet Rock lighthouse pulsates on the horizon and you hear the sound of Cliona's wave breaking on the shore below.
Keywords: New, Detached, Large, House