Old fashioned, rustic Irish cottage and gardens, featuring all the traditional elements you expect --like a wood stove, wildflowers, chickens and owls -- as well as many modern luxuries you will love, like 100% French linen bedding, gourmet coffee beans, high-speed internet, underfloor heating and a wood-fired hot tub! The host lectures in European history and speaks many languages fluently: Wir sprechen Deutsch! Nosotros hablamos español! Nous parlons français! Falo portugues! Ya magu govorit rusiski yiazik!
At Tullyquilly Cottage, you'll enjoy nature, animals and the splendour of a lost way of life. You'll never find another like it, and you'll never forget your time here. The heart of this rural smallholding is a renovated, traditional stone cottage, built in 1758 and located in south County Down, roughly between Belfast and Dublin. Situated in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains and only twenty minutes from the Irish Sea, the farm sits on a 2 acre site which is given over to an exotic arboretum, orchard, native woodland and an organic vegetable garden, including polytunnel. The host lives in an eco-studio located 100 yards from the main house. Though the property is fairly rustic, all amenities are here: excellent heat, running water, wifi etc., to say nothing of the Johnny-on-the-spot host and his charming daughter, never mind the salt-of-the-earth farmer neighbors who will stop in on horse or tractor for a cuppa (or the hens who are always up for a treat or a fuss!). AirBnB accommodation is in the main cottage, which has a sleeping loft for two adults and a few children (king bed plus futon) and more sleeping space below the loft on a sofa and luxury Habitat rattan daybed. Bringing an even bigger crowd? Ask about use of the Country Cottage, our luxury spillover guest cabin. You will also find a fully stocked country kitchen with an aga and a generous-sized dining table. For heat, there is a wood stove, and underfloor heating throughout. The bathroom is new, clean, pine-paneled and features a shower, toilet, radiator and a sink window that looks across a field with sheep and cows grazing. For your musical enjoyment you will find a tuned upright piano and vintage twelve- and six-string guitars, a banjo, mandolin, violin, cello, mountain dulcimer and xylophone. For the children, a wide range of toys is available, including an enormous set of vintage Fisher Price Little People. We have attached pictures of a few of our sets but many more await you. Taking advantage of the enormous main room in the cottage, it is possible to create an entire Little People civilisation. This is our favourite rainy day activity. A word on the bed and bedding. You will be sleeping on a recently purchased, high-end, medium-firm, pocket spring mattress that is combined with a 75mm 'pillow top' layer of gently supportive memory foam. This is serious mattress for sleeping and many people have commented on its superlative comfort. Bedding is all cotton or French linen plus down pillows and down duvets. We clean the cottage thoroughly prior to the arrival of new guests, but we never use chemical air fresheners. Fresh cut flowers are much more our style. Outside, enjoy the hot tub and help yourself to garden produce year-round, plus fresh eggs from the hens. Jump on the trampoline! Play ping pong! Try the tree swings. Pick some flowers or aromatic herbs at your leisure and bring them in to the kitchen to add your own finishing touches to this charming home. Watch out for Vixen, our friendly resident fox. You might see her early in the morning when she makes her rounds. This is a comfy/cozy cottage out of a storybook surrounded by the quintessential child's dream of a Secret Garden. Enjoy delicious, healthy meals based around ingredients grown in the numberless permaculture vegetable, salad and herb beds, or in the forty-foot polytunnel. In season, have a campfire under the stars; a complete cook-out can easily be organized. As an added bonus, you will find bicycles en site for your use and even two open Canadian canoes. This address requires some effort to reach (40 mins by car from Belfast; 80 minutes from Dublin, a bit longer by bike or train/bus), but thus far no one has been disappointed. Be sure to bring in some groceries, as the nearest shop or restaurant is two miles away. We keep stocked all your basic cooking ingredients like flour, spices, oil, etc, and usually there is plenty of garden produce for salads and sides. You can save a lot of money by cooking in and eating from the garden. Sitting far from the road, Tullyquilly Cottage possesses a rare, old-world charm in an idyllic setting that is heart-breakingly beautiful. Everyone who comes here immediately falls in love with the place and is sad to leave. Wonderful fruits and veggies coming out of the garden and tunnel year-round, help yourself.
What do guests have access to?
The cottages and the farm -- everything. Nothing is locked away from our guests! Hot tub too but there you're in charge. It is wood-fired. I will clean and fill and you can heat it at your leisure. You will need to source your own wood (easily done locally). It's a year-round outdoor activity, extremely pleasant and rare, and nothing like stepping into a plastic container of hot chemicals in an airport hotel "leisure center". In the kitchen, we stock all essential staples so just bring in some fresh groceries and you'll be ready to cook or bake anything. We also believe in drinking only the best coffee, so if you're into good coffee, expect to find a coffee grinder, freshly roasted beans and various brewing systems to suit your tastes.
Guest interaction with the host:
It really depends on my work situation. Sometimes a lot, sometimes not so much. If you want your privacy you will have it. If you want to hang out, I'll try to be available.
It's open countryside: rural, secluded, rustic and beautiful: horses on across the little creek; dairy cows across the western hedge. Sheep out back. This is the real thing.
You would normally need a car or some other sort of wheels; otherwise it's possible to arrange a pick-up at the train or bus, depending on the day and time. A taxi is also easily organised.
Other things to note:
Hot tub is wood-fired and the guest must organise as s/he sees fit, i.e. source wood for heating. This is not difficult but requires some planning ahead. This is a rustic cedar tub that you heat with a submerged stove. To heat for a weekend might require twenty-five pounds worth of firewood and kindling. I used to heat the tub for visitors, but many neglected to use it and for that reason I now leave it to the guest. The weather largely determines the attractiveness of the tub and this can change rapidly in Ireland...