Our house is a beautifully restored and sympathetically extended classic Irish countryside cottage, now a four-bedroom, two-bathroom family house, alongside a garden studio with another two bedrooms and bathroom.
Its downstairs social spaces - the sitting room and kitchen - are both large, lovingly furnished, bright, book-filled, ultra-comfortable living quarters designed for entertaining and relaxing. The house was designed around the views out every window onto the soft rolling landscape.
It sits in an exceptionally beautiful part of the Irish rural hinterland. Walking the ancient hillocks and valleys, you can find yourself lost without a house in sight within a ten-minute hike from our back door. The houses sits at the foot of the Dun of Clopook, an ancient outcrop with a cave and souterrain, and the countryside seems remote and wild, but is centrally. We have a garden with plenty of lawn areas, flower filled borders, a large vegetable garden which guests are welcome to use the produce from. Nearby is the hamlet of Timahoe, featuring its famous round tower, and the towns of Athy (10 mins), Portlaoise (15 mins), Carlow (20 mins) and Kilkenny (35 mins) are nearby. Dublin city centre is a 70-minutes drive. The local village, Stradbally, has an art gallery, a good library, trout fishing, paintball, equestrian centre, plenty of pubs, and an intermittent steam train ride.
What we have found about living here is that it is, at its heart, a very easy house to relax in, with a back door onto hill-walking that remains largely undiscovered, and very easy access by car to most parts of Ireland.