You could sit here all day and all night, looking out at the 180-degree vista over Cork harbour.....or you can run out the door and down on the roads as did local Cobh legend, Olympian and former world champion, Sonia O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan started her running career with Ballymore AC, just east of the hilly harbour town of Cobh, and the roads here and past Cuskinny are all uphill and down dale. They’d keep you fit. As would the many walks on Great Island, from the 22km island loop, or to the woods and shoreline at Marloag, or along the ‘21 Ditches’ walk from Cuskinny to Marloag, encompassing beaches and bays.
The wondrous Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve is home to many species of birds and waders, and butterflies, around the marshy lake, while seals, porpoises, dolphins and element-braving human bathers can be seen over the sea wall at Cuskinny.
The Birdwatch Ireland-maintained Cuskinny Marsh is also where Derek Mooney records and broadcasts the dawn chorus each spring.
The appropriately-titled Cuan Ard (top of the bay) is launched this weekend with Cobh estate agent, Johanna Murphy, who prices the updated, 1960-built bungalow at €369,000, which reflects not only its setting and vista views, but also its comforts and condition. As you crest the hill from the evocatively-named High Chapperal bar, at Ballymore, the panoply and panorama of Cork’s famed harbour unfolds.
Cuan Ard is a most comfortable viewing point, especially the bay windows of the kitchen/dining room, and the extended sitting room’s sunroom-like bay.
Facing full south, this smartly-decorated and hospitable room has a curved, five-sided window bay with several of the tilt-and-turn windows swinging in to admit fresh air on fine days: it really is a room for all seasons.
The views range from Agahada, and tankers at Whitegate, to the east, directly south out to Roches Point, for every passing and visiting craft of any size or shape. Next up are Crosshaven and Currabinny for yachting activity, then towards the west are Spike and Haulbowline, home to the Irish Navy, and, finally, the lights of pharma plants and the soaring, energy-generating windmills round Ringaskiddy,like standing anenometers. Simply, the views are ever-changing.
“The minute you walk into Cuan Ard you feel like you are on holidays,” Johanna Murphy says, and she describes the decor as like a summer home at the Hamptons or Cape Cod: Cape Cobh, perhaps? The house has a beach theme with the modern, restful decor, pale blues and whites and with some maritime motifs, as well, and there are a yacht marina and a sailing centre around the island’s bend at Marloag, facing towards East Ferry.
This home, used in recent times for holidays by a family who have local Ballymore roots, was redone just two or three years ago, and is spotless and bright. It fits in four bedrooms, one with en-suite bathroom and dressing room, and two others share a ‘Jack and Jill’ en-suite with shower. It has two wings, each with sunny living sections, and there are front and rear halls.
The kitchen/dining room has been updated, with white-painted units, black-granite tops, and small island dresser. The dining end is oak-floored, front to back, with utility behind. Upgraded, also, is the oil central heating. Walls have been pumped for insulation, and the attic has been reinsulated.
On a half-acre with well, septic tank and two entrances, Cuan Ard has farms for neighbours, and Ballymore for company. A field or two away, in front, is a pretty Fuchsia Cottage, a painstakingly renovated, 1,500 sq ft, 19th century home, which featured here in the market trough of April, 2011 (also via Johanna Murphy) and which sold for €322,750.
With Cuan Ard’s arrival for sale in a much-recovered market, its next owner could be holiday-home hunters, sailors, proud locals, runners, or retirees.
: Cape Cobh, indeed.