House of the week: Derrynane, Kerry, €375,000

It must be tough on the Kerry locals, but Cork people have such an affinity to Derrynane, they’re inclined to think they own the heavenly beautiful spot, writes Tommy Barker.
House of the week: Derrynane, Kerry, €375,000

Size: 2,200 sq ft on six acres

Bedrooms: 5+2

Bathrooms: 3


Best feature: It’s Derryane

There’s a bit of a grá too for nearby Waterville, further out the Ring of Kerry where tens of millions of euros are being poured into the Hogs Head golf course and hotel by its new American-based owners Bryan Marsal and Tony Alvarez.

Those millionaires have already shifted 250,000 cubic metres of earth and brought in 120,000 tonnes of Wexford sand, to reshape the Hogs Head course to a Robert Trent Jones ll design.

The aim is to put Waterville on a golfing map for US and international players, who’ll also do the Old Head in Kinsale, Waterville, Ballybunion and more on a grand Irish tour. Choppers are even being talked about once more.

But, while Waterville’s big enough to share, Derrynane’s more the precious gem, almost a Cork protectorate by summer default.

Home to one of Ireland’s most gorgeous beaches, as well a 320 acre national park and the visitor centre Derrynane House, former home of The Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, this whole bay on the N70 Ring of Kerry road is prettier than any picture: you can see the ‘containerised’ tourists on tour buses passing above the pass leading to Waterville craning back for a view over the verdant oasis and sand-fringed shoreline, harbour and pier.

Now, a sizeable and quite special property underneath that road is up for sale, Derryane Lodge, and is quite the package for its quoted €375,000 asking price. It’s a six bed house, a restored and upgraded former farmhouse, along with a detached garage which has a two-bed guest apartment overhead.

And, it’s all on six acres with lots of road frontage, lush and green and naturally landscaped to follow the land’s contours, with the addition of an all-weather (well, most weathers, it is Kerry) tennis court.

There’s also paths scythed through grounds, with a bridge over a stream, and a pond for wild swimming if the beach seems too far away (it’s not, it’s just minutes by car or shank’s mare). It’s a holiday haven, ideal for larger clan gatherings and summers away.

Just a week or two on the market, estate agent Paul Stephenson of Sherry FitzGerald Stephenson Crean says he’s had calls already from Cork people, naturally(!), but also from other parts of Ireland, the UK, and the US.

It’s set as the road climbs out of Caherdaniel village and its bars, restaurants, and shops, about three kilometres from Caherdaniel, near one of the winding access roads to the beach and pier and watersports galore. It’s going to be quite the open question as to who ends up buying it, and if they use it part-time, full-time, and/or use it for part rental income.

Owned for many years by a Munster business family and rented seasonally for a number of years, it gets high approval ratings on travel sites. In new ownership, the next occupant may well choose to rent the two-bed guest cottage (it needs a bit of tidying up,) or could get an even bigger dividend by renting the c2,200 sq ft main five-bed house, and decamping to the guest/‘caretaker’s’ cottage for peak season.

The existing ground floor garage space might also yield up some higher value use in time, other than sheltering cars and lawnmowers.

The main house has atmospheric reception rooms, one is double aspect with a large open fireplace, and has polished hardwood floors, wainscoting on the walls and patio/terrace access.

The other has a wood-burning stove, and the kitchen has deep-blue Aga plus electric side oven and gas hob, with stripped pine units. There’s also a dining room, pantry/utility, a ground floor fifth bedroom and shower room, and overhead one of the four other bedrooms is en suite, while there’s a roll top bath in one of the bathrooms.

Windows are double glazed in dark frames and the two-bed guest cottage has an upstairs balcony with views down to a portion of sandy beach by Derrynane and Keatings bar.

Verdict: Changes at Waterville and the on-going huge tourism/golf investment there (sums of €50m have been mentioned) make this €375k hideaway seem like it’s in the ha’penny place, but, it’s not. It’s out on its own.

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