Tommy Barker visits a home so close to the sea you can practically count the periwinkles from the balcony.
Calling all writers, food lovers, sea-birdwatchers and foragers: get thee to Ballymacoda, and Knockadoon, and Ring Strand.
Coming to market the same month as the Ballymaloe LitFest which brought thousands of visitors to east Cork for food, talk and talks about food and provence, is this slice of Irish history, right on the coastline, and a perfect spot for getting away from it all.
Now that No 6 Coastguard Cottages is up for sale, and guided at €180,000 for a three-bed within stone-throwing distance of the shoreline, there’s every chance of a ‘halo’ effect on home-hunters thanks to the feel-good, feed-good bounce from the Ballymaloe venture.
Ripples have gone out over the seas about this east Cork event which attracts the very best of the world’s cooks and food-related writers, and over the packed days of events last weekend, many of the guests took themselves off to the coast for a break, a look-see, a beach walk, or a pint in Ballycotton’s Blackbird bar.
There were also easy pickings for some, who managed to rent out their homes, seaside boltholes and quirky properties to the Ballymaloe LitFest visitors, at over €1,000 for long weekend, in some cases — shades of Cork Week rental bonanzas in Crosshaven?
Whoever buys this Coastguard property, knows as the Captain’s Cottage, might, very well, supplement their own income, or contribute to the mortgage, with occasional, seasonal and even off-season rentals, and in winter, there’d be no end of air whipping by for an Air BnB sales pitch.
Clearly, this row of six Victorian-era units, bookended by a viewing tower, has location in spades, and in buckets and spades too. It’s right above Ring beach which is bountiful for periwinkles and mussels and more, for fishing, foraging and sea-weeding and bathing.
The 13-bay stone-built run of terraced cottages dates to 1860, glory days of the British empire and its grip on the seas, and while the other five cottage are a bit more slender, with two windows each to the front, the last one in and the largest of the six here, has three windows or bays, signalling its occupation by the coastguard captain or top brass.
It is next to a taller stone-viewing tower and possible former arms store and was attacked by the Fenians in 1867. So, if you haven’t already got 1916 centenary fatigue, there’s a 150th anniversary of the Fenian’s sacking of it coming up in 2017.
Midleton estate agent Adrianna Hegarty has just listed No 6 Captain’s Cottage at the coastguard site, and she stresses its interior quality and character after a make-over, as well as its views to Knockadoon and Capel (or Cable) Island, from its tail end of the peninsula setting.
Ms Hegarty says it’s an unbeatable location, with unspoiled panoramic sea views from its living quarters and there’s also an al fresco seating spot on a small, cliff-like end-of garden stretch, with fencing, along with shed and parking spots.
Inside, it has three ground-level bedrooms floored with pitch pine, and living areas are sensibly above for the outlook through sash-style windows, and they include a reception/ living room, and a kitchen/dining room with red gloss units, and there is a feature wood-burning stove set into a stone and brick arch here too.
VERDICT: Safe haven.
Ring Strand, East Cork
Size: 93 sq m (1,000 sq feet)
Best Feature: Beside the sea
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