We had such a delightful time at the cottage a huge thank you to Ben!
On our honeymoon (well kind of) this cottage was a perfect last minute respite on one of our final nights. I was skeptical when I found Ben’s cottage because of its affordability and the photos… and yet the host’s communication was quick and flexible.
It was an ideal location for exploring some of the surrounding areas such as the St. Patrick Trail, Castle Ward, Inch Abbey, and the Mourne Mountains (check out my Instagram for what we did and tips @passportenvies – I don’t know if this is allowed?) This area is perfect if you are obsessed with C.S. Lewis or "Game of Thrones" like me. Perhaps also it would be good for going into Belfast for the morning or afternoon – it's about 30 minutes to the Titanic area of the city.
As we turned right off the main road and even though we arrived a tad early Ben was there to meet us. The quality of the cottage and our host's affable welcome blew me away. Inside the house we found a ton of unexpected space. Sharp-fresh pine mixed with smoky musk that wafted from a fire crackling, whose flames danced inside the miniature stove-like kind of fire-thing (sorry I am an American from Florida, we seldom have fires). There was more than enough wood to please this Floridian’s need for warmth, new appliances, wine glasses, and fresh fruit.
There was a great chipper, my husband calls it, about 5 minutes away. So after dinner, we settled in snuggling on the comfy couch by the fire, nice and toasty (ummm just thinking of it makes me want to go back). Now I do have to say, there was no Internet when we stayed here and I understand Ben is fixing this; however, we were completely happy to escape the static of social media and all that. Just know if you come from Dublin and use roaming the cell service wasn’t great (non-existent at some points).
The bed was warm and comfortable, fairly standard Irish double - kind of hard and a little short; but better than some of the 5* and 4* hotels we visited in Ireland – definitely better than The Dean’s bed (a 5/4* in Dublin).
We awoke the next morning to a great view across the road; despite autumn's changes, brilliant emerald-green hills were dotted with little puffs of white sheep - typical of Ireland but still charming. There were fancy soaps in the bathroom and a hot shower, then we dropped the keys close by with Ben’s Grandmother who adorably invited us for tea, alas the mountains were calling. My only regret is that we found this little paradise so late in our trip, a few more days here and with the mountains would have been perfection. Too as a writer, it would have been an excellent spot to scribble down a few chapters. I absolutely recommend it.