The SpaceYou will not find a more intimate and aesthetically absorbing house in Northern Ireland! It was created by my late wife and I since 2000, 2 houses (the one for rent + the owner's) joined by a small link, which can be shut off for privacy. We believed strongly that inside and outside spaces should relate seamlessly; outside you will find a wildlife garden unequalled in Co Down (awarded 'best small country garden in NI' by Belfast Telegraph in 2014); inside you may be intrigued by the hand-painted furniture, gold leaf decoration and unpredictable colour schemes. If you are looking for a formula, this is not the place! If you enjoy art, peace, gardens and nature, you will love it here.
As a luxury bonus, you can watch HD movies on the 8' screen in your own cinema, or take a bath under the stars in your own hot tub (advance notice required).
For those interested in wildlife, a recent moth survey recorded 91 species overnight, inc a Humming Bird Hawk Moth. Butterflies and bees abound in summer, and the pond is heaving with frogs and newts.
The garden is planted in a naturalistic way with wildlife friendly plants, trees, and speciality species. In June, the 'stars' are purple irises around the pond, Laburnum blossom, wisteria right around the house, lupins and oriental poppies. But there is always something in flower most of the year. It is always in motion (and thus always needing attention.)
Hot water in the house is supplied by solar panels, at least when it's light. I rarely have to use the alternative oil heating between April and October.
Breakfast materials (fresh-made bread, eggs, milk, yoghurt, marmalade, cereals, and fruits) are provided ( I also cater for - indeed excel in - vegetarian and vegan diets), and I can provide a full cooked breakfast and/or full meals at extra cost (vegetarian only). You are welcome to cook whatever you like if you choose to self cater. I like to provide basics like oils, sugar, spices, teas, ground coffee etc so you don't need to bring these things. Guest AccessThe cottage is accessed by its own gated drive to the lane (though you will need to reverse out, there is no turning area, hence need for care). Most guests arrive at the main house ('5') then I can show you how best to park. You can totally secure your house when you go out. Interaction with GuestsYou can interact as you wish, my priority is to give you privacy if you want it. If your'e game, I can be very chatty. Some guests have chosen to come over and have dinner 'at my place' (ie next door), a decision none have regretted. And I can save a lot of time helping with local walks, facilities etc.
There is a little linked area common to your house and mine and I put a blind so we don't have to gawp at each other cooking. And I installed a bell system so you can buzz me like room service when I'm around! You are welcome to explore the garden, in which I may be working. There are many interesting places to sit or eat depending on the time of day. The NeighborhoodThe area is scenically and historically rich, I am a mile from Strangford Lough, and the town of Killyleagh, with it's unusual castle. It also has Picnic, a nice deli/cafe, and The Dufferin Arms pub which serves meals till 9pm and often has live music on Saturdays. The lane is a favourite walk for local people, and Delamont Country Park & Gibb's Island (National Trust) are a 5 minute drive away. Further afield, there are plenty of natural and historic attractions (inc Game of Thrones locations if your'e that way inclined...some guests have sampled the full dress kit and archery lessons at Castle Ward - or Winterfell - and returned very happy), and Belfast is a 35 minute drive away (18 miles).
There are several golf courses in the area and 2 sets of golf clubs are available to borrow. Getting AroundFrom Crossgar (5 miles) there is an excellent bus service (every hour almost) between Downpatrick and Belfast and beyond. There is a less frequent bus from Shrigley (1 mile) to Belfast. They also link to the airport buses. If you have no car, it's no problem for me to pick you up from the bus in Crossgar. Here there are 2 hybrid bikes you are welcome to use (if you assume liablity.) Having a car is rather useful though if you want to explore farther afield. Other Things to NoteHigh speed internet access is always on (choice of wired ethernet or wifi).
My cats (2) reside in my house and are kept separate unless you'd like them to have access.
Guests should let me know in advance if they wish to use the hot tub (it's switched off when not in use and takes 36 hours to heat up!).