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Our trip to Graigue / Dunquin
on the tip of the Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
April 11-20, 2008

The spectacular view from our cottage:


This page has details on THE STONE COTTAGE

The original page for this trip was too long (over 200 photos!)
so I have given some parts their own page.

This page focuses on the cottage it has more pictures than the write-up on the main page.

Page 0: Preparing for the trip.
Page 1: Graigue Cottage.
Page 2: Connor Pass / An Droichead Beag.
Page 3: Sybil Head.
Page 4: The Blasket Islands / An Droichead Beag.
Page 5: Cork.
Page 6: Inch Beach / The South Pole Inn.
Page 7: Shopping / Brandon Mt. / John Benny Moriarty's.
Page 8: Return Home.
Original, all-on-one-page version.

Press here to return to personal picture menu.

THE STONE COTTAGE



We had no trouble finding the cottage. We had located it on Google Earth before we left and, using Philomena's directions and the photo on her website of the view from the living room, we triangulated its location almost exactly. We pulled up at around 5:30 p.m. 6.5 hours after leaving Dublin.

Close-up location of the cottage in Graigue (pronounced groig) just north of Dunquin:



This year's cottage with respect to last year's:


Stone Cottage in Graigue / Dunquin


Wow! The cottage was Philomenal!
(This is an intentional misspelling because the cottage, and its owner Philomena, were both
PHENOMENAL!.)





The stone cottage we stayed in this year had some big shoes to fill (given how much we loved last year's cottage) and we all agreed that it EXCEEDED OUR EXPECTATIONS! It had all the comfort, conveniences, and charm that we'd had last year, but more of it, and was perfect in every respect. The cottage was one of the BEST parts of this trip!

First of all, it was huge! There are four bedrooms and they ALL HAVE AN ATTACHED (en-suite) BATH with a toilet, sink, shower and a heated towel bar (with two big, soft, thirsty towels)! Any one who knows me knows how crucial a private bath is to me and for that reason alone this cottage was a rare find!

The master bedroom had a queen bed with a VERY comfortable mattress, a spectacular view of the coastline, and a large sitting area. (I mention this first can you tell what's important to me?) Two of the other bedrooms have a double bed, and the forth bedroom has two twin beds. In addition to the en-suite bathrooms, there was a powder room on the ground floor. The master bath had a large tub, which we did not use, and a hair dryer which we did.

The kitchen was very big and modern with a full-size refrigerator, stove, microwave and dishwasher and was well stocked with pots, pans, utensils, knives, cutting boards, bowls, dishes, glasses, silverware, and linens. There was a 12-cup electric coffee machine and a toaster.

The living-dining area had TWO HUGE PICTURE WINDOWS LOOKING OUT ON SYBIL HEAD AND THE THREE SISTERS! This I think was the cottage's most unique and spectacular feature. The furniture was very comfortable the guys spent many afternoons napping in the living room which is testament to that and the coffee table was large enough for all the maps and books we were constantly referencing.

Off the living-dining area was a large patio, also with a view of the shoreline, and with a picnic table that will seat 8. The house was surrounded by pastures and there were sheep grazing there almost every day.

In a room under the patio were a full size washer and dryer. Having a washer and dryer meant we could pack light and do laundry half way through the week. The previous occupants had left us some salt and pepper, dish soap, sponges, paper towels, cling wrap, toilet paper and detergent all of which we really appreciated it's rough having to buy a whole box of detergent to do two loads.

Although we did not use them, there was a radio/CD player, TV, DVD player, bicycle, and charcoal grill.

The cottage looked EXACTLY like the photos on the website and was immaculate. There were windows everywhere and tons of skylights so it was bright and cheery. The parking area was also huge and would have held 4 cars if we'd had them, a boon when you cannot park on the side of the road. Also, because every bedroom has an attached (en-suite) bathroom, three adult couples can share the cottage!

When we went inside, the sun was streaming in through the large picture windows overlooking Sybil Head and Irish folk music wafted from the CD player in the living room. It couldn't have been a more inviting welcome. So, I ordered everyone to stand back while I took pictures to record the moment for posterity:

The exterior (taken at 5:00 p.m.) was all stone, a requirement for us:




The first thing we saw the foyer (with a slate floor!):




On the right was the living room (the furniture was very comfortable):




The SPECTACULAR view from the living dining area:






The dining room with seating for 8:




The fireplace, visible from both the living and dining rooms:




The kitchen was huge:




Another view of the living-dining with view of the fireplace and entry to kitchen:




The powder room, to the left of the front door:




The bedroom on the ground floor, next to the powder room:




The bathroom attached to this bedroom:




The upstairs landing:










The master bedroom, upstairs:








The master bathroom (the shower was wonderful!):




A second bedroom upstairs:




The bathroom attached to this bedroom:




A third bedroom upstairs:




The bathroom attached to this bedroom:




The view from the front door:




The house across the street (as seen from the parking area):




The view of the coastline from the parking area,
the back of the barn is on the right side of the photo:




The barn (?) next to the parking area:






The back yard, and pathway to the utility room:




The laundry (utility) room, below the patio:








There was ANOTHER yard behind the house, and a door to it from the dining room, but I did not get a picture of it. The parking area extended around the side of the house (along the road) all the way to the back.

The official address for this cottage is:
Graigue (name of village)
Ballyferriter or Baile an Fheirteuraigh (name of parish)
Dingle or An Daingean
County Kerry, Ireland

We have stayed in this cottage three years in a row now and have already booked next year's trip so it's obvious where our preference lies. However, many people ask me about the differences between the two so I have updated this page to iterate them here:

While it may sound like this cottage was much nicer than the one we had last year they were equally nice in different ways:

The smaller cottage is perfect for a cozy romantic getaway and has the character that comes with age. There is stone on the inside as well as the outside and rugs that give it warmth on chilly days. HOWEVER, stone on the inside makes it easier for bugs to get inside, too. I have had more than one person ask me about spiders and, I assure you, PHIL'S COTTAGE HAS NO BUGS INSIDE, SPIDERS OR OTHERWISE!

The larger cottage was much more modern and easier to live in -- I LIKE having a full size fridge, full size range, full size dishwasher, and full size washer-dryer. They make being away from the convenience of home much more enjoyable. It was also a shorter trip into Dingle via Ballyferriter and therefore more conveniently located. And, of course, the bathrooms make it perfect, especially if multiple couples are traveling together: you don't have to make your way down a dark staircase in the middle of the night to use the bathroom as you do in the Dunquin cottage.

The smaller cottage does have a fridge, range, dishwasher, and washer-dryer but they are small exactly what you would expect in a small cottage -- and I found them hard to use. When we travel, I want my accommodations to be at least as nice as what we have at home and the larger cottage is that, for us.

The view in Phil's cottage is SPECTACULAR and it's visible from every spot in the living area including the kitchen. The view in the Dunquin cottage was great but it was not visible when you were sitting -- you had to stand in front of a small window to look outside. This was a drawback for me. I like to sit and read, or update my journal, and look up periodically and gaze out to sea.

Phil's cottage is also not too big if you are single or one couple traveling alone. We came alone in 2010 and LOVED having that much space to spread out in! And, if you cannot sleep in a double bed (we cannot), the bigger cottage is the only one with a queen-size bed, in the master bedroom.

If you are looking for the romanticized version of a "small cottage in Ireland" then the smaller cottage is closer to what you have in mind in the small cottage you can pretend you are living in Agatha Christie's Miss Marple's home. In the large cottage you can pretend you are living in "the large house on the hill"!

Press here for link to the cottage website (a new window will open).


The rent for the cottage does not include oil and electricity. Those utilities are extra and payable on departure, so we found the meters and tried to figure out how fast they were running. We got them mixed up and thought that the oil meter billed at 2 Euros per unit -- was running at 4 units per hour so we turned the registers as low as we could and practically froze our butts off! We turned them back up and, the next day, we realized that we'd been looking at the electric meter billed at 20 CENTS per unit and that we could afford to keep the cottage at a comfortable temperature, and the water heater and the heated towels bars (both of which have their own switch) on. The utilities for the entire week were under 100 Euros, VERY reasonable.

Saturday, April 19.

Our last day here. We got up around 8:30, had a quick cup of coffee and some toast, and started tidying up the cottage. There is a 50 Euro charge if it's left in a disorderly state and we didn't want to pay it so KC did the dishes while the rest of us stripped the beds and emptied the trash.

At 10:00 Rick, Colleen, and I walked down to Philomena's to meet her pets. Sadie, the dog, is adorable and super friendly, begging for petting every time you stop. She scarfed up Colleen's leftover sirloin and rolled over for belly rubs from both of us. (Note: Sadie has, unfortunately, passed away.)

We rang Phil's bell and she came right out and took us to the pasture next to their house to check out the new foal. We kept our distance as the mother was still protective. It's a beautiful foal and huge I can't believe that a week ago it was inside that tiny pony! (NOTE: there are two ponies now, Timmy and Sasha, but their mother, Leah, has passed away.)

Philomena's house, up the road from the cottage:



Philomena's dog, Sadie, in heaven (Sadie has since passed away):



Philomena's new foal (6 days old) and her mother, Leah (Leah has since passed away):



It was getting late now and we had a long drive ahead of us so we reluctantly said goodbye and made our way back to the cottage.

Page 0: Preparing for the trip.
Page 1: Graigue Cottage.
Page 2: Connor Pass / An Droichead Beag.
Page 3: Sybil Head.
Page 4: The Blasket Islands / An Droichead Beag.
Page 5: Cork.
Page 6: Inch Beach / The South Pole Inn.
Page 7: Shopping / Brandon Mt. / John Benny Moriarty's.
Page 8: Return Home.
Original, all-on-one-page version.

Press here to return to personal picture menu.



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OOAKFolk, Inc., and artist Barbara Healy are not affiliated in any way with the original manufacturers of the dolls pictured in this site. No photograph, text or graphic on this site may be copied without written permission from Barbara Healy. Copyright © 2004 OOAKFolk, Inc.

Last Revised: January 18, 2011
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