Check in, switch off, look out
Perched on a tranquil slope above Castlefreke’s energetic Long Strand, Puffins Nest is a beach bungalow incorporating a pair of conjoined identical apartments that offer a complete break from the persistent pace of modern living.
The two homes which are let separately, are ideally suited to couples seeking a surfing break or as a base for exploring charismatic west Cork.
Quirky functional aesthetics
Integral to this pair of semi-detached studio cabins is the shared verandah that stretches across the eastern façade of the bungalow – perfect balcony seats to the unique panorama of the beach below.
The rough cedar construction has a functional, rugged honesty that announces an interior equally full of purpose, and full of fun.
Essentially a one room dwelling, each chalet has two elevated platform double beds above the living area that are accessed by ladders.
The design is practical, eclectic and rustic. Unfinished birch branches serve as columns and lee rails to the beds; rainbow rugs are thrown on painted floor boards.
Alternative materials occasionally feature – the work surfaces in the kitchen zone are copper – and the surface mounted plumbing and wiring are similarly utilitarian.
The bathroom is floored in recycled encaustic coloured tiles, and gleefully employs cedar roofing shingles to clad the shower walls.
The homes are well insulated, snug and cosy with wood-burning stoves and double glazing.
There is no television or Wi-Fi, and no noise or light pollution – just the waves and the stars.
There is a washing machine and dishwasher though. For alternative sleeping arrangements, sofas will convert to sofa-beds
The Puffin Nests are on private grounds 200 metres above the ocean with unrivalled views of the ever changing shoreline. There are fine sand dunes, a couple of kilometres of sandy beach and great waves for surfing – but the undertow is treacherous for swimming. Fortunately alternative family beaches are nearby!
Across the hill behind the Nests, there are some lovely woodland walks around the mock-medieval mansion of Castle Freke. Less than 150 years old, the castle was rebuilt in 1870 on the site of a 15th century tower house – it appears more ancient.
Smoking – No, sorry!
The owners regret Stag or Hen parties are not admissible.
The property is served by a septic tank, meaning it will only accept toilet paper.
No Pets as there are other guests staying on the property.
Out and About
West Cork with its plethora of beaches, coastal towns, brilliant restaurants and temperate climate is an excellent introduction to the Wild Atlantic Way.
Here are links to some of our favourite activities:
- For pizza and wine it’s Puffin café
- Get on course for a round of golf
- Go watch a whale
- Learn to catch a wave at surf school
- Have an adventure with the kids
- Windsurfing on the lagoon
- Sway to traditional music at De Barra’s
- Great food and drinks at a Gastro pub
- The new Clonakilty Bike rental scheme
- Tour a Craft brewery on Friday
International Guitar festival in September
South of Ireland Band Championships in early July
About the Locality
The Puffin Café at the margin of the beach below, serves some special music themed pizzas, wine and coffees.
Although the Long Strand is unsafe for swimming, Inchydoney Beach at Clonakilty – described as “glorious and unspoiled” – topped the list of TripAdvisor’s 10 favourite Irish beaches!
Historic and energetic, the market town of Clonakilty is about 20 minutes away. The famous Clonakilty Black Pudding originated here in Twomey’s butcher shop. The secret spice recipe has been handed down through the generations since the 1880s.
There are many good restaurants, and the town is notable for its music scene, with gigs on most nights.
Michael Collins is Clonakilty’s most important son. One of the most significant figures in the creation of the modern Irish State, there is a museum dedicated to him in the town.
Drombeg is probably Ireland’s most famous stone circle consisting of 13 remaining standing stones up to 2 metres high. During excavation a pot in the centre of the circle was found to contain the cremated remains of a child wrapped with thick cloth. Radiocarbon dating suggest that the site was active c. 1100 – 800 BC.
Built in 1878, the Galley Head lighthouse which is clearly visible from the verandah is still operational and was once the world’s brightest coastal light.