House | 5 bedrooms | sleeps 10
Very comfortable, luxurious house close to scenic Cong village. Wide range of entertainments in the house, including pool table, table tennis, hi-speed broadband access, full Sky+ multiroom package etc, making it ideal for families, including those with teenagers. Close to fantastic fishing, golf, walking, riding, boating and a number of excellent restaurants and friendly pubs. Great for horse lovers and anyone who feels the need to get out into the countryside. The house has been equipped for use by the owners as their regular holiday home, so has standards of equipment well above those of the average holiday rental. Baby grand piano, tuned to concert pitch.
|Size||Sleeps up to 10, 5 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Nearest Amenities||1 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Galway 45 km, Nearest railway: Galway 45 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, CD player, Telephone, Fax machine, Pool or snooker table, Table tennis, Satellite TV|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 3 En suites|
|Furniture||2 Sofa beds, Single beds (4), Double beds (2), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 12|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, Bicycles available, Trampoline|
|Further details indoors|
The house has one large sitting/dining room, with dining table seating 8, large comfortable sofa and armchairs around ingle nook fireplace and grand pian, which is kept tuned to concert pitch. Second sitting room has large comfortable sofa, open fire and TV/DVD with independent Sky+ feed. Third reception room (which contains one of the double sofa beds and has a bathroom adjoining) has a pool table and TV/DVD with independent Sky feed and Playstation 2 games console, wide range of DVDs, books and board games available. Very well equipped kitchen as owner is an enthusiastic cook, kitchen table seats further 6 people. Upstairs are two double bedrooms, both with very comfortable super king size beds and en suite shower room and toilets (one of these rooms also contains a further single bed for a child). One twin room with en suite shower room/toilet, and one single bedroom, and three additional folding beds available as well as travel cot.
|Further details outdoors|
The decking area to the rear of the house has a very comfortable dining table with seating for 8-10 people and sun loungers. Thirteen-foot trampoline in garden. Riding arena with jumps and three adorable miniature Shetland ponies.
Pets by agreement.
The North West Ireland region
Cong is the gateway to Joyce’s Country, which stretches out to the west, between the Corrib and the Mask, and merges into Connemara, offering a spectacular landscape with breathtaking views. The lakes, rivers and mountains provide some of the most beautiful walking, cycling or driving opportunities in Europe, and this is the Gaeltacht, where Gaelic is the mother-tongue and the people keep sheep, fish, cut peat and still live a simple life, a long stride from the busy pace of the cities.
Connemara is famous for its ponies, which can be seen all over the landscape, and especially at the August shows, in Clifden and Oughterard. Both of these towns act as useful centres for further exploration of the countryside, and are well worth a visit. The Connemara coastline can be reached in about 50 minutes from Springmount, with access to spectacular, unspoilt beaches, and swimming, for the hardy. (There are goggles, bodyboards and some wetsuits at Springmount House).
Keen horseracing fans are well catered for by Galway’s festival week in July, but may also greatly enjoy the more homely pleasures of Ballinrobe evening race meetings, where you can sip the odd pint, and children and adults alike can get close to the action in the paddock and on the course.
Also on the coast is Westport, a pretty town with plenty of shops and pubs. Westport House offers a glimpse of by-gone days, in more ways than one: in addition to touring the house itself, visitors can partake of a series of rides and attractions which will remind some of the simple pleasures of seaside holiday in the 1960s.
Further south along the coast you can catch the ferry to the Arran Islands. This is an excellent day trip, and offers an opportunity to cycle around unspoilt islands and sample local delicacies.
Finally, at the base of Lough Corrib, on Galway Bay itself, is the city of Galway. In recent times, Galway has grown to be come a vibrant cosmopolitan centre, offering a wide variety of shopping, eating, drinking and entertainment, including two multi-screen cinemas. Galway has managed to retain its charm, whilst embracing people from all over the world, and its streets are alive with music and craic.
Cong itself boasts four pubs, all of which serve food, a supermarket (with extended opening hours), excellent butcher/deli,and petrol station, two churches (Catholic and Church of Ireland, as well as the usual range of shops and a tourist information office.
The village leapt to fame in the 1950s, when the John Ford-directed film, The Quiet man, was shot there, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Much of the village’s tourist activity is dedicated to remembering this one time classic, which still draws the American coach trips but, in truth, there is much more to Cong than The Quiet Man. The ruined abbey, rumoured to house the grave of Rory O’Connor, the last true king of Ireland, is one of a number of historically significant sites in a region which is steeped in history, as well as offering a huge range of activities.
Ashford Castle (see their own website for details) is a short walk from Springmount House, and its grounds, which merge with local woodland, offers attractive opportunities to walk, cycle and jog, in part on beautiful lakeside paths. There is a lovely 9-hole golf course, an excellent equestrian centre, falconry school, all of which are open to non-residents at the usual sorts of charges.
Ashford’s main restaurant is a must for its palpable sense of occasion, and no dinner would be complete without a visit to the dungeon bar for a sing-along with Annette and Brendan. Also in the castle’s grounds, the delightful thatched restaurant, Cullens at the Cottage serves local dishes and staples in an informal atmosphere. Between Ashford's grounds and Springmount House is Lisloughry Lodge, the former estate manager’s house, now a luxury hotel, with a smart restaurant and very nice bar area, offering a modern take on bar food standards.
The Western Lakes are renowned for their fishing, and Loughs Corrib and Mask are rightly viewed as two of the best brown trout lakes in the world. Most fish are taken on the fly from boats, which can be hired all around the lake, and from 2-3 locations walking distance from Springmount House. Fishing is free and the season lasts from February until September, but May and June are the months which attract most visitors, who flock to the area for the May Fly hatch (although this is one of several “hatches” throughout the spring and early summer which can produce spectacular fishing).
The locals do as much “trawling” (spinning) from the banks of the Cong River, for salmon as well as trout, as they do fly fishing, and this technique can often produce the biggest fish. Recent seasons have been quiet, partly down to zebra mussel infestations, and partly because of coastal netting, but catches are now controlled and results improving.
There is a good quality fly rod, reel and all necessary equipment at Springmount House.
In addition to Ashford’s 9 hole course which is very handy, but very expensive, there is golf to be had in a number of nearby locations: Ballinrobe is a fine parkland course some 20 minutes drive away, and usually very easy to get on. There are courses at Galway (45 minutes), Westport (on the coast – an hour’s drive) and Ballyconeely (over an hour, but well worth it for spectacular links golf – but expensive and you must book).
There are two serviceable sets of golf clubs at Springmount House but guests will need to bring their own shoes.
In addition to the three miniature Shetlands, which are not broken in, Springmount House has its own Connemara pony, Whiskey, who lives in stables in Headford, about 10 minutes drive away, but comes to stay when visitors – who need to be experienced riders – want to ride – either over jumps in the paddock, or hacking around the lake. Whiskey is a gentle, quiet pony. He can sometimes bring a friend. All riding equipment is available at Springmount House, though if your feet do not fall in the ladies' size range 3-5, you will need to ensure that you bring suitable footwear.