|Minimum Stay||2 - 7 nights|
The Loft is a recently converted 2-storey apartment in the Farmyard. The style is contemporary and relaxed.
The large bright open plan kitchen/living area upstairs is tastefully designed with an island, table and chairs, 2 couches and Wood-burning Stove. A large gable end window looks down over the valley beyond to the hills.
The Loft and Mews have been renovated so as to keep the old appearance of the yard intact. Behind the old wooden doors of the Loft downstairs are interior doors with glass panels.
The 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (one en-suite) are downstairs, and a light iron staircase leads up to the oak floored living area. A child-guard is available for the stairs.
There is a balcony with an outside staircase leading from the living area to a gravelled area below. All the gardens are open to guests.
The whole area is very peaceful - an oasis to return home to at night after a busy day, or a place just to hang out and relax.
Aghowle Holiday Cottages are part of a converted farmyard in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains. (Our website is aghowleholidaycottages.com - there's a link to it at the end of the facilities section below. We have a News page that we keep semi- up to date with what's happening here and locally.) The spacious Mews and contemporary Loft were built in the local granite and in use as farmyard buildings until recently. The Loft was a haybarn, and the Mews, which is a long single-storey building, was a turkey outhouse, a kennel and a mare foaling box. We converted the Mews gradually, as we needed an office, an extra bedroom.....until one summer we finished it properly as a real home, and I lived in it for two years. The Loft was converted a year or so later, when we realised the roof of the haybarn was not going to last another year, and the dog fell through the floor.. We made the decision, and in 2007 began the restoration, which took nearly two years. Now you walk from the farmyard through the original big wooden doors into 'a house within a house'. Double glazed internal doors invite you into a warm tiled airy landing with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and an open curved stairway. The stairs lead up to an open-plan living area, with a window that spans the gable end up to the roof, and through which sunlight pours to fill the Loft with brightness and warmth. The balcony outside is perfect for evening drinks while deer-spotting on Barnacashel Hill. There is ample space around the farmyard and gardens to walk and watch the sunset, and for children to play.
We live on the farm so, while both Mews and Loft are private, they are not isolated.
Oil-fired central heating and wood-burning stoves keep guests cosy in winter, and on any wet or cold days music centres or TV with satellite channels, or video, can offer distraction as you curl up on a couch with a fleece and watch the flames glow.
A riding-school, and a local country pub are within walking distance. The property is on the well-known walking route, the Wicklow Way. Tomnafinnogue Woods, an ancient oak forest with easy walks, is a ten-minute drive, as are other excellent walks around Tinahely.
Within an hour's drive one can get to Dublin, Glendalough (one of Ireland's most beautiful nature reserves) the medieval city of Kilkenny, or the coastal town of Wexford, famous for its international Wexford Opera Festival.
Mews: The surprising spaciousness of the Mews is often commented upon by clients, who expect it to be small from the photos. The kitchen/living room seats 3 comfortably for relaxing, and has a small table for dining. Some clients prefer to eat informally at the coffee table while they watch TV.
The large table in the summer room is perfect for spreading out, whether it's maps, jig-saw puzzles, laptops newspapers whatever. This is where some clients plan their days, while prefer to sit at it with their coffee in the mornings, looking out at the pastoral landscape - sometimes enlivened by sheep or cattle on the other side of the hedge demanding their own breakfast, and occasionally, a wild deer.
A comfortable sofa-bed in the summer-room gives people their own space and additional comfort - day and night.
Bookcases are stocked with books, games, cards etc, mostly in English though occasionally guests leave books in other languages.
Loft: The kitchen/living space of the Loft is modern, chic, and bright upstairs, while downstairs the 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms are entered via original old double doors from the yard. The whole building was extensively renovated in 2007 and had its first lets in 2011. The exterior has not been altered except for the introduction of a large gable end window upstairs, flooding the room with light and providing stunning views over the valley and hills of the surrounding countryside.
Internal doors are concealed inside the old wooden farm doors, and underfloor heating modern insulation combine to make it very warm, even in winter. A modern stove with a dramatic chimney splits the gable window with its silver column, and this stove is beautifully warm when lit.
The kitchen leads onto raised decking outside, with views over the gorse bank and up to where horses and sheep graze the hills above. Deer and fox are sometimes seen from here at sunset.
Long Lets. The Mews would be particularly suitable for people who need peace and quiet, such as writers. It's peacefulness is interrupted only by horses passing by, or the dogs lying outside the door.
Longer lets are available for writers/musicians who need tranquillity and privacy. Please apply to the owners.
The Crab Lane recording studio is within a mile.
All the gardens, except for the stables and fields where the horses graze, are available for clients' use. This includes around the house, vegetable gardens and shrubbery.
At time of writing there are 2 dogs on the property - the beloved Tara, who has featured on reviews and now alas is becoming older like the rest of us, and Pie, a little brown and white terrier pup. There is also a cat, a few horses, and a donkey. And, occasionally, us, your hosts, struggling for some control. Failing, of course, but hoping our guests enjoy their stay and depart refreshed.
I grew up outside Dublin and travelled a lot before I moved to Wicklow. I got married only a few years ago to Michael. We live between here and his home in Wexford, but I'm more often here because of the horses and the business, both of which give me great pleasure.
Liz McCollum purchased this barn in 1990
I loved it the moment I drove around the corner and saw the old stone buildings. They had such character. A lot has changed inside the buildings since then, but the outside is as it was all those years ago. It's a simple farmyard setting.
Guests' reviews will say more than I can. I think people just forget all their worries when they come here - some love the silence, others like chilling out, some enjoy the long walks, and many spend the days exploring the area, or visiting Dublin, and come home to relax. It's a tranquil place.
We found a delightful, peaceful haven. We were so happy to see that the building had been sympathetically converted retaining much of its original and attractive features. The Loft was equipped with all the comforts essential for a happy relaxed stay - tastefully decorated, light and airy with a spacious open plan living area, occupying the whole of the first floor, from where we could enjoy the wonderful country setting and views. The emphasis was certainly on comfort - sofas to sink into, good beds with quality bedding ensuring blissful sleep, a well equipped, modern kitchen, a delightful little balcony from where we could enjoy breakfast and the dawn chorus and, in the evening, a glass of wine and the swooping swallows. We were welcomed to the Loft with a fresh vase of flowers in the centre of a beautifully dressed dining table for 6. There were plenty of books on the bookshelf (I was thrilled to find a French novel, as I had forgotten to bring mine!) There was plenty to please the teenagers too, a great TV, reliable fast internet, a good music system, Peter the Donkey, Willow the horse and of course Puss the well mannered cat who visited us on the balcony each day and the thrills and spills of teenage living were never more than an hours drive away, along good and very, very quiet country roads. Our communications with Liz (our host) were warm and friendly, and her relaxed and generous spirit was very evident. We were sorry that we were not able to meet her on this occasion, as she was away but I look forward to it next time when we most definitely will be back!
Beautiful building, looks far bigger and more lovely in real life, so peaceful and relaxing. The owner was very friendly and laid back, we got to know the animals very well, the dogs and our dog got on well. Destressed totally with partner and teenage daughter, loved the area and the people. Visited friends and travelled, georgously week, would return in future.
We stayed with four adults in the loft and enjoyed it very much, spacious- clean- modern-complete holiday house!! And a very nice aria to hike and visit Dublin and offcourse the beautifull weather and host Lizz.
Ireland was for us a plessent surprise!!
It was such a treat to stay in such a well insulated home with heated floors downstairs. We felt so spoiled. We were lucky to have a crisp and sunny week and felt regenerated by the amount of light shining in on us with all the windows upstairs. Even if it wasn't sunny, I'm sure it would have felt bright still. Our 2 kids had a blast, falling in love with the 2 dogs. We went for walks on the country road, had a pint in the local pub, our daughter took a horse riding lesson down the road, we went to The massive Rathwood Garden centre a couple times ( has a playground, bird exhibition, train ride, walking paths and restaurant), had ice cream and fantastic coffee at the Chocolate Garden several times and did a chocolate making workshop there, and went to the Altamont Gardens (free) in Tullow. We were aiming for a low key holiday without too much activity or driving, and so most everything we did was within 5 miles of the house. It was perfect, healing and so lovely that I wish I could get the same house replicated for myself. Oh and it's on well water which is much softer than my water and made my hair so soft and no frizz! An exciting bonus for the week.
Notes from my daughter:
I got to feed the horse and donkeys hay. And every day I brought the dogs for a walk. There's a little excited dog and a big old dog. The big dog is in charge of the little dog. And if you have kids they'll love it there.
My boyfriend and I had been fantasizing and planning our perfect Ireland getaway for a few months when we stumbled upon this loft. The price and location were both perfect and Liz was more than happy to help us get everything organized over email.
When we arrived for our week long stay in the loft we were greeted by the dogs Pi and Tara, two of the friendliest and lovable pets we’ve ever met. The loft was just the right size with the master bedroom and en-suite downstairs, and the kitchen, living space, and outside deck upstairs. The kitchen had all the utensils needed for cooking meals, and the couches were perfect for curling up at the end of a long day to watch a movie. Eating our breakfast on the deck was amazing as we got to look up onto the sheep-filled hill right behind the cottage (which, for anyone wanting a good hike to an unbelievably breathtaking view, I would highly recommend it!)
The location of the Loft was ideal: a small farm out in the country side away from the city, but only a ten minute drive to the nearest town for groceries and other necessities. The roads were beautiful to walk around and within a 5 minute walk from the loft was a little pub called Crab Lane Pub. This is where we met a few friends that we will never forget, as well as had our first Ireland Guinness (which now makes the Guinness back in Canada taste quite gross).
We have now been back home for 4 months and miss Ireland, especially our week we spent in Liz’s loft, more than we thought we would. Our time in the loft would not have been the same with any other owner. Liz is truly there to help do whatever she can to make your experience the best it can be. Being twenty years of age we had the time of our life exploring the country side in Wicklow and we are already making plans to come back and stay here again in the future.
We just spent the most amazing weekend in the Mews. Liz is a fantastic host, she made sure we had everything we needed, and the place itself was everything we could want from a holiday cottage. The views are fantastic, the birds sing and the sheep 'baah', it is peaceful and tranquil, and it is worlds apart from the 'City', despite only being 1.5hrs from Dublin! Oh and the 2 dogs became our best friends for the weekend, following us everywhere, which was great as we love animals but arent able to have any where we live at the moment. Plenty to do and see within an hour or less drive, but, for the most part, we were quite happy idling around on the farm, playing with the dogs!
All in all, if you are looking for a quiet retreat, you wont get any better!
5 Kms to Rathwood destination centre, a major attraction for locals and visitors alike. It has it all - garden-centre, furniture outlet, boutiques. Walks run through the property, occasionally interrupted by the little children's train, a private falconry impresses adults and children. The restaurant serves delicious food all day.
The Chocolate Factory - beside Rathwood sells all kinds of confectionary, makes a good cuppa and gives chocolate-making classes.
5 Kms to Shillelagh village
11 Kms to Tullow (Restaurants/bars/supermarkets/pharmacies/ beauty salons/hairdressers.)
12 kms to Mt. Wolseley Hotel (restaurant/leisure centre/spa/golfing resort.)
16 Kms to Altamont Gardens. Guests say these gardens are more impressive and beautiful.
In Tullow we often eat at the New Moon Indian restaurant,
and there is also a pub with good bar-food, and a local Riverbank restaurant.
6 Kms to the Ring of the Rath, a well-known and active archaeological site.
Within 30 minutes drive one can visit 3 major dolmen sites.
Near at hand are several horse-riding and trekking schools, catering for all stages of riders.
Fishing Licences are available in the local town of Tullow, and we can point you in the direction of people who know the good places to fish.
Fifteen minutes drive from the Mews is Bunclody, a charming village with a tree lined stream flowing down the middle of the village.
One hour to the beautiful medieval city of Kilkenny, which boasts 2 cathedrals, a castle and numerous shops and restaurants.
One hour to the elegant seaside town of Wexford, which hosts the Wexford Opera Festival in autumn, and numerous musical events all year round. It's a good shopping town and has some fabulous restaurants, and food shops.
One hour to New Ross with the Dunbrody Emigrant Ship, Ross Tapestries, and the family homestead of JF Kennedy. Both the JFK Homestead and the extensive JFK Arboretum are close to the town.