Bothar Bui is nestled on a secluded hillside overlooking Kenmare Bay on the Beara peninsula in the heart of Ireland’s scenic South West.
Designed by renowned Irish architect Robin Walker, this unique modernist assemblage of historic farm buildings and contemporary structures works as a rare family holiday retreat. The house makes the best use of its quiet location, surrounded by 12 acres of indigenous oak woodland leading down to a small harbor with private shoreline
Our house is utterly unique! It is designed as a getaway sanctuary. Because of the house being divided into separate buildings, you can stay with your friends and family but have plenty of space for yourselves and if it's just a single or a couple, the kitchen is cosy and welcoming, beautiful site,woods mountains and seaside.
The house is only rented as a whole as there is one kitchen and two bathrooms.
There are two rooms in the upper bedroom house; one with two single beds and the other with one double bed; there is one bathroom between them. There are two rooms in the lower bedroom house with a double bed and a single bed in each room and a bathroom between them. There is another little out house with a double bed and in the "studio"/ big living room, there are two sofas which are also single beds and one sofa which is also a double bed. In this room is a large wood-burning stove.
The kitchen/dining-room/living-room is the original old farmhouse with an open fireplace. There is oil-fired central heating everywhere.
Guests have access to the 12 acres of woodland that is the property and a private shoreline below, a little stony beach which is a safe place for children to play.
Bothar Bui also has it's own website to browse for further details and watch a film.
Interaction with Guests
We meet the guests on arrival and after that if they wish to arrange boat trips with my husband Kieran or if they would like him to bring them fresh seafood, he fishes shrimp and has a mussel farm. Guests usually meet me when they visit my gallery in Castletownbere, Sarah Walker Gallery which is situated on the waterfront in an old stone boat house.
The Beara peninsula is without doubt one of the most stunning scenic areas of Ireland, most people come here to immerse themselves in the scenery, hiking, swimming, fishing etc but also there is great fun to be had in the local towns and villages. The brightly coloured villages of Eyeries and Allhies nearby, and Castletownbere hold festivals in the summer. There's a nice beach in Allihies and an exciting cable car ride to Dursey Island, a visit there feels like going back in time. For golf players there's a sea side golf course in Castletownbere. A stay in Bothar Bui wouldn't be complete without a visit to McCarthy's bar in Castletownbere, great crab sandwiches and a trip to Helen's bar, Kilmakillogue pier, for a dish of delicious mussels and homemade brown bread.
There is a public and a private bus service to Castletownbere and a private bus service to Ardgroom, a car is recommended while staying in Bothar Bui.
Other Things to Note
There are a lot of steps around the house which get slippy in wet weather so it's not ideal for anyone unsteady on their feet.
The access to the house is via a steep driveway, there is parking for four cars.
The original old farm house and out buildings date from the 1700s, the house was re-built in the early 1970s so it is rustic not shiny and new. It was really designed as a summer house and so with the central heating on in cold weather when it is warm and cosy inside there are sometimes condensation drips in the contemporary buildings but not on the beds! We are constantly repairing and working on the house to maintain it.
The roads in Beara are narrow and it takes a while to travel places that might look closer on the map, it is not an ideal place to stay for trips to Killarney or Blarney etc. it is a long drive away from typical tourist spots. Most of our guests see that as a bonus and enjoy the beauty of Beara and the property itself.
We expect guests to leave the house as they found it. We ask guests to bring their rubbish to the local waste station when leaving but if you have problems with the opening hours we can dispose of it for you for a small fee.
We had an amazing stay at the seafront house. You are surrounded by the most beautiful views and a private woodland which we had a wander around a few times. After our walks we would enjoy a bath which also looked over the mountains. There is so much choice of rooms which is a bonus, you never get bored. The little cottage which has a kitchen in it is a nice place to hang out and have our meals and a glass of wine. We also asked could we get mussels off Sarah's husband for dinner which were delicious and fresh. We also got them very cheap. when we wanted to have a little dance around or play some music we headed up to the main modern cottage. This room is huge and there is a big comfy couch that the four of us cosied up on, and chilled out! There is little stone walkways leading from each building to the next which gives it a fairytale-like touch. The bedrooms were warm and cosy and we all had incredible sleeps. Thanks for a lovely stay, we will definitely be back!
Bothar Bui is a magical place ! the entire family (2 adults, 2 Young kids and the dod :) ) really enjoyed it for 3 nights. The site is beautiful, the house is amazingly well designed and decorated with a lot of taste. The house was warm and welcoming when we arrived. Sarah and Kieran provided us with fresh mackerels for our first diner (and with delicious mussels for our last supper).
The area is beautiful and worth to be visited (especially the Holly Pass).
We strongly recommend.
Thank you Sarah for sharing your beautiful home with us! We had an absolutely magical long weekend... Waking up to dreamy views, stunning drives discovering the wild countryside and cards and wine by the fire at night. We will be back! Thank you.
Sarah was very helpful and attentive. The house was as described, clean and neat. The buildings are on an amazing site overlooking the sea with access to the shore through an oak forrest. Bothar Buí has good mobile phone and 3G reception and is a five minute drive from Ardgroom which has a lovely food store and café. You wont want to leave.
We were a group of 11 people staying here and it was lovely. It is an amazing place to chill out and relax in nature whilst being amongst good friends and family. There is a nice fireplace (even 2 actually) and a super cosy kitchen to cook together and have nice dinners. What was really nice as well is the fact that the bedrooms are in separate little houses so everyone could enjoy a bit more privacy when they wanted too. We all had a great time here and would definitely recommend this place to anyone else looking for a nice break away from busy life.
There's a greedy voice in my head that doesn't want anybody else to know about about Bothar Buí! It was the most beautiful place I've been in for a while. The description on this site, and the positive reviews are accurate and our stay was wonderful from start to finish. The cold, dark night we arrived in Castletownbere, we met Sarah at her gallery, she recommended we do our bit of food shopping before she led us over the peninsula to the house. Good call- as once we lit the fire (which was all set up and ready to go, with extra fuel) and poured a drink (there was ice in the freezer...essential!) we didn't want to leave again!
Besides some bracing December walks and a couple of pints in MaCarthys Bar, where our wet dog was welcomed with Christmas dog treats, we barely left the house.
We were actually emotional leaving... the stunning collection of buildings, flooded with light and good vibes. Bothar Buí acted as a quiet retreat for us this time, but you can tell it's equally experienced in hosting magical parties. So we will be back, and we'll bring friends. Looking forward already!
Pictures don't do Sarah's home justice. This was one of the most incredible places my brother and I had ever stayed. Sarah was extremely accommodating and easy to reach. We were very comfortable and felt at home. It is truly a unique experience staying on this beautiful property.
I am an artist and gallery owner, originally from Dublin, living in the Beara peninsula since 1991. I love travelling myself and I really enjoying meeting the guests who come to Bothar Bui, I like seeing their reaction to the house and the location as one of my favourite things is to visit interesting houses and places. Most of the guests will meet me at the house or else in my gallery in Castletownbere.
My eRated username is sarah-walker(phone number hidden)