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.
Sarah is a wonderful host and a charming person. She welcomed me with homemade jam and delicious chocolate. She was kind enough to pick me up and drive me up to Bothar Bui. From the moment, I saw the compound of white houses that her brilliant father designed I knew I was in a magical visit. Bothar Bui is tranquil, gorgegous, and just what I needed. Thank you, Sarah & Kiernan!
Perfect stay! We still can't believe how lucky we were and are so grateful to Sarah for letting us stay in this very unique place. It combines a breathtaking environment to well-thought interiors that immediately make you feel at home. Everything is made easy, simple and yet very comfortable. 100% relaxing, ideal to take a step back and breathe. The way the house(s) is built offers privacy if needed as well as ideal and warm common rooms to enjoy each other's company.
Every need is covered and the place truly has a soul. We did not get a chance to meet Sarah but she's been reachable all along our stay and very responsive and helpful. We had some delicious mussels and shrimps freshly fished by her husband Kieran, yet another unforgettable memory! Leaving was hard, we definitely hope to be back and explore more, thanks a million Sarah!
We spent four days at Bothar Bui and had a wonderful time. A really magical place. Thank you to Sarah and Kieran for a warm welcome, all the helpful advice and the delicious shellfish.
Bothar Bui is heaven. When we arrived the first evening at about 7pm we went exploring through the private woodland and ended up taking a swim in the sea. The house is fantastic but the surrounding land is just as good. There's a swing, a tree house and a picnic table- all helping you to interact with these beautiful surroundings. You can sit outside on a log and listen to the birds, or watch them through the binoculars. Our heart rates definitely dropped while in Bothar Bui, and core relaxation set in. We adored the open fire, the sunken bath, and the lovely books in the house. Steeped in character we spent the evenings playing scrabble in front of the fire, or cooking freshly caught fish. From a practical point of view - everything is easy and user friendly. Lights, heating, water, etc- all straightforward and stress free. The kitchen is very well kitted out. The amazing architecture of the house is just so that every window you look through, or corner you turn you get a stunning view.
Sarah is a great host. Providing any info you might require for your stay. We visited her gallery in Castletownbere which is absolutely beautiful- so worth a visit!
What an amazing trip! We had such a fabulous time at Bothar Bui. We were three families looking to get away together, where the parents could relax and the kids had freedom to play in nature. The setting was just perfect. Each family had a bit of privacy with the bedrooms being separate from the kitchen and living area. The older kids escaped the adults and younger kids up in the studio and the younger kids had a ball running around in the woods and playing on the swings. The views were stunning, the walk through the woods to the beach was glorious. The sunken baths were heavenly, with nice hot water. The fresh mussels ,that Kieran so generously delivered for dinner twice, were so appreciated. Sarah was very helpful and responsive. Everything was perfectly clean, without being too pristine, which made it even more relaxing and pleasant with children. A great place for a small get away together.
Thank you Sarah for letting us stay in the most beautiful place that i have ever seen. The mix of old style irish cottage life with modernist architecture is something that cannot be replicated any where else. Not to mention the spectacular sea views and woodland...
A truly magical place to unwind and relax.
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!
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)