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Donegal off-grid, Eco-cottage, Glencolmcille

4.97(38 reviews)SuperhostKiltyfanned, County Donegal, Ireland
Entire cottage hosted by Jonathan
6 guests2 bedrooms3 beds1 bath

Local travel restrictions

Due to COVID-19, Ireland has introduced a national lockdown, and travel is not permitted other than in limited circumstances. Failure to follow the law is a criminal offence.
Entire home
You’ll have the cottage to yourself.
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Self check-in
Check yourself in with the lockbox.
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House rules
This place isn’t suitable for infants (0–2 yrs) and the host doesn’t allow pets, parties, or smoking. Get details
Meenasillagh sits beside its own stream & waterfall.
The new open plan living room & sleeping area has floor to ceiling windows and stunning views.
Our nearest neighbour is way over the hill so you'll be completely undisturbed during your stay.
The cottage and water is heated by stove using turf/ wood. A complimentary bag of each will be available on arrival.
The kitchen and shower room are modern and well equipped. There's a gas-powered fridge.

The space
This is a delightful secluded Eco-cottage renovated and cared for by the Woods family since 1978. With original stone cottage whitewashed rooms and a modern spacious extension visitors can enjoy old and new living spaces.

Type 'meenasillagh donegal blog' into your search engine for a history of the cottage, lots more photographs and information about the area.

We have our own spring. It's a fantastic resource. The crystal clear water arrives out of the mountain right beside the cottage and supplies us by way of a newly fitted solar pump.

The place sleeps 6. There's a choice of beds. The two double and single half loft bed are supplemented by a settle-bed with sheepskin mattressing. It comfortably sleeps a couple of kids and it's always been our kids #1 sleeping spot. There's a fold-out 'click clack' bed if you prefer to use it.

This is fantastic walking country. Set off in any direction from the cottage and you won't be disappointed. There's expansive mountain, sea and valley-scape to find yourself in - or get a little bit lost in.

Kids always have a great time here mucking around in the waterfall, shallow stream and pools beside the house or venturing into the surrounding countryside.

We don't fish but there are lakes galore in the area and the sea is just down the road. There are rods and tackle at the cottage if you want to try your hand.

The poet Dylan Thomas and artist Rockwell Kent both spent time living in a converted cow shed in nearby Glenlough valley (see photos) Kent went there to paint; Thomas was trying to dry out.

The cottage has excellent 3G mobile phone reception so if you need to you can stay in touch with the outside world via the net. You can charge devices using the house solar charger but we recommend you bring your own battery pack as backup.

We had the opportunity to connect the cottage to the national grid 20 years ago but at Meenasillagh we prefer to keep things as low tech as they've always been. No TV is a big plus as far as we're concerned. This is a place where you can truly escape information saturation and the effect is fantastic - time seems to slow down here and a few days somehow feel like a packed week.

There are small rechargeable solar lights in the cottage but we mostly use candles (suplied) and the light of the fire.

There's no bin collection in Port valley so you’re expected to remove your rubbish, recyclables and any perishable food left over from your stay. There are recycling containers near Glencolmcille. It's up to you if you want to leave scraps out for the local fox and badger population (see blog 'flora & fauna' page for video of badgers at the cottage)

There's no vacuum/ cleaner in the cottage or the valley for that matter so we need a firm commitment from every guest to leave the place as clean and tidy as you found it. For anyone unfamiliar with washing up in this age of the dishwasher there's a sud by sud description in the cottage user manual of how to do that. The stone and tile floors are very easy to sweep/ mop and the stove's back boiler will give you plenty of hot water for washing up.

All bedding, tea towels and house towels are provided if you want it. If you want extra large beach towels you'll need to bring those with you. Our laundry is done in nearby Ardara town and guests will need to collect bedding from the lovely, computer brained Margaret at Ardara Dry Cleaning & Laundrette and return it on departure.

For more info and contact details please find us on our social media account that's known by the letters F & B! - our 'handle' is Meenasillagh Donegal. Feel free to get in touch if you have any queries.

Guest access
House, gardens, stream, waterfall and endless mountainside.

Other things to note
If you've been to Donegal before you'll know how variable the roads are in width and condition. The road to Meenasillagh townland is tarmac'ed but pretty bumpy (although there's no need for a 4x4) The lane up to the cottage is windey but its safe and easily negotiated by car. Please refer to photographs to get an idea of what to expect.

There is no mains electricity so lighting is by candle, torch and the light of the stove. We have solar rechargeable light bulbs but rarely find the need to use them.

Our water comes from our own spring - the only one we know of in the valley. It's delicious and completely safe so you won't need to buy bottled water as is usually the case in the area.

The water pumping system is state of the art solar powered.

When sheep are in the surrounding pasture there are three farm gates to open and close on the driveway. During the summer months when the sheep are on the mountain 2 of the gates can be left open. We're in the process of planning installation of a solar powered gate motor system but for now you'll have to get out and open by hand. Kids are great for this so try to bring at least one along!
Meenasillagh sits beside its own stream & waterfall.
The new open plan living room & sleeping area has floor to ceiling windows and stunning views.
Our nearest neighbour is way over the hill so you'll be completely undisturbed during your stay.
The cottage and water is heated by stove using turf/ wood. A complimentary bag of each will be available on arrival.
The kitchen and shower room are mo…
read more

Sleeping arrangements

Bedroom 1
1 double bed, 1 single bed, 1 sofa bed

Amenities

Kitchen
Free parking on premises
Indoor fireplace
Heating
Essentials
First aid kit
Private entrance
Fire extinguisher
Smoke alarm
Carbon monoxide alarm

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4.97 out of 5 stars from 38 reviews

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Location

Kiltyfanned, County Donegal, Ireland

The valley has less than 6 inhabitants - that's fewer than when we first visited in 1977 which we think is pretty special.

Port - the stone beach and harbour - is a 10 minute drive down the valley. It's a great place to go for a picnic and an afternoon's exploring. From there you can walk across the mountain to Glencolmcille - it takes about an hour and 20 minutes. The thought of a glass of whatever you're having yourself at Roarty's bar makes the journey fly.

By road Glencolmcille is a 23 minute drive away.

For information on shops/ hospitals and other nearby amenities please visit our blog: meenasillagh donegal blog. There is a house information folder for guests at the cottage containing lots of useful stuff about pubs/ food/ beaches/ atms etc.
The valley has less than 6 inhabitants - that's fewer than when we first visited in 1977 which we think is pretty special.

Port - the stone beach and harbour - is a 10 minute drive down the valley.…

Hosted by Jonathan

Joined in January 2019
  • 38 Reviews
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  • Superhost
Over the years the Woods family has renovated a number of cottages & houses in Ireland and France. We're pretty 'earthy' people and take pride in our sensitivity to the environment. Meenasillagh is as remote as you can get (certainly the remotest place we've developed) and we've endeavoured to keep our impact on the surrounding landscape to a minimum.
Over the years the Woods family has renovated a number of cottages & houses in Ireland and France. We're pretty 'earthy' people and take pride in our sensitivity to the environment…
During your stay
The Woods's are frequent visitors to the cottage and the area but we live variously in Dublin, Belfast and London so being there to greet guests isn't always possible.

If you'd like to get in touch by email or text when you're there we're more than happy to share our local knowledge - and to gather it too. All enlightenment is welcome.

We've always maintained Meenasillagh as a truly eco-friendly development but there have been some concessions to progress along the way. 20 years ago we installed a wind turbine to make our own electricity. That worked brilliantly until it got mangled during a storm. By then we'd had enough of the electricity experience and didn't bother fixing it.

The great charm of the cottage comes from it being beyond electrical lighting and mod-cons. That said we've just installed a solar powered water pump to manage the flow out of our spring. After 40 years of sweating buckets over a hand operated bilge pump we'll never grow tired of watching the sun and gravity do all the hard work.

There is a a gas-powered fridge in the kitchen for guests to use but we generally do our cooling in the mountain-chilled spring water - sealed drinks, cream, yoghurt etc float in a Belfast sink at the kitchen door; veg, butter etc goes in to the larder - an as yet un-renovated booley out back.

Getting half way back to nature isn't to everyone's taste but it has its rewards. We love the perspective it gives to our lives when we go home to everything-at-the-flick-of-a-switch. It makes you very genuinely appreciative and reverent.
The Woods's are frequent visitors to the cottage and the area but we live variously in Dublin, Belfast and London so being there to greet guests isn't always possible.…
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Things to know

House rules
Check-in: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Checkout: 11:00 AM
Self check-in with lockbox
Not suitable for infants (under 2 years)
No smoking
No pets
No parties or events
Health & safety
Committed to Airbnb's enhanced cleaning process. Learn more
Airbnb's social-distancing and other COVID-19-related guidelines apply
Carbon monoxide alarm
Smoke alarm
Cancellation policy

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