One of the loveliest traits of Ireland, I think, is being not so far from a destination yet feeling like you are absolutely alone in the countryside.
My family found this perfect bit of serenity less than 10 miles from Westport in County Mayo.
An Irish Holiday Cottage in Westport
How could we resist a description of the cottage as ‘A delightful, detached property situated in the scattered hamlet of Kinuary'? Website photos showed the cottage as simple and tidy, with an inviting fireplace in the front room, perfect for the cool October evenings of our visit.
Following the directions sent by owner Denise Tuffy, we set out for Hare's Leap after the Halloween celebrations at Westport House. We found the cottage easily – though we nearly passed it by, so much did it look like a home. Soon after our arrival Denise popped in to check on us, explain the timed heating system, and be sure we were settling in.
“The cottage was my grandparent's home, ” she explained to us, “though my family did a bit of updating to it.”
The small serviceable kitchen in white and grey was a clean palate where I created morning and evening meals, and packed snacks for our explorations.
I even put together a simple tea one evening, and my family, gathered around the table in this small cottage, is one of my fondest Ireland memories.
After dinner we would retire to the living room, the girls on the large, comfy couch, while Doug and I pulled the matching chairs closer to the fire as we read books picked up during our day's travels or discussed tomorrow's plans.
Though the house is small – kitchen, living room, and two bedrooms, plus a bathroom with shower- we never felt cramped or confined.
It simply felt like home. Our own little spot of Ireland, if only for a few days.
Renting Hare's Leap Holiday Cottage
Hare's Leap can be booked directly online through Sykes Cottages website.
The cottage sleeps 4 people, and all rooms are on ground level.