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Enjoy glorious sunrises and magical moons in the wide open Mayo skies.
Overlooking the beautifully wild Killala Bay, Bartra Cottage is one of eight detached holiday cottages we offer at The Old Deanery in Co Mayo. Nestling in the shadow of Killala's 12th century Round Tower, the family run holiday homes offer traditional self-catering accommodation with all the comforts of modern living.
Bartra Cottage features a large living/dining area with panoramic views over Bartragh Island and a warming open turf fire waiting for you on your arrival. Our 4-star Failte Ireland approved cottage sleeps seven comfortably in two ground floor bedrooms (one double and one twin) and a dormer bedroom (for three people) upstairs. The cottage has a downstairs family bathroom and first floor en suite shower room.
Bartra Cottage enjoys ocean views in one of the beautiful, secret places in Ireland. The cottage is situated beside the pier on the edge of Killala, an ancient fishing village. Home to the 1798 uprising, Killala is a treasure trove for lovers of history, as well as fans of the perfectly pulled pint and traditional music session. Local amenities including a supermarket, pubs and restaurants are just a couple of minutes’ walk.
Surrounded by towering cliffs and sandy beaches, our lovely ‘home from home’ has all the components for an unforgettable holiday in the west of Ireland. Perfectly located on the Wild Atlantic Way, it’s the ideal base to experience the true majesty of wild Irish land and seascape. Explore incredible hidden beaches, wild cliffs and a wealth of heritage sites and to top it all off, wonderful welcoming people!
Activities for walkers, surfers, fishing enthusiasts and golfers alike are beyond compare. The Blue Flag Beach at Ross is only two miles away, perfect for long walks and there are activities for everyone; from sea trout fishing and deep sea angling to sea swimming, diving, coasteering and surfing. Bring the clubs too and try one of amazing golf links and courses within an hour’s drive. Or try wild food coastal foraging - a family favourite! Guided tours and bike hire are available.
Of course, you can simply relax in your cottage by the open turf fire and watch the sun go down over the wild Atlantic too!
The Joe Keane Creative Centre – The Old Deanery’s converted Victorian stables – provides a rainy-day space for children, with games, books and internet access. The centre runs art and creative writing courses, and is available to groups who book several cottages and wish to host their own workshops, family gatherings or group get-togethers.
The cottage is 40 minutes from Knock Ireland West Airport, with daily direct flights from London, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, East Midlands and Dublin, as well as locations in France, Germany, Spain.
Our other seven holiday cottages at The Old Deanery are; Tower View (sleeps 7), Fisherman’s Haven (sleeps 7), Killala Cottage (sleeps 5), Humbert’s Rest (sleeps 6), Bird View (sleeps 6), Quay Cottage (sleeps 7) and Cathedral View (sleeps 6). Cottages can be booked individually or in any combination for groups of up to 51.
As Ireland's third largest county, Mayo is extensive in its range of scenery, and breathtaking landscapes, as well as immense in its warm, welcoming hospitality to all visitors. This remote corner of Ireland with its Atlantic coastline, majestic mountains and meandering rivers has an unparalleled splendour and natural beauty all its own.
Killala is a pretty seaside village located 8 miles north of Ballina in County Mayo. It boasts a traditional quayside full of colourful boats and overlooks an attractive formation of sand dunes that lie just off the coast. The main focal point of the village is a well-preserved tall round tower dating back to the 12th century and there is a selection of shops, pubs and eateries dotted around the narrow streets. With fishing, golf, surfing and walking all on offer nearby you are sure to find something to keep you busy during your stay here.
The Old Deanery have shared onsite facilities at the Joe Keane Creative Centre, set in a restored Victorian stables just a few steps from the cottages. The centre is available to groups who book several cottages and is a great spot for family reunions, group gatherings (drama groups, diving clubs, walking groups etc.) and has hosted family quiz nights, music events, charity gigs and more. The centre can be hired on a hourly/daily/weekend rate.
Some regular classes and workshops here include evening hatha yoga classes, drama/directing workshops for tweens and teens, creative writing, Pilates classes, photography workshops and mindfulness meditation. Over the high season and during school holidays there are also some very interesting children’s workshops, including twice-weekly arts and crafts sessions.
FOOD & DRINK
The Open Door Restaurant (2 minutes’ walk) offers a great choice of steaks, vegetarian & seafood from locally sourced ingredients. The menu varies daily.
On The Way Café (2 minutes’ walk) offers fresh home baked goodies and breakfast served all day.
The Village Inn (one minute walk) serves food until 8pm in the summer season. Excellent traditional cooking for hungry families.
Killala Pier (one minute walk) has a fish and chip takeaway. The best fish and chips you will ever eat, anywhere in the world. The fish comes straight from the sea.
Ballina (15 minutes’ drive) offers a selection of restaurants and pubs including Dillon’s, Brennan’s Lane, Bar Square (gastropub), The Lantern (Chinese), Love Lee’s (Chinese), Ocean Palace (Chinese), Crockets on The Quay (gastropub), The Everest (Indian), and the Ice House Hotel. Belleek Castle and Mount Falcon are both country hotels with great restaurants.
There are many sandy beaches close to Killala for swimming, sailing, surfing and other water sports. Ross Beach, the closest to Killala, is a well-maintained Blue Flag beach just five minutes drive/15 minutes cycle from the village with lifeguards, picnic facilities and a shower/WC. From Ross Beach, you can walk from sandy cove to sandy cove all the way around the tip of the Ross Peninsula, until you reach the spectacular Palmerstown River Beach (also known as Ross back beach or CBI). From here you can cut back though the dunes, back to Ross. The next peninsula leads to Lacken beach, another breath-taking beauty spot. All along the coast are hidden strands and secret coves, just waiting to be discovered. A little time is all that’s required to find them…
A choice of outdoor activities and recreation abounds, ranging from a plethora of water sports as well as walking, cycling, horse riding, golf, fishing and sea angling.
SURFING & WATERSPORTS
The north coast of Mayo boasts Ireland’s most exciting surfing beaches. Kilcummin Harbour (where General Humbert landed in 1798) is described as a “long left big wave reef break on a large boulder rocky shoreline near a headland with strong currents/rips”. Lacken Bay, just around the headland, is another famous spot for surfers.
WALKING & FORAGING
There are wonderful cliff walks and hill climbs all around North Mayo. Trek through such beauty spots as Port Urlin and Portacloy, or walk a portion of the Western Way. Climb the cliffs and rocky headlands of Belderrig to get a new perspective on the miles of empty unspoilt beauty all around. The cottage owners can arrange guided cliff walks with a local knowledgeable and friendly guide. The guide can also take guests foraging for cockles, mussels, periwinkles, razor fish, and sea vegetables.
The North West of Mayo is renowned as one of Europe's top angling destinations as well as being considered as a salmon fishing paradise. As a traditional fishing port, Killala is ideal for keen fishermen looking for a few days’ angling and there is also a wealth of shore angling available. There are two registered boat owners available to take groups out deep-sea angling. The cottage owners are happy to pre-book a boat and its captain for your group. With over thirty species in the Bay, a varied catch is guaranteed. Alternatively, take a family evening trip out into the Bay, enjoy the sunset and hook a few mackerel for the barbecue.
Killala and its environs are also ideal for coarse, river and lake fishing and the River Moy, which runs through Ballina, is world-renowned for salmon fishing. Check out North West Fisheries (www.fishinginireland.info/) for more information.
Killala is an ideal base for golfers, with Enniscrone Golf Links offering spectacular scenery and world-class holes. Likewise, Carne Golf Links at Belmullet (voted one of the top five Irish Links by Golfworld Ireland in 2002) boasts vast dunes and scenic views of Blacksod Bay. Ballina Golf Course is an inviting 18-hole parkland course ten minutes’ drive away, and Strandhill and Westport golf clubs are both within an hour’s drive.
The local horse riding school is just up the road, and the vast sandy beaches of Ross make for a spectacular riding arena.
Traditional music, with well-known musicians, is on offer at most of the pubs in Killala at night, during the weekends and often on weeknights too.
Killala has a brand-new children’s playground with state-of-the-art swings and frames, tennis courts and basketball hoop. There is access to the Greenway from the back of the park and a 90 minute off road walk around Killala.
Ballina Cineplex (15 minutes’ drive) has six screens.
Ballina Swimming Pool (15 minutes’ drive) has great junior splash sessions, with giant floating bouncy castles.
Tumble Jungle in Ballina (15 minutes’ drive) is Ireland's largest indoor play centre with bouncy castles climbing frames and obstacle courses. The adults can chill-out in the café while the kids are busy playing.
Waterpoint indoor water park, Enniscrone (a scenic half hour’s drive) has a kids fun pool, a 65-metre flume slide and heat suite with Sauna and Jacuzzi – it is a must for the family.
Kilcullen’s Seaweed Baths, Enniscrone (a scenic half hour’s drive), is the perfect place to relax by yourself or with your partner, in vast old-fashioned baths of steaming hot water filled with seaweed - followed by an ice cold shower, if you dare!
Ballina (8 miles) is Mayo's largest town, situated on the River Moy. One of Europe's best salmon rivers, it is an angler's seventh heaven. The first settlement dates back to the 14th century at Rosserk Abbey on the shores of the Moy. Today the town has a population of 13,000 and boasts many quality retail stores and boutiques, a good array of quality of restaurants and well run traditional pubs catering for all.
HISTORY & HERITAGE
If your taste is for the historic, you can visit Killala's own cathedral and well preserved round tower as well as the nearby ruins of three local abbeys – Rosserk, Moyne and Rathfran. Majestic Moyne Abbey, a Dominican Priory (5 minutes’ drive) dates back to the 1200's.
Mayo is steeped in history and every small village has its own tale to tell. Two of the more notable historic centres of interest are the Céide Fields archaeological site and award-winning visitor centre at Ballycastle (24 minutes’ drive) and the National Museum of Country Life near Castlebar (40 minutes). A number of castle ruins dot the Mayo landscape adding to the significant historic annals of this proud county.
Foxford Woollen Mills (28 minutes) is one of Ireland’s oldest working mills in the heart of Foxford on the River Moy It was founded in 1892 by a nun to generate employment – it still produces its acclaimed blankets, travel rugs and tweeds which are on sale in the Visitor shop. Tours are available.
Mayo has two major pilgrimage sites: Croagh Patrick (Ireland's 'holy mountain'), and the Knock Shrine (both about an hours’ drive).
The Jackie Clarke Collection at Ballina Public Library (8 miles) houses a collection of unique Irish artifacts relating to revolutionary Irish history which is one of the most important in the world.
Addergoole Titanic Memorial Park (28 minutes), located in Lahadane, commemorates the fourteen Addergoole natives that boarded the Titanic in Cobh in 1912 bound for America.
THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY
Experience the wild raw beauty of one of the wildest, most enchanting and culturally rich coastal touring routes in the world - the Wild Atlantic Way. Killala is located on the route in North Mayo and much of Mayo’s spectacular natural scenery lies along it. Discover the Signature Discovery Points, including Downpatrick Head, (24 minutes drive). Achill Island is one of the 'must-see' destinations on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way, an hour and a half’s drive from Killala. Achill Island has four 'discovery points' Keem Bay, Keel Strand, Ashleam Bay and Dugort.
Claremorris Drama Festival, Claremorris (45 miles).
Patrick Day parades in the Mayo towns and villages.
Traditional Culture Festival with events in various venues.
Mayo International Choral Festival, Castlebar (30 miles).
Clann Lir Festival, Belmullet (38 miles).
Foxford Goat Fair, Foxford (17.5 miles).
Féile na Tuaithe, free family festival at National Museum of Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar (30 miles).
Ballina Salmon Festival, Ballina (8 miles).
Ballina Agriculture Show (8 miles) usually coincides with the Ballina Salmon Festival.
The Black Pig Festival, Enniscrone (16 miles).
Mayo Manchester Tradfest, Ballina (8 miles).
In Humbert's Footsteps, spectacular battle re-enactment, Kilcummin (8 miles).
Síamsa Sráide Street festival (July/August), Swinford (24 miles).
Belmullet Gala Festival, Belmullet (38 miles).
Foxford River Fest, Foxford (17.5 miles).
Food Fleadh Ballina Festival (8 miles).
French Mayo Festival, Ballina (8 miles).
Killala Community Festival (Feile Cill Alaidh).
Samhain Abhainn Festival (Halloween Festival), Ballina (8 miles).
RoolaBoola Arts Festival, Castlebar (30 miles).
Ballycastle Christmas Fair (9 miles).
Frosty Salmon Festival, Ballina (8 miles).
Mistletoe Market and Frosty Ale Fest, Ballina (8 miles).
Foxford Crafts Fair, beside Foxford Woollen Mills (17.5 miles).
Swinford Christmas Market (24 miles).
Things you need to know about Bartra Cottage if you’re thinking of booking a holiday there:
*Internet access is offered at this property for recreational purposes only and is not meant for business use. Speed/service may vary depending on the package obtained by the owner which is provided to guests free of charge. Should guests experience difficulties or loss of use, neither the owner nor the agent will be held responsible.