Blackstairs Courtyard

Borris, Co. Carlow
+353 87 931 3691

A remote and totally peaceful little annexe in the Blackstairs mountains next to a 200-year-old farmhouse


1 bed


1 bedroom


Sleeps 2

The Experience

Unbend here in a tranquil spot between the mountains and the river. On sunny days you can have breakfast under the fruit trees in the garden – Deborah and Carole give you homemade bread and jams, local cheeses and their own eggs and soft fruits when in season. They grow all their own veg and salads too without a pinch of anything nasty.

The gardens are lovely with an orchard to wander around – find a hammock and deckchairs set up in summer, and a small walled garden for your own use. Walk or cycle for miles through bucolic acres – no shops, no cars, no people – and when it gets dark you can stargaze with no light pollution.

The nearest town, Graiguenamanagh, is three miles away and a bit further you’ll find Borris which has a few shops and a 16-arch limestone viaduct built in 1860. It’s less than an hour to Wexford, Rosslare Harbour and some lovely beaches. It’s really all about the great outdoors here but there’s a good wood-burning fire and a piano indoors if the weather turns foul.

Blackstairs Courtyard - Gallery

We think you'll love

  • Being in such remote and beautiful countryside
  • The gardens and orchard
  • Deborah and Carole for their charm and sense of fun
Blackstairs Courtyard - Gallery

You should know

  • The broadband is pretty slow
  • You need to flush the loo a couple of times rather than the usual once
  • It's no good for people who can't manage uneven ground and stairs


  • EV charger
  • Self check-in
  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub
  • Garden
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Breakfast included
  • Breakfast available
  • Meals available
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Oven
  • Parking on premises
  • Free parking nearby
  • Accessible by public transport
  • WiFi
  • Television
  • Central heating
  • Limited mobility
  • Wheelchair access
  • Mobile reception
  • Hob
  • Barbecue
  • Paid parking nearby
  • Air conditioning
  • Relaxation areas
  • Washing machine
  • Tennis court
  • Microwave oven
  • No smoking
  • Credit cards
  • Working farm
  • Owner has pets
  • Electricity included
  • Dishwasher
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

  • Baby monitor
  • Books and toys
  • Children welcome
  • Babies welcome
  • Stair gates
  • High chair
  • Fire guard
  • Cot available


  • Pub/bar within 3 miles
  • Restaurant within 3 miles
  • Shop within 3 miles


  • Bikes available
  • Food courses
  • Kayaking
  • Other courses
  • Sailing
  • Surfing
  • Wild swimming

& pricing

Booking information

Check in
From 4pm
Check out
By 12pm
Booking restrictions
Minimum stay: 2 nights. Short breaks available.
Owner has pets
Animals living on the property
Pubs/restaurants 3 miles.


Nightly price
from €100
Weekly price
from €350
Short breaks available: 3 nights from £325.
1 Cottage for 2
From €1001 bed1 bedroom


Set in a peaceful oasis, with beautifully tended flower gardens and surrounded by nature and mountains, the courtyard asks you “do you really want to leave?” So you don’t, you pour a glass of wine, sit outside your cottage and soak in the wonderful setting. We regret only doing this once, but were rewarded by a hedgehog trotting past into the secret garden where a hammock lies in wait - as if you needed another reason to linger! We were really sad to leave after an all-too-brief stay, but Blackstairs is right at the top of our list of places to return to.

Nigel, Boston, MA

Forget the search for serenity. You'll find it at Blackstairs. A place for those seeking calm & timeless character. A courtyard suntrap brims with flowers & buzzing bees. Orchards & vegetable gardens are hemmed by native trees, and the sky is kissed by the Blackstairs Mountains. Modern convenience meets old world charm. Hosts Deborah & Carole are next door with advice on scenic walks & historic sites. But for me, the best times were long lazy evenings in the golden glow of the courtyard, watching a buttery sun melt into darkening hills. Paradise for those wish to explore & find themselves.

Mark, Derry

Read more reviews


The neighbourhood

Close to home you can go hill-walking on the Blackstairs, wild swim in the Barrow, walk bits of the 40km Barrow towpath or hire bikes in Graiguenamanagh to head off on great trails. You’ll have to travel three miles for pubs, shops, bank etc. Further afield find Kilkenny with castle and cathedral, Jerpoint for a ruined Cistercian abbey or Altamont near Ballon – one of Ireland’s outstanding gardens.

Local points of interest from Deborah Ballard

  • Kilkenny (36km): this historic town on the River Nore is a delight, with the Castle (including the Butler Gallery), St Canice's cathedral, the Rothe House, the Watergate Theatre, pubs, restaurants and shops, and the Kilkenny Design shop and café.
  • Borris (8km) has a striking viaduct, pubs, shops and Borris House, seat of The McMorrough Kavanaghs since antiquity. The Brownshill dolmen, Ireland's largest, is near Carlow Town (40km). In Carlow are the GBS theatre and Visual art gallery, shops and cafés
  • Graiguenamanagh (5km): the Cistercian Duiske Abbey, restaurant The Waterside, cafés and shops, walks along the Barrow towpath and swimming places and 8km walk along the Barrow to St Mullins, with its monastic ruins and delightful Mullicháin café.
  • Ruined Cistercian abbey at Jerpoint, near Thomastown (23km). Thomastown has shops and craft outlets, pubs, gourmet restaurant Barrows Keep, a chocolate café, and the Grennan Mill Craft School, housed in an 18th century mill on the banks of the Nore.
  • Altamont Garden, near Ballon – one of Ireland’s outstanding gardens. Other gardens worth a visit include those at Huntington Castle and Kilfane (summer weekends only) and Kilmokea in Co Wexford, close to some lovely beaches.
  • Blackstairs Courtyard comprises our 200 year-old farmhouse, the attached Grainstore (where you will stay) and a cottage rented by a tenant. It's surrounded by a hectare of gardens, orchard and meadow with views of the mountains and Brandon Hill.


Deborah Ballard

Deborah (a garden writer) and Carole (a jazz musician) met at Cambridge university. They have escaped London and created the new annexe and the garden with creativity and much love. They enjoy sharing it all with guests and love their remote part of Ireland.