Now how many Irish cottages come with an outdoor pool? Next to the road but shielded by hedges, it even has sea views! You are at the tip of the strikingly beautiful Sheep’s Head peninsula, a paradise for walkers, and we couldn’t better poet Seamus Heaney’s description: ‘Things found clean on their own shapes; water and ground in their extremity.’ Laharandota was the house of an artist for many years; it still shows. Everything inside is in the best possible taste and breathes a generous spirit: a wonderful kitchen with big Rayburn stove, art, objets and a fabulous hamper, a claw-foot bath, a glass-walled sun room, nooks, crannies and a rustic fireplace that roars in winter. Next-door’s studio, often rented to the same party, provides comforts on a reduced scale, but the light, the art, the sea views are the same. Hike a part of the Sheep’s Head Way: ‘the best walk in Ireland’ says Country Walking magazine. Head for the lighthouse, look out for choughs and peregrines. Shops and restaurants are a short drive away, lovely Bantry Town and sandy Barleycove beach are not much further. Inspirational.