The cottage

A fully restored two hundred year old building

You’ll stay in a beautifully restored, 19th century Irish cottage in the heart of Inishowen, County Donegal.

It consists of two bedrooms, a shower room, a kitchen/living room, small scullery and a studio.

The cottage sits in almost an acre of garden in the rolling countryside of hills and farmland, bog and coast.

Inishowen Artists' Retreat & Studio in July 2022

‘Beach Mheala’ bedroom

Our ‘Beach Mheala’ bedoom has two single, wrought iron beds with hotel-quality mattresses and seasonal duvets* for your total comfort.

The room is well-lit with two lotus lightshades and has lots of character – an antique wood framed oval mirror and old school desk, with underbed and behind the door storage for clothes.

Roses light one bedhead while a porcelain lighthouse lamp gives reading light to the other. A small selection of books decorate the windowsill which overlooks the old red barn and wandering sheep in the field next door.

Beach Mheala is Irish for ‘honey bee’.

* Additional blankets can be provided as desired.

A bedroom at Inishowen Artists' Retreat & Studio

‘Dealán-Dé’ bedroom

Our ‘Dealán-Dé’ room has another two single, wrought iron beds hotel-quality mattresses.

A skylight adds to the natural daylight and a small window overlooks an old Céilí barn which the sheep-neighbours use for shelter. You won’t hear them at night unless you leave your window open!

A simple desk, mirror and antique farm chair decorate the room, as well as a shared, upcycled bedside table with a yogi frog lamp for reading by. There are upcycled drawers for underbed storage for clothes. A small selection of collected and gathered books sit on the windowsill for your enjoyment.

The room gets it’s name from our very first visitor, Irish folk singer-songwriter Clare Sands. Her bilingual songs are hauntingly beautiful and heavily rooted in the Irish tradition. Clare was the first person to sleep in our cottage for decades. Her song ‘Dealán-Dé’ was written and recorded here as part of an Arts Council Ireland project, in collaboration with mega-talented Irish flautist Brian Finnegan. It was an honour to host them both and have music played within these old stone walls once again.

Dealán-Dé is old Irish for butterfly.

A bedroom at Inishowen Artists' Retreat & Studio

Living room & kitchen

Our living room and kitchen is an area for cooking, eating, relaxing and having the craic. A woodburning stove with unique, original chimney feature, add a cosy and grounding feel to your stay.

Wooden beams are draped with decorative bulbs above a comfortable 1960’s style seating area.

The kitchen is well equipped for cooking having a gas hob and electric oven and the dining area, with extendable wooden table, is perfect for an evening in with a good bottle of wine.

A selection of art and specific interest books in the ‘settle’ corner by the rocking chair can provide a quiet hour of enjoyment and learning. The settle corner is a unique feature of the old Irish cottage, where the family bed would have been positioned.

Wi-fi is readily available on fibre broadband (and throughout the cottage).

Cottage living room


This is a small, but perfectly formed bathroom.

A modern, herringbone tiled shower and toilet suite are complimented by period lampshade and mirror with a modern twist.

A flock of blue porcelain swallows have made their way from Spain to add a hint of wonder and the window opens towards the wildflower meadow on the northside of the cottage.

The bathroom with backlit mirror and tiled basin area

The studio

The studio is a working and teaching studio, where Sinéad paints and hosts art classes. But it’s at your disposal during your stay.

Folding tables and chairs transform the studio for up to 6 artists to paint and create. It’s also a perfect space for musicians to play, to practice yoga, to meditate and more.

There is a small woodburning stove here, with another unique chimney feature. Two skylights and slightly extended windows give ample natural light throughout the day. There’s also a stylish sink, so it’s self-contained in its own right.

People painting in an artist studio

The garden

Winding paths lead to a wildflower meadow, a mini orchard and organic vegetable garden with polytunnel.

We might even drop in some homegrown fruit and veg to you, freshly picked, at different times of the year.

A sturdy treehouse also serves as a painting platform for en plein air and there is space for a yoga mat… perfect for an early morning stretch.

Dry stone walls surround a secluded sitting area with a barbeque and fire bowl available for your use.

There is lots of inspiration for drawing, painting, or relaxing, without going very far.

An outdoor seating area in the garden

The restoration

In many ways, it would have been easier to knock the cottage down and start again. But that was never in our minds. The building is a part of the local landscape and history.

Rebuilding the walls became a labour of love, using the same stone that the local stonemasons used two hundred years earlier.

We’ve another page that shows you a bit of the work we carried out over a ten year period.

Old, rotten cottage roof