My Finnish wife normally selects where we will stay on holiday, is very particular in her choices and always selects somewhere memorable. Even though we have stayed in multiple cottages in Britain, Ireland and Finland over the years we have never stayed before in a place quite like James Tymon Cottage. It’s a tranquil rural setting, with beautiful grounds, kept scrupulously clean, is superbly equipped, with its’ period character maintained and enhanced. This cottage is not kept just as a holiday letting but instead is kept as a 'home place', a property that has been in the family for generations and is looked after and protected with a lot of effort and great love.
Gurteen is not a big village, but it has all you might need. It’s not your typical tourist spot and the people are very friendly. The cottage is a little outside the village but still within walking distance. It is very well placed for excursions to Sligo, Ben Bulben and the coastal beaches.
It's hard to know where to start with describing the cottage but I am going to start with the hearty and friendly welcome from the owner, in person and not delegated to someone else. As we arrived, he and his brother were just finishing up on their weekly grounds maintenance. Our fridge had been stocked with lovely surprises and there was a homemade apple pie for us, just like my mother used to make, real Irish Mammy style.
Think about a two-floor period cottage, beautifully painted, set in grounds with mature trees and a lovely river. Then imagine what it might be like to have mown grass pathways that lead you down by the river and around the lovely woodlands with lovely large specimen trees. Then be surprised to come across an unexpected picnic bench by the river or even a coffee table strategically set to look out on the meadow. A place for thought and tranquillity where in the distance you can still see and hear the sounds of real working rural Ireland. There are house martins nesting under the eaves and if you are quiet and still you can see amazing sights. The absence of light pollution allows stunning views of the night sky. Beautifully kept barns, plentifully stocked with turf and firewood, are right outside. Other outdoor seating has been strategically placed around the cottage to catch the sun at different times of the day with opportunities for morning coffee, afternoon tea or even a nice glass of wine in the evening. Our dog was very welcome and just loved his stay, with the freedom to explore safely.
Inside I got to wondering how it was possible to keep such a busy place so wonderfully and spotlessly clean. To say the cottage is well equipped is a major understatement. Put simply, this is the best equipped cottage I have ever had the privilege to stay in. It's not a case of any old thing, all items, from crockery, to furniture, right down to the tableware, were selected for their fit with the cottage. The bedrooms were just lovely, and I especially liked the raised bed which, reminded me of my grandmother's, with beautiful bed linen, all totally in keeping with character of the cottage.
There is a sense of real history here, as you will see on the walls of the cottage. Discover why the cottage is named for James Tymon, Private First Class, raised here in this house, emigrated to the USA and who died of his wounds in the Great War serving his new country, the USA. All of which I discovered with our American granddaughter on Independence Day, a very special experience.
My summary is that this is a truly wonderful cottage and location. We were lucky to secure our booking, a cancellation due to international C19 travel restrictions. I suggest booking early, as this cottage is very much in demand, some bookings are for two years ahead and there are multiple annual repeat bookings. I feel very fortunate to have been able to experience the delights of James Tymon Cottage. We truly appreciate all that was done for us. Thank You to KR. Maurice.