West Cork, with its stunning coastline and laid-back rustic lifestyle, is a hot spot for British expats in Ireland. Here are three popular villages and properties which might be enough to lure you to this magical part of the Emerald Isle…

Walk into a pub in West Cork and there’s a good chance you’ll hear the odd English accent amongst the banter at the bar – the region is said to be home to more British expats than any other part of Ireland.

More than 5,000 Britons are currently registered as resident in West Cork, which is reached easily from the UK via budget flights into Cork city or a ferry crossing into Rosslare in neighbouring Waterford.

The rugged beauty of its coastline, which forms much of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way and includes peninsulas such as Mizen, Sheep’s Head and Beara, combined with picturesque old towns and villages, such as Kinsale, Clonakility and Skibbereen, are what attracted British tourists to the region. Consequently, over the years many have decided to buy second homes or relocate there permanently, encouraged by the quality of life on offer and cheap house prices compared to much of the UK.

Here are three towns or villages in West Cork that have already struck a chord with British expats.

An ancient coastal village serving as a gateway to the Mizen Peninsula, Ireland’s most south-westerly point, Ballydehob’s location on an estuary of two converging rivers is stunning. In the past, Ballydehob has attracted artists, writers and craftspeople, and these days the village is best known for its colourful music festivals.

Testament to the area’s rich history are the castles that dot the surrounding countryside – villagers might spot actor Jeremy Irons out and about, as he often spends time at nearby Kilcoe Castle after he bought and restored it some years ago. Why not make this pretty p
roperty, just outside Ballydehob, your own castle? It has four bedrooms split between a restored farmhouse and converted cottage. For more info, click on the image.


A few miles west from Ballydehob is Schull, the picturesque principal village of the Mizen Peninsula where much of life revolves around the harbour and sea. As
well as home to a fishing fleet and short pier, the harbour offers sailing, whale-watching boat trips, kayaking, diving and other water-based activities, making it the ideal base for enjoying the coastal lifestyle on offer on the peninsula.

Schull’s colourful high street is popular for its selection of pubs and restaurants, and shops selling locally-made products. This cosy terraced house has three bedrooms and is centrally located in Schull, near the high street and pier.

For those who prefer to be just inland but still within five minutes of the coast, there is the market town of Skibbereen, set on the River Ilen and close to the beautiful marine reserve lake of Lough Hyne. Conveniently located for reaching the rest of South-West Cork, it’s a cultural hub with a poignant history. This charming four-bedroom farmhouse is just outside Skibbereen and comes with a separate guest cottage.


Written by Overseas Guides Company.

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