Home of the Off Grid Horsebox and Birch Cottage, quirky self catering in the Mournes, near Newcastle Co Down

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Tranquil self catering in the Mournes

You can wake to a view of the beautiful birch woods outside your window, and enjoy the peace and quiet.  Here you are surrounded by birdsong, clean air, and wonderful views. Walk in the woods, feed the hens, and enjoy fresh produce from our gardens. Set in the Mournes, Birch Cottage offers luxury self catering with wonderful views of the mountains and woodland.

Some of the most stunning countryside in Northern Ireland is on your doorstep, as is the seaside town of Newcastle. The Mourne Mountains, Tollymore and Castlewellan forest parks, Newcastle beach and stunning Silent Valley are just a short drive away.

Come and stay in Northern Ireland’s only off-grid self catering cottage and upcycled horse truck. Visitors can sample life on our pioneering Green Tourism gold rated smallholding.

The good life experience

When you stay in Birch Cottage or the Off Grid Horsebox, you are free to explore our smallholding, meet the horses and hens. Walk in the private birch woodlands, and explore the gardens and unique spaces that you’ll find here.

We are pioneers of the growing ecotourism and green tourism movement here in the Mournes, Northern Ireland. Consequently, sharing our lifestyle, fresh produce, and experiences with visitors is all part of the unique visitor experience.

The Off Grid Horsebox has an amazing upcycled interior, and also offers a cosy hideaway where you can unplug from the outside world completely.

Birch Cottage is off grid accommodation without compromise – hand crafted, comfortable, and it has wonderful views. It really is the greenest self catering holiday cottage in Northern Ireland.

Birch Cottage self catering

You can unwind and escape to another world here at Birch Cottage. Tucked away near the Mournes, it’s unique, cosy atmosphere is a result of the hand crafted interior. Here, everything has a story and above all is chosen to be natural, which gives the cottage it’s homely feel. If you want a base to explore the Mournes, our self catering cottage has a hand crafted interior and is perfect for a relaxing retreat.

Birch Cottage is a little piece of heaven. The landscape is full of round hills and small boggy hollows, all overlooked by the Mournes. Clare and Steve’s smallholding is an inspiring space of hard-won diversity and fertility. Their ponies and birch wood are at the door, and the magical Lacken bog green road is a small step away. The cottage is warm, comfortable, very well thought out and has everything you could need, even a guitar !

Cork, Ireland

Claire’s cottage is really the most beautiful retreat in the countryside. She was there to welcome us into their pristine cottage – which had everything you could want for – and kept and eye out for us over our stay. Great area for cycling and walking. Lovely quiet weekend away and definitely recommend. Thank you!

Belfast, Northern Ireland

We absolutely loved staying in this little hideaway at the foot of the Mournes. We were greated by our host Claire who had made sure the cottage was warm and cosey for us arriving after a bit of drive on a cool Friday evening. The little cottage is just what we hoped for; a little retreat for the weekend to unplug and relax. Everything is finished to such a high standard – you can notice the quality and craftsmanship in everything you see and touch.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Off Grid Horse box self catering

Surely the most unusual self catering accommodation in Co Down. This is a converted horse truck with a view of the Mournes. You’ll feel at home here because we made it a place that we would want to escape to ourselves. The quirky, cosy interior is a result of using upcycled and natural materials. Watch the stars from the comfort of the box bed, play the guitar, or chill out by the woodburning stove. Maybe you’ll just sit on the deck and look at the mountains – this is an especially peaceful corner of Lackan Cottage Farm.

Making a greener lifestyle a reality in Mourne

Lackan Cottage Farm, in the Mournes Co Down is our family home, where we are living as sustainably as we can. We have established an organic smallholding so we can grow our own food, make our own energy, and promote the idea of self reliance. With its woodland and views over the Co Down drumlins to the Mourne Mountains beyond, this is also a place that we want to share with as many people as possible, because we know how it can inspire them.

Our response to a changing world

On the farm, and here on the website, we share our experiences of living a green lifestyle, and also many projects that we’ve undertaken to try and achieve that. You’ll find everything here. From our solar and wind power and a straw bale barn to composting toilets. We also run regular courses on topics such as wood turning, off grid living, basket making and permaculture.

Sharing experiences

We are fortunate to have this opportunity and as a result be able to live the way we do. It is becoming increasingly apparent that as a society, we can’t go on the way we have been.Consequently something has to give. As we talk to people, their frustration at inequality and instability is obvious. Furthermore,  environmental and economic worries serve to highlight the need for alternative solutions.

Lackan Cottage Farm is our response to that. Consequently, as well as upskilling ourselves to be better able to cope, we are empowering others to do the same. Likewise, we provide self catering accommodation so that they can come and experience it for themselves here in the Mournes. Therefore everything we offer here comes from our own experience and is created to be really special, whether it be a day of winemaking, or the interior of the horsebox. We hope you will love it as much as we do.
Steve & Claire Golemboski-Byrne

News and events from Lackan

A full house

Our three feral cats are becoming steadily more tame – one in particular which you can now pick up and really rather likes all the attention; one who is getting used to being stroked, and the third who thinks that humans are to be regarded with great suspicion, but follows along anyway. Now the problem is that they all follow us up from their hideaway in the hay shed to the house, and Lyra doesn’t get that we don’t want three un-housetrained kittens indoors.

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Friday was an interesting day, as we got up at the crack of dawn to welcome a little film crew from the BBC to the farm and they wanted to start at 8am. It is part of a programme about housing, and our bit is (hopefully) how modern technology can combine with traditional materials and methods. Being new to this filming lark, we basically did what we were told, and pottered about while Steven the cameraman and Richard the producer followed us around the place…

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Well well

You may recall that three years ago (it might be four) we realised that we had a well in the garden, although it turned out to have been used as a drain for a long time and took a lot of cleaning. Anyhow, clean it we did and at the time it passed the environmental...

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Come and learn

Ever wanted to make your own wine? Grow your own food? How about making your own basket, or a wooden stool? These are the kinds of practical opportunities that we offer on our regular self sufficiency courses, taught by people we respect and who are expert at what they do. In addition we run broader courses in subjects such as Off Grid and ‘DIY’ living, Permaculture and Natural Building where you can discover more about ways to be more self sufficient.

Self catering in Mournes places to stay Newcastle Co Down cottage
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Self catering in Mournes places to stay Newcastle Co Down cottage
Self catering accommodation in Mourne. Great places to stay in Ireland, rural retreat cottages in the Mournes near Newcastle, Castlewellan Co Down Northern Ireland. Birch Cottage eco accommodation Ireland and the off grid horsebox quirky self catering.
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Lackan Cottage Farm
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