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“Perfect For Young Children - Virtually Private...”

Review of Sandend Cottage

Its all about the beach!
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Its all about the beach!
beach at dusk from the lane
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Excellent
12 reviews
Its all about the beach!
beach at dusk
from the lane
from the front garden.
Pyramid orchids
window seat in living room
Tourism NI 4 star. Dogs only by arrangement.
Patio doors from the kitchen look towards the sea
kitchen looking towards the countryside
The Kitchen is well equipped.
living room
Living room with window seat.
The wood burning stove; there is also central heating.
January 2014
kitchen table
main bedroom
front garden looking out to sea
dawn midsummer
From the twin bedroom there are views of the sea and the garden
This property is not available for these dates.
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Overview
Cottage -
3 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 5
Ballywalter, County Down, Northern Ireland

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 12 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Further_T...
Antrim, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
86 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 314 helpful votes
“Perfect For Young Children - Virtually Private Beach Access From Garden - NITB 4* Rating - Get It Booked!”
Reviewed July 14, 2013 for a stay in July 2013
4
people found this review helpful

Hi,

Travelling as a family of 5 with children from 5 years down to 3 months I had searched hard online to find suitable accommodation and eventually found Sandend, and what a find indeed! We had booked for July way back in Jan to secure the busy period in N Ireland during the 2 weeks holidays in mid July.

Located on the Eastern coast of the Ards Peninsula, approx 1.5 miles South of the coastal village of Ballywalter it is easily accessible from Belfast and the rest of the province with the peninsula itself offering much for tourists and day trippers alike.

The changeover over day is a Sat with what seems to be a minimum rental period of 7 days, although this suited us fine in July and its understandable that owners only rent for min 1 week at high season, I often find it strange that this is case locally and offers less flexibility when considering a property. If I were an owner and got an enquiry for perhaps 4 nights I would suggest the renter call me back 2 days in advance, and if still available, offer a slightly elevated rate to cover the standard cleaning costs. A partial booking is better that none.

Anyway, lets get onto the good stuff, with the combination of an unspoilt beach at your back door, 4 star tourist board rating, tasteful and well finished interior and a great base to explore the region this cottage offers an experience which would be hard to surpass anywhere within Europe.

Ideal for a family who love the water and avoiding the hassle of packing the car with all the beach paraphernalia it is ideal having simply to walk a few metres to the edge of the garden, be cautious as the steps are very steep, at the bottom just beyond the owners lobster pots you find a shallow sandy beach of sand with a few rocks scattered about. Perfect for the little ones with a sand bank not far out which offers some 'trapped' water on the outgoing tide which, if the big yellow ball appears becomes warm very quickly, great to splash about in.

At low tide a few rock pools are exposed which host crabs, sea anemones, and other shore creatures, excited children can spend hours searching, bring a net! Large gulls and terns also take advantage of low tide. Seals patrol the area on a daily basis and we had the good fortune of a large bull deciding to come and sit on the beach directly below the cottage where he proceeded to 'woo' a female who joined him slightly offshore, wonderful to witness. Even the friendly next door neighbour of 20+ years summer residence had never seen a seal beach so close.

A good tip is to print out the tide times prior to your visit and stick on the fridge, email me for a good website for this anytime. All manor of shells, mermaid's purses (small pods in which baby members of the shark family are born) and smooth stones litter the beach and make timeless keepsakes for your daughter's memories.

With all the talk of the beach above it is obvious that this is the jewel in Sandend's crown.

Moving onto the bungalow itself, it is smart, very clean, highly finished and has been designed to give a bright and airy ambience, neutral colours with coast / sea themed features all add to it's advantage. Mature gardens with a beautiful black summer seat below a tree in the more sheltered front garden also make the evenings a delight as the sun sets on the opposite side of the house from the ocean, so BBQ (included, just bring charcoal) in the evening, in the front garden.
There you will also find a picnic table and a hose to wash down sandy feet and wet suits avoiding sand in the house.

The fridge / freezer is large, the washing machine modern and the microwave ( although fully functional) requires the use of a stop watch if heating infant's bottles accurately as it has an analogue timer. No big deal. Unlike some rental properties it is not stripped of items such as cooking oil, salt / pepper with even some jam in the fridge and a few ice cubes left over. The larger utility knives could do with a good sharpen or replaced, again, no big deal. The bed linen is clean & fresh and enough toilet rolls provided for your arrival.

Double glazed and with a wood burning stove (ample logs beside the wooden garage) it offers year round booking, nice to watch the waves and toast your feet at the same time, sounds great!

The local town of Ballywalter is small and has a 'Mace' store for all your needs / short term provisions, a pharmacy is located on the right travelling from the cottage and the best fish n chips in town are to be had from the 'Country Kitchen', the diner next door, 'Coast' is a bit hap hazard, avoid.

For a larger shop there is a large Tesco Extra approx 12 miles away in Newtownards and Carol (the owner) informs me that some clients have the Tesco guys deliver to Sandend having booked in advance. Pier36 is a highly rated Trip Advisor restaurant just a few miles North in Donaghadee.

Should the weather become inclement then you have the option of the great aquarium in Portaferry a half hour drive South towards the tip of the peninsula or travel North to the brand new Aurora 50m swimming pool complex in Bangor, again less than 1 hours drive.

A car would be essential for this property I reckon and an important tip is that once you turn into the very narrow stone lane to the few cottages in this location (maybe 10 in total) then treat this lane as a clockwise one way system and exit from the other end, this is much safer as you have better visibility when joining a busy main coastal route.

Free unlimited WIFI at an average speed of 6mbps, not bad hey! Also has a reasonable phone signal being coastal

In conclusion this is one of the best ever rental properties I have enjoyed in the North of Ireland and indeed Northern Europe, Carol is very helpful with great communication throughout the booking.

The weekly cleaner does appear a little early upon your exit before 11am, normal arrival time of 4pm, earlier by arrangement.

Travel times:

Belfast International Airport - 40 miles, 1 Hour 10mins by Car

Belfast City (George Best) Airport - 21 miles 45mins

Dublin Airport - 120 miles, 2 Hours 20mins

Larne Port - 44 miles, 1 Hour 15mins

Giants Causeway, Bushmills - 80miles, 2 Hours

Cost per week in high season - £625 STG

NB: Due to elevated position not suitable for disabled access.

Ample free car parking in the drive for 2 cars with an additional 2 on the grass outside.

Normal refuge and recycling 'Blue' bins on site.

Some of my pics have been uploaded also.

If this review has 'Informed' your decision please tick the 'Was this review Helpful' box.

Many Thanks,

Les

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
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Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The Beach
Liked least: Blunt Knives
Traveling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Jul 16, 2013
Thank you
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MicheleMc...
Aiken, SC
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A little slice of Heaven”
Reviewed July 14, 2013 for a stay in April 2012
1
person found this review helpful

My family stayed here for two weeks over Easter break last year. This was definitely one of our best stays in our long career of vacationing. The cottage was beautiful and just the right size for our needs. The views from every room were spectacular and the location couldn't have been better. We were attending the World Championships for Irish dance in Belfast and it was just close enough to the chaos and far enough away to get a break. The Ards are a lovely area to explore and the walks on the beach were a perfect way to start and end the day. The owners were courteous and so very helpful. Would definitely stay here again if our travels take us back that way.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The coziness of the cottage.
Traveling group: Teenagers
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Jul 16, 2013
Thank you.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunoon, United Kingdom
Reviewed August 30, 2011 for a stay in April 2011
1
person found this review helpful

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Traveling group: Family with Teenagers
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Management Response
Jul 16, 2013
Thank you.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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Adults2
Children0
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