The story of Devlin Farm Life is one of warm hearted and genuine people who truly love their lifestyle on a small farm along the Wild Atlantic Way and want to share it with visitors to their cosy self-catering cottage.
Veronica Mannion, her husband Richard and two teenage children farm traditional Mayo Blackface sheep with the help of two border collies Rocco and Toby. It’s a sustainable and eco-friendly farm; the Mannions are committed to living lightly. Their own house is geo-thermal and has solar panels. They recycle, compost waste and grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs.
On arrival guests receive a generous welcome pack including freshly baked scones, homemade jam and free-range eggs. The windows look west to mesmerising views of a beach and the ever-changing Atlantic Ocean. Sea swimmers will love the local safe, sandy beaches – Barnabaun and Killadoon beach are a ten-minute walk, a short drive brings you to Cross and Thallabawn. Walkers can literally start at the door, a 20-minute hike up Killadoon Hill rewards you with glorious views, famine fields and fairy forts.
Visitors are welcome to check out farm life for themselves and bottle-feeding pet lambs in springtime is the highlight of the holiday for many.
Devlin House is a detached property on the same site as the farmhouse and has been carefully designed and decorated to a very high standard. On arrival guests receive a generous welcome pack including freshly baked scones, homemade jam and free-range eggs. West facing picture windows frame mesmerising views of a beach and the ever-changing Atlantic Ocean.
It sleeps up to five people in two bedrooms. The master bedroom features a king size bed and a walk-in wardrobe. A double and a single bed in the second bedroom complete the sleeping accommodation and a travel cot is available if needed, at no extra charge. The cottage is wheelchair friendly and has an accessible bathroom with a walk-in shower and handrail. A shower chair is available on request (no charge). Fresh linens and ample towels are supplied.
The open plan creates a comfortable space, ideal for working, dining and relaxing. The kitchen is very well supplied with cooking pans and utensils as well as cutlery and crockery. It’s ready for any chef to hit the ground running.
The comfortable living area centres around the fireplace, the traditional heart of any house. Devlin House is snug and warm in any weather with a cosy wood burning stove as well as oil-fired heating. The stove has a back boiler and fuel is supplied as needed. A Smart TV and free high-speed WiFi ensure everyone has the entertainment they need whenever they need it.
It is fitted with energy saving lights throughout and is equipped with a fire blanket, fire extinguisher, fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to cover any emergency.
Veronica keeps the cottage in excellent condition and acts on feedback from guests whenever possible. She likes to add something new every year to make it a real home-from-home for her visitors.
No stairs in the house
Free parking space
Smart-TV- Netflix- Google-Free to air
High Speed Internet – WiFi
Portable Wi-Fi router
A place intended for work
Walk-in shower + handrail(Wheelchair friendly)
Shower chair available
Soap/ shampoo/ conditioner/ shower gel
Heating and cooling
Oil Heating system
Back boiler Fireplace
Solid fuel open fire
24 hour heating system
Boiler system- hold hot water
Richard Mannion runs a small hill farm where he breeds traditional Mayo Blackface sheep, using the same blood lines his grandfather developed in 1925. Close to his heels at any time of day or night are his two border collies, Rocco and Toby who are both essential working dogs and much loved pets. As an ex-scientist, Richard brings a combination of scientific skills and inherited farming know-how to managing his beloved flock.
A chattering flock of free range hens wander around the property, scratching and pecking contentedly in search of seeds and insects. Collecting their warm, brown eggs daily is a popular chore with younger visitors.
In springtime the fields close to the farmhouse are filled with wide-eyed baby lambs, leaping and bouncing for joy as they discover their new world and new friends. Some are pets, who for one reason or another aren’t being fed by their mother and need regular bottle feeding. Taking a turn at feeding these snow white lambs is often a highlight of the holiday for guests at Devlin House and an extra pair of hands is always welcome.
At any time of year farm life is busy with the sheep and managing the land itself. This is challenging hill territory, exposed to the Atlantic and the Mayo Blackface sheep are ideally suited to it. Small, agile and tough they thrive in these conditions. The sheep run free on the hillside commonage shared with other farmers but Richard always knows his own flock. They follow the paths their ancestors trod, always heading for the top of the hill where Richard’s grandfather chose the dryer land for his flock a hundred years ago. That’s living tradition.
For more information about sheep you might like to read this informative blog Veronica wrote.
Our location is very rural, but don’t be fooled into thinking there’s nothing to do. Devlin Farm Life is a superb base for all sorts of activities and for touring. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Walking / Hiking Climbing /
If you’re a fan of the great outdoors with a passion for any type of walking, then Devlin Farm Life is pretty perfect for you. We’ve got some walks that literally start at the door of the cottage and others which are a short drive away.
Always remember that the West of Ireland weather can be unpredictable at any time of year. We’d always advise wearing appropriate footwear and suitable clothing. On any longer walks, a rucksack with essential supplies is a really good idea – waterproofs, warm layers, snacks and water.
- Killeen Loop Walks are beautiful, looped walks that wind around the little village of Killeen which is less than five minutes’ drive away. There are two easy walks, one 6.5km and the other just over 7km long. Both are waymarked and on country lanes and paths.
- Our most local walk is Killadoon Hill which you can start a five minute walk from the cottage door. It’s a short but challenging climb and the spectacular panoramic views from the top make it well worthwhile. It’s also rich in heritage and folklore.
- Just a twenty-minute drive from our farm stands iconic Croagh Patrick with its sharply defined triangular shape. Known locally as ‘the reek’, this mountain has been a place of pilgrimage for Christians for thousands of years. The main pilgrimage days are the last Sunday in July and the 15th of August. Masses are held on pilgrimage days in the little white church perched on top. It’s a popular climb all year round and some endurance events include it in their route. The view from the top is magnificent taking in all of Clew Bay and the reputed 365 islands. There’s a convenient carpark at the bottom and a couple of local pubs for food and refreshments afterwards. Don’t underestimate this climb, it’s popular but it is challenging and the terrain is very uneven. Wear good boots and bring supplies.
- Take a few minutes to visit lovely Murrisk Abbey just across the road and the poignant National Famine Memorial opposite Croagh Patrick carpark.
- For more experienced climbers, Connacht’s highest mountain Mweelrea is one to tick off the list. It’s not a particularly difficult climb but it must be treated with respect and in poor visibility good navigational skills are essential. It is only suitable for experienced hillwalkers or as part of a guided group. It can be tackled along several routes, the most popular from the southern end of Doolough over the hill to Delphi Mountain Resort which is a full day hike.
- For those interested in cultural history, a visit to ‘The Lost Valley and the guided 3 hour walking trail is a must. Following a green road through a working sheep and cattle farm to a deserted famine village, it’s a trip through time and into another world. Guided by Gerard and Maureen Bourke, the valley comes to life and the experience will stay with you long after you return home. Pre-booking is essential.
Our small, scenic roads are popular with cyclists and we often see club cycles passing by. Any of the driving routes mentioned below are suitable for cycling as well. Bikes can be hired in Westport and Louisburgh has electric bikes for hire. For a different day out try the recently launched Clew Bay Cycling Trail which takes in two islands and two ferry journeys on a very different day out indeed. It’s over 80km cycling though, so be warned, it’s not for the fainthearted.
Devlin Farm Life is in Mayo but just the other side of Killary Fjord is the famed rugged landscape of Connemara. We would highly recommend a day touring around Connemara at any time of year.
No matter where you decide to go in Connemara (Kylemore Abbey, Connemara National Park, Renvyle, Clifden, Roundstone, the Twelve Bens …) you will begin by following one of the loveliest routes in Ireland. The meandering road through the Doolough valley passing beneath the towering mountains of Mweelrea, Sheaffrey and Bengorm with the brooding dark lake alongside the road is truly breath-taking. The road brings you along the Killary Fjord (the only fjord outside Norway) looking across towards the rustic mountain landscape that is Connemara. Past Aashleigh Falls (a lovely stop with a convenient carpark), take a right turn to tiny Leenane Village and the head of the fjord. All of magical, moody, magnificent Connemara now opens out for you. It’s going to be a wonderful day.
Take to the sea
If swimming, dipping a toe in the water or just walking on a sandy beach is your idea of fun then you’ll find yourself in heaven here. We have a choice of glorious sandy beaches which you may well have entirely to yourself. You definitely won’t find crowds. Here are some of our favourites:
- Killadoon Beach is just a short walk from Devlin Farm Life. The long sandy strand makes it just the ticket for walking and swimming – it’s close enough for a fresh morning dip or a lovely way to finish off your evening as the sun goes down on another glorious day. Sandcastle architects will find their mecca here too.
- Cross Beach is a ten minute drive. This is another fabulous golden beach which stretches for 5km. On the way to Cross Beach make sure to drop in to see the historic and unusual Clapper Bridge which is part of the Clew Bay Archaeological Trail.
- Silver Strand must be one of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland. It is a secluded beach 4km south-west of Devlin Farm Life along the R378. It boasts magnificent views of Inishturk island and further south, Inishbofin and Clare Island to the north.
- Carrowniskey Strand The vast stretch of sand and impressive surfing waves at Carrowniskey have made this beach famous. Surfers are in action any day of the year that the waves look good (which is most of them). It’s great for bodyboarding too, if you’re slightly less brave. Bring your own surfboard or rent one at the beach. Lessons are also available. The annual Carrowniskey Race Festival adds a very different complexion to the beach each summer as prancing horses and jockeys in bright silks take over the beach. It’s a fascinating day out for the local community and visitors alike.
Whether you’re a beginner looking for an introductory surfing session or a surfer who is in need of some professional guidance, SurfMayo is the perfect surf school for you. One of Irelands leading surf schools for over two decades and is located on Carrowniskey beach. It’s open seven days a week in summer.
SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding)
Supping is fun for all the family. It’s easy to learn and everyone can get involved no matter what age they are. Summer SUP and Kayak offer both rental and lessons at Old Head beach near Louisburgh. Go on, give it a go.
Summer SUP and Kayak also offer kayak rental and lessons at Old Head beach. It’s fun and exhilarating.
The big island at the mouth of Clew Bay which is visible from everywhere around here, is Clare Island. If you’d like to visit it, ferries run daily from Roonagh Pier which is about ten minutes drive from Devlin Farm Life. Depending on which ferry you take, the journey is 15-25 minutes. It’s very scenic and if you’re lucky you’ll even see dolphins. Clare Island has lots to see on a daytrip – nice sandy beach, a castle once as stronghold of Granuaile and an amazing abbey with medieval wall paintings. It’s a lovely place to walk and the small road to the lighthouse at the north end of the island is spectacular. You’ll find great food at both the Sailors Bar and the Community Centre so you won’t go hungry (or thirsty) on your visit.
A little further out is the smaller island of Inishturk which you can also reach by a slightly longer (40 minute) ferry journey from Roonagh.
Louisburgh (10km/15 minute drive)
Louisburgh is our local town, it’s a quaint town located on the Bunowen River on the southwest coast corner of Clew Bay. It’s full of character and retains many attractive 18th century features in style and scale. Louisburgh has a really wonderful location in an area of immense natural beauty with Croagh Patrick to the east, the Atlantic to the west, the Sheaffrey Hills and Mweelrea to the south and Clew Bay to the north.
It’s a charming spot with shops, pubs, chemist, hairdresser, church, and some lovely places to eat, including some of our favourites – Louisburgh 74, Tia, Seven Wanders Cafe and Good Grazing for a takeaway.
Don’t miss the Granuaile Interpretive Centre in the town, where you can learn all about the famous pirate queen, Grace O’Malley. This centre is based in the Old Protestant church and is attached to the library. Louisburgh is also home to the innovative community bookshop Books At One.
Westport town (30km/30 minute drive)
Bustling, vibrant Westport town is an absolute ‘must’ for visitors. It’s a popular tourist destination packed to overflowing with award-winning cafes, restaurants and pubs. Justly famous for cultural activities it has an excellent Town Hall Theatre and live music at many pubs. Designated as a heritage town it is one of the few planned towns in Ireland and is visually delightful. Activities in Westport include deep-sea fishing, golf, horse-riding, and many leisure centres in the town. The ‘big house’ of the area is Westport House located between the town and The Quay. The grounds are open to the public (no charge) and there’s also a fun family adventure centre.
Devlin Farm Life 2023 Rates
March- Opening from 1st
March – €150.00 per night
April – €150.00
May – €150.00
June – €150.00
July – €150.00
August – €150.00
September – €150.00
October – €150.00
November – €150.00
December 1 – 16th – €150.00
December 17 – 8th Jan – €150.00