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If you dream of a truly off-grid experience, with mountains, woodland and seaside all just moments away, Lackan Cottage Farm is the eco haven you're seeking.

Lackan Cottage Farm is the creation of Steve and Claire, who dreamed of developing their own off-grid sustainable smallholding in stunning County Down. Today, you too can experience a taste of their life, courtesy of their fabulous upcycled horsebox and the beautiful Birch Cottage.

Imagine waking to the sound of birdsong, of stepping outside for that first deep breath of crisp fresh air, and of looking across to the majestic Mourne Mountains. Picture walking through private woodland as the sun rises through the trees before heading back for a hearty breakfast courtesy of the free-range hens. And imagine leaving with an unbeatable insight into off-grid life, helping shape the way you live back home. Whichever abode you choose, you're guaranteed all of this at Lackan Cottage Farm.

How many people look at a horse box and see off-grid living potential? That's exactly what Steve and Claire did, turning this incredible space into their temporary home before they found their dream smallholding. Nowadays, it's their lucky guests who get to experience this wonderfully cosy, ingeniously upcycled bolthole - a surprisingly spacious and homely spot for two!

Everything you could possibly need has been cleverly worked into this former vehicle - including a large kitchen and dining area (complete with a full-size gas cooker and cool box), a warm and cosy snug kept toasty by a Stanley wood-burning stove, and a super sweet box bed with breath-taking views of the mountains. There's even space for a handy lobby area and a shower room - you probably weren't expecting that!

From the solar panels and composting loo outside to the walls clad with reclaimed, non-toxic timbers inside, everything about the horse box shows that an off-grid life doesn't mean a compromise of comforts. Hand-crafted art in willow and wood add lovely homely touches, while outside, you're treated to your own herb garden and a private decking area, complete with seating and a chiminea for long evenings under the stars.

For something a little more conventional but no less eco-friendly, there's the award-winning Birch Cottage - the only off-grid cottage in Northern Ireland. Dating back to the 1840s, it's since been ingeniously renovated into a wonderfully green and wonderfully welcoming holiday retreat for couples seeking the tranquillity it offers.

On one side of Birch Cottage, you'll find private woodland, marshland and heather, while the other side offers spectacular views of the Mournes. It's a place to truly engage with nature, whether you're spotting the variety of native birdlife in the trees or meeting Lackan Cottage Farm's resident horses in the nearby field!

Thanks to solar and wind power, as well as a wood-burning stove and solar hot water (for the luxurious underfloor heating!), Birch Cottage is completely carbon neutral. You'll find reclaimed timbers used throughout the hand-built kitchen, the light and airy living area, the spacious bathroom and the peaceful bedroom (which can be configured as a super-king or twin room). Admire the unique upcycled furniture made by your hosts, their friends and local craftspeople - and maybe buy a piece yourself! And indulge in the added bonuses of organic cotton bed linen and towels, a handy drying room and fresh organic produce available to purchase.

Just a 20-minute drive from your rural location is the lovely seaside resort of Newcastle, where a host of excellent eateries and the award-winning promenade await. You're also well placed for Tollymore Forest Park (a film location for Game of Thrones!) and Castlewellan Forest Park - a must for its excellent bike trails and famous maze! Be sure to visit the beautiful Silent Valley during your stay, too - a sight to truly take your breath away.

Peace, tranquillity and simple living - and all without leaving the best bits of home behind. What's not to love about Lackan Cottage Farm?

Things to note

Check in is from 4pm and check out time is 11am. Not suitable for children and no pets are permitted to stay. No smoking policy and vaping also not permitted inside the property.

Tried and tested

"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!"

"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!"

"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 cosy 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."

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The basics

Region: Mourne Mountains, County Down
Cost (from): £55 per night
Sleeps: 2 per unit
Bedrooms: 1 per unit
Bathrooms: 1 per unit
Minimum stay: 2 nights
Property ref: 742

Facilities

Horsebox sleeps 2, super-king size double box bed, bedding & towels provided, private shower room, well-equipped kitchen/diner, full size gas cooker, storage, wood burning stove, gas heater, outdoor table & seating, chiminea.

Birch Cottage sleeps 2, super king size bed/ 2 single beds, bedding & towels provided, underfloor heating, solar & wind power, private bathroom, wood burning stove, firewood supply, welcome pack, tea, coffee, sugar, fresh eggs, drying room, washing machine, dryer, WiFi on request, bike store.

Local activities

Wildlife park, transport museum, walking, cycling, horse riding, Game of Thrones film locations, mountaineering, hedge mazes, e-bikes, canoeing.

At a glance

  • Peaceful and unique off-grid self-catering in the Mourne Mountains, Co. Down
  • Choose from:
    • Off-grid upcycled horse box: Sleeps 2
    • Off-grid Birch Cottage: Sleeps 2 (super king or twin)
  • Experience life on an organic smallholding in stunning landscape
  • Private birch woodland, outstanding mountain views and tranquil surroundings
  • Ideal for walking and cycling in Mournes, and Tollymore and Castlewellan Forest Parks
  • Newcastle beach: 20-min drive
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