Environmentally friendly, off grid accommodation
Birch cottage – low impact living
Birch Cottage sits at the centre of Lackan Cottage Farm, the home of Steve, Claire and Lyra Golemboski-Byrne and a six and a half acre organic smallholding in the heart of the South Down countryside. Here we grow our own vegetables, fruit and herbs, keep chickens and ducks for eggs, generate all our own electricity, and grow wood fuel for heating. and cooking. Our wish is to share the experience of that lifestyle with as many people as possible, and Birch cottage self catering is an opportunity to do just that.
Here at the farm our ethos is one of living lightly on the land, and taking responsibility for our energy, waste, water and fuel. A stay in Birch Cottage is a chance to unwind, sample that lifestyle, and so we ask that guests respect the ethos of the project during their stay here.
We welcome visitors from across the world to help us and learn about off grid living, and we also run courses that include woodturning, basket making, spoon carving and permaculture. The land includes several acres of birch woodland, an orchard and vegetable gardens. Guests are welcome to enjoy the woodland, visit the gardens and we offer a range of seasonal produce that is always guaranteed to be fresh.
What we offer
Sleeps 2 adults– 1 super-king or 2 singles – bedding & towels included
Off grid – powered by solar and wind
Close to forest parks, Mournes and the sea
Welcome pack of tea, coffee, sugar, fresh eggs and seasonal veg
Woodburning stove – sufficient firewood provided for your stay.
Wifi on request
Fresh organic produce available to purchase
Secure bike store, discounted bike hire
Drying room, washing machine, dryer
Smoking – Smoking is not permitted on the premises.
Pets – We regret that we cannot accommodate pets at this time.
Children – Birch Cottage is suitable accommodation for 2 adults only. We cannot accommodate children.
Off road parking is available immediately adjacent to the cottage. Birch cottage is originally an old building of limited size and is therefore not suitable for wheelchair users. Trained assistance dogs are welcome, but please notify us at the time of booking.
From £55 per night, plus a one off £15 cleaning fee per booking.
10% discount for 5+ nights.
Sufficient firewood, kindling, and firelighters are provided for the duration of your stay. Should you wish to purchase additional firewood, it is available at the rate of £5 per basket. Kindling is available for £1 per bundle.
Fruit, vegetables and eggs
Selected seasonal produce is available, and will be listed daily at the main house. Prices subject to availability.
Refundable housekeeping bond
A refundable good housekeeping bond of £75 is also payable at the time of booking, which will be refunded within 7 days of the end of your stay, if the cottage is left clean and tidy. An inventory is provided for the cottage.
Deposit and balance payments
A minimum of 25% of the total amount due can be paid to secure your booking, with the balance due no later than 28 days prior to the commencement of your stay. Payments should be made online using a credit or debit card.
Cancellations In the event that you have to cancel your booking more than 28 days before commencement, we will refund 50% of your deposit. No refunds will be given for cancellations within 28 days or less of the commencement of your booking.
For full details of our terms and conditions please click here
History of Birch Cottage
The cottage was originally built in the early 1800’s, and we know little of it’s early life – only that in the 1950’s it was significantly repaired, and that a brother and his family lived in it for a number of years – several children were raised in it. Facilities were basic – a range cooker and no bathroom or inside running water. Needless to say we have improved things significantly.
In updating the cottage we have used local, natural materials where possible, and avoided any that use potentially harmful chemicals. The cottage is heavily insulated with woodfibre and sheep’s wool and uses an intelligent recycled paper climate control membrane, and lime plaster to maintain a healthy internal environment. Element such as the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom cupboards are hand made from local timbers, and treated with non-toxic, food safe oils.
The cottage is powered entirely from our own solar pv and wind turbine installation, and we are entirely off grid for electricity, so ask guests to respect this in their usage. Hot water and heating are provided by solar thermal panels, and a small woodburner, that also has a hotplate for a kettle or slow cooker. No other boiler is needed – the cottage is carbon neutral in use.
Opposite the cottage you will find our own birch woodland, in which you are welcome to walk and relax. You’ll find the horses grazing in the field outside, and they are always pleased to say hello to visitors. The vegetable garden is open to visitors, and we make a selection of seasonal fruit, vegetables, eggs and meat available to guests.