Our publisher Paul Congdon was thrilled to enjoy a beautiful retreat in Kerry recently, courtesy of the amazing folks at Stay YNA. He shared the whole story in our Autumn 2019 issue – to hear all about it, just read on. The full magazine is available through your local stockist, or you can subscribe online here.
Home is Where Kerry is
By Paul Congdon
Peace is the theme of this issue – a beautiful feeling available to all humans, yet one we tend to feel in a heightened way when we are in a conducive environment like a retreat, a walk in nature, meditating or swimming in the sea. It’s nice if you can generate peace on the inside, so that it’s available to you no matter where you are but, for now, I take a break and head away.
If staying in Ireland, Kerry is my place of harmony. This is a love letter to Kerry and begins in March of this year, when the lovely people at Stay YNA invited me to stay in one of their luxury houses in the wilds of Ballyferriter, Co. Kerry.
I arrived to one of the most luxurious houses I’ve ever seen, furnished with all- natural materials, boasting a stunning view and a welcome pack of home made bread and brownies. The living room had a wood-burning stove for those rainy hours when you just want to kick back, read a book and while away your holiday in peace. Each bedroom had its own unique style and more sweet views. There is something about this area…no wonder the Stars Wars people felt that the force was here with its wonderful beaches Beal Ban, Wine strand, Ventry (check out the view from Quinn’s pub) Coumeenole where Ryan’s Daughter was made.
When you feel like a bit of a buzz, head into the lovely hum of Dingle. A spin in is about 10 mins by car. The scenery everywhere you go is breathtaking and the drive into Dingle has a different feel each time you look, with the colours always changing and the bay opening up before you. With great restaurants and pubs, the vibe in the town is so special. One pub that stood out is Kennedys, an entirely candlelit pub. The live music in the area is so eclectic too – check out singer Muireann and the fiddle player Jeremy Spencer, to name but two. A shout out to some cool veggie /vegan spots in the town; Boy Blue, The Pantri, and the lovely Thyme Out Cafe which is connected to the health store Re Nua. Top class food and service from all and such a welcoming vibe. Back home to the house for a bit of stove-action with my book, followed by some yoga and I felt suitably recharged.
My mum and dad popped down from Dublin on the free train and we ended up in a lovely pub in Ballyferriter where the locals all speak as gaeilge and they regaled us with some stories about the filming of Star Wars and Ryan’s Daughter.
Swimming in the sea, lunching in Dingle, meditating, reading, and the odd glass of something when the mood took me…after a few days I had that peace both outside and inside and as you all know it feels so good.
If you feel a retreat coming on, we have it here on our home soil and no better place than Kerry. The chaps in Stay YNA will look after you. Tell them we sent you.
Paul stayed in Ballyferriter courtesy of stayyna.com.
They offer luxurious holiday homes in Dingle, Spain and France.