We are Claire, Steve and Lyra Golemboski-Byrne.

Lackan Cottage Farm is our off grid smallholding, and Birch Cottage is our way of sharing this lifestyle with you. We love creating a space where people feel at home, and guests are always welcome to take a look around and enjoy the space here. You’ll also find that our dog, horses, cats and chickens are keen to meet you as well. We made Birch Cottage a place that we would want to spend time, so everything about it is made by us, or local craftspeople, and it all has a story to tell. If you want to know more we are always happy to help.

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The best of local crafts

We are fortunate to have incredibly talented and creative craftspeople living and working in County Down, and in particular around here in the Mournes. Combine craft with some great food, and you have some of our favourite places to visit around the Mourne Mountains. Here are our favourites.

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The best mountain bike trails in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has become a top destination for mountain bike enthusiasts, following the development of some world class trails in Rostrevor, and Castlewellan Forest Park, as well as in nearby Tollymore Forest Park. All of which are just a short drive from Birch Eco Cottage.

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The Mourne Mountains

The Mourne Mountains are one of Northern Ireland's many Areas of Outstanding Natural beauty, and we think, the most beautiful. This unique landscape has it all as the Mourne's 'sweep down to the sea' as Percy French famously said. Here are our favourite places to...

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Birch Cottage on TV

Today we had the pleasure of welcoming the crew from Animo TV, and presenter (and architect) Hugh Wallace, as part of filming for a new RTE series about restoring old buildings. One of the restorations they are following is a cottage similar to ours, and so they came along to find out how we’d turned Birch Cottage and Lackan Cottage into comfortable, unique homes that use the best of modern technology and traditional materials. 

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Beyond the wall – amazing Mourne scenery

ust like Game of Thrones, we have a wall here in the Mournes, and its just as epic. Take a look at this stunning timelapse video made in the mountains. We may be biased but Birch Cottage is undoubtedly in the most beautiful part of Northern Ireland.

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Birch Cottage at the heart of green tourism in County Down

One of the things that makes Birch Eco Cottage unique is that it is powered entirely by renewable energy on site, and is totally off-grid. We use a combination of solar panels and wind to charge batteries that ensure that there is always power when we need it.  The super efficient building is heated just with the power of the sun, and a little woodburner – if you want to know where the wood fuel comes from you only need to look out of the window. 

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Surrounded by trees

Lowering the ecological impact of Birch Cottage doesn’t only involve the cottage itself. Around these parts we’re not blessed with great public transport, and so for the majority of visitors, getting here by car is the only option (although we have had people arrive here who have cycled from the USA (with occasional boat trips), and hitched from as far away as Austria). We also realise that many people will have flown into the country to get here. The solution? We offset the carbon emissions generated by planting a tree or trees for every visitor.

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