We were very pleased with the accommodation here and were reluctant to leave. Clachan means small village or gathering, these cottages are not old but were designed to reflect traditional settlements of this area.The cottages are located in the grounds of An Creagan a nature reserve that allows its visitors a delightful glimpse into a bygone way of rural life. They offer eight cottages comprising three, two, and one bedroom accommodation; all have working fireplaces and are centrally heated. There is a well-equipped kitchen and the properties are sparkling clean and devoid of damp.Our two story one bedroom was just right for our needs and I loved the traditional red half door, every morning on my way to the kitchen I opened the door for a weather check, I felt like a child playing house, it was enchanting.Washing up was no chore because the view from the kitchen window overlooked the woods, magpies and goldfinches abounded and one morning I saw I sleek red fox dart across the path.
The living area was dominated by a cozy fireplace flanked by two comfortable armchairs, when we returned each evening Neil made up a turf fire while I poured the wine and rustled up a meal.To the left of the fireplace was a Cult-Tighe (cultyee) known as the bed outshot, traditional architecture of the sperrins. An extension at the rear of the house along the gable wall forms an enclosure just big enough for a bed that serves as a seat by day and single bed at night pregnant women used this during the latter stages of their confinement.The dining table positioned in front of glass double doors proved a magnet during meals and journal writing; a great expanse of gorse, heather, forest, and the Sperrins in the distance beckoned us outdoors. Fat juicy blackberries were still profuse and on one of our hikes I picked enough for a delicious crumble, no stinting with cream and butter, delicious!The second floor had a large bedroom with double bed, iron/ board and loads of cupboards, my only complaint concerned the mattress which was covered in vile heavy blue plastic, great for the incontinent and young children but acts like a sauna during sleep sucking the life out of post menopausal bodies, however, John assured me the mattresses are all being replaced in November.The bathroom was always lovely and warm with a shower bathtub combination. TV with a choice of four channels and phone was also included.
This place is great as a base and would suit most travelers, however, a car is necessary and if you like to walk to village pubs this is not the place. There is a small grocery store within a five-minute walk and it is open until 9pm. Hiking trails are clearly marked and bicycles are available free to guests they include Helmet, maps and rain cover.
October 30, 2006
From journal Out And About In County Tyrone