Help us in the garden, DIY and restoration projects on a 200 year-old lake-side rectory in Co. Cavan, Ireland

  • Ireland
  • Favourited 110 times
  • Last activity: 01/02/2023



 Min stay requested: at least a week



  • Description


    Hi we are David and Sabina, our kids have grown and flown the nest and we decided it is time for a new adventure. So late last year we sold our slick, modern house in the city and bought a 200 year-old lake-side rectory on 8 acres. We've spent the first half of this year renovating/decorating the house and now we are turning our attention to the gorgeous, but a little overgrown grounds.

    We're not afraid of hard work and we are currently trying to give various projects the attention they need whilst meeting the demands of full-time jobs. David works outside the home and since lockdown has lifted has had to travel a lot both nationally and internationally. Sabina used to travel a lot but now is working remotely most of the time with occasional travel. Sabina is a health psychologist, neuroscientist, author, podcaster and motivational speaker. We share our beautiful home with our three rescue dogs Dizzy, Daisy and Scruffy and a new puppy on the way. It is vital that you love dogs. When Dave & I have to travel we will need you to walk, feed and smother them with love and cuddles.

    You will have your own bedroom with en-suite shower room. While we will consider people travelling alone there is just one double bed so at the moment our preference is for a couple or friends who don't mind sharing.

    We are loving our new home and wake up each morning marvelling at the amazing views and wondering whether we are going to wake from this amazing dream but no - we are actually living the dream

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Happy to help with English. Our home is more than 200 years old, steeped in history and synonymous with the history of the area and indeed Ireland during some troubled times.

    The gardens which extend over 8 acres are a combination of formal gardens, woodland and wilded areas. There is an incredible array of trees, shrubs and plants. Trees range from stunning traditional trees such as oak, horse chestnut, sycamore and copper beech planted when the house was first built in 1819 to an incredible mix of rare and unusual trees, many from Asia strategically planted by a previous owner. Renowned garden designer Daphne Shackleton designed the formal areas of the gardens approximately 20 years ago. Around that time the former owner also reinstated pathways throughout the grounds including a 400 metre walk along the lake from which the house takes its name.
    The Azaleas are a sight to behold throughout May. The gardens are a prime example of biodiversity attracting butterflies and bees in abundance. There is incredible biodiversity and wildlife, with foxes, hedgehogs, badgers, minks and otters living on the land. The house is a bird lovers paradise - We have the largest rookery in the county with a mix of corvids and a substantial heronry with 30 to 40 herons living and breeding here from January to September.

    Then there is the lake itself which is wonderful for lovers of water sports. We provide kayaks but the lake is used for skiing, wakeboarding, boating etc. The lake is 3.5 kilometres long and you will never tire of it. The lake is renowned for coarse fishing.

    We are walking distance (2k) from the town of Shercock which is a vibrant, friendly small town (more like a village), with several pubs, shops, hairdresser, hardware, garage and a cafe. There is a regular bus service from Shercock to Dublin which takes just over an hour that serves commuters (to Dublin early morning / to Shercock early evening)

    We are located equidistant (12k) from three large towns with large supermarkets like Aldi, Lidl, Tesco Super Value etc. restaurants, pubs and other nightlife.

    Cavan is replete with national parks including the Cavan Burren with its unique flora and fauna. Co Cavan is Ireland's lake district with a lake for every day of the year - 365 lakes - Co Cavan is located in Ulster and is very close to the border with northern Ireland giving visitors the opportunity to explore that culture also.

    Sabina is a health psychologist, neuroscientist and Irish Times No 1 best-selling author - and is more than happy to share her knowledge and expertise in that area if it is of interest to work aways.

  • Help


    We are looking for help with gardening, deck-building, restoration and general housework. Sabina will be writing her next book from October to April and will be fully focused on that so we will really welcome help with day-to-day housework, chores, laundry, doggy stuff and cooking, if it's your thing.

    Gardening will include: clearing brush, saplings and undergrowth, thinning woodland, trimming hedges, weeding, spraying, mowing, chipping wood, spreading mulch, pruning etc.

    Specific projects we hope to complete in 2023 include:

    Building 2 decks - one for yoga and one for watching the sunset.

    Laying a circular patio with small wall

    Building a gazebo

    Restoring, repointing, re-roofing some out houses

    Artists - to paint murals

    Sculptors / woodworkers - to turn an ugly very large tree stump into something arty

    Housework - we have a lovely easy-to-clean home - helping us to keep it that way, hoovering, dusting, washing floors etc.

    There will be other creative projects around the house, out buildings and gardens and we are very open to suggestions if you have specific skills or ideas..

    If your skillsets match Sabina would welcome help with podcast editing and social media posts / promotion.

    General maintenance around the house and grounds.

    We may occasionally need someone to dog sit should we both have to be away at the same time

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Workawayers will stay in a bedroom with own shower room in our home but ultimately we hope to provide accommodation in the newly refurbished coachhouse on the property

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Cavan is a county with a lake for every day of the year, or so the saying goes.

    Explore the ancient sites of the Breffni County. Turn back time on a trip to Cavan Burren Park, where you’ll find unique megalithic tombs and later, stop off at Cavan County Museum to learn about days gone by.

    Travel to picturesque parks and take on vast walking trails, check out Cavan’s hidden treasures now.

    The locals are incredibly friendly and welcoming with plenty of pubs in every town.

    Gaelic sports are a big thing in Cavan you can go watch the local teams play or join a local team depending on the duration of your stay.

    In our nearby towns there are lots of social events where you can meet people and learn how to jive country style in the process, or learn about biodiversity for example.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    Yes. We have fibre broadband which is a type of high-speed broadband. It uses fibre optic cables, which are better at transferring data than standard copper cables. It's the fastest and most reliable broadband in Ireland. Suitable for working from home but also suitable for online gaming and streaming movies and music. However, Sabina hosts a podcast and also speaks at corporate wellness events online so it would be important that heavy duty streaming or gaming wouldn't occur during these times.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We have a large yard at the back of the house - we would need to check that the entrance is wide enough for your particular motor home to gain access.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    25 hours per week

Host ref number: 553364927397

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