Former BBC correspondent’s Westport home vista makes for addictive viewing

British channel’s ex-science reporter Tracey Logan has relished getting back to her roots

Asking price: €649.000

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Crowley (098) 29009

​As a BBC science correspondent, Tracey Logan has travelled the world, reporting on climate change and nature for radio and TV.

She recently returned from a stint at a polar research station in the Antarctic, but nothing has impressed Logan more than the view from her stone-faced home in Rosmindle near Westport, Co Mayo.

Tracey and her husband, financier Richard Swagrzak, live mostly in central London. The couple had long dreamt of buying a traditional Irish cottage as a holiday home in the area — Logan’s grandfather was born in Westport and she still has relatives in the area.

One day by accident, they stumbled upon a four-bedroom house with Lacken stone-cladding on 1.09 acres, overlooking Clew Bay. “It’s a three-mile drive off the main Westport to Newport Road, and you’re going through these narrow rural roads,” says Logan.

“Suddenly the road widens and you come to this house, and when you look out to sea, the view just takes your breath away. It looks towards Clare Island and the next stop is Newfoundland. It’s a big, sweeping, grand vista that still takes our breath away.”

Built by a local engineer in 2003, the couple bought the house in 2011. They refurbished and remodelled it in the following two years, with the help of local architect Cuala McGann, attempting to keep its character in the process.

There’s a Nordic minimalist feel inside, with floor to ceiling windows, white walls and pine floors.

“For the exterior, we wanted a colour that blended in with the Lacken stone, so the front windows and doors are painted in sage. At the back, we used a Tegral finish,” says Logan.

The exterior of the property

A modern extension meant a much larger kitchen, and bespoke cream and wood units were installed. Multi-coloured shelves designed by Joachim Rumpf of Fine Cut were added, along with a glass splashback by Linda Grieve, inspired by the view of Clew Bay.

There’s a utility room off the kitchen, which opens to a south-facing terrace at the side of the house.

“We love to sit there and have breakfast whilst listening to the birdsong in the summer,” says Swagrzak.

Given that it’s on the edge of the Atlantic coast and subject to the elements, insulating the house was a priority. At the same time, they sought to retain its Lacken stone exterior.

“Our plan was to make the house sustainable and low energy, so we insulated it within an inch of its life inside,” says environmentalist Logan.

“The ceiling was also insulated and heating was added under the floors to up the energy rating to a B2. In addition, we added triple glazed windows. It’s really very cosy, even in the depths of winter.”

Rosmindle and its views over Clew Bay

There are four bedrooms, two of which share a Jack and Jill bathroom downstairs. The other two are upstairs, both en suite. There’s also a door on the landing that leads to a large, decked terrace and from here you can see Clare Island.

They hired a local landscaper to drain the surrounding land, which is glacial soil. The garden, which Swagrzak is most proud of, was then landscaped.

“We thought very carefully about what we would do with it,” he says. It has paths, also made of Lacken stone, and was purposely designed with hidden features, such as little tree-lined mini avenues, a hidden soft fruit garden and a secret orchard, as well as a spiral staircase from the terrace and a granite garden seat.

The couple were inspired by Edwardian wilderness gardens to plant a wildflower garden. “It’s low maintenance and really beautiful, as well as being good for biodiversity,” says Logan. “The wildflowers come up in spectacular blocks of colour at different times throughout the summer.”

A bright, airy reception

They’ve added a detached garage, big enough to fit a boat, as they’ve taken up sailing.

“When we first moved here, we didn’t know how to sail, but we joined the Mayo Sailing Club and became hooked. We’ve made great friends there and go sailing once a week when we’re here,” says Logan.

There’s also kayaking, paddle boarding, water skiing and wind surfing on Clew Bay, and people often fish for mackerel. Another draw in the locality is the easy access to the Greenway.

Clare Island, Inis Boffin and Inis Turk are a ferry ride away. The biggest attraction however is the sense of peace in such a remote landscape.

“You sit here and look out over the bay and the view is so spectacular, it’s hard to pull yourself away from it. The silence here is incredible,” says Logan. “We never expected anything like the lovely welcome we’ve received.”

The open-plan kitchen

The couple have, for years, spent every summer here. Living in such a remote location has allowed them to monitor elements of country life they’d never have seen in a city.

“At the moment, there are lots of gorgeous little lambs on the next peninsula. In the autumn, you’ll see the hay being brought in and at other times, you can watch cattle being moved from one island to another. There’s always something happening,” says Logan.

The view from one of the bedrooms

She has just completed a PHD in urban history and points out that, in Victorian times, there was a term for those living in cities who wanted move to the countryside.

The dining table

“They were known as ‘rural minded’ people. I think that’s what we are.” But now they’re getting on in age, so it’s time to move on.

“We’re selling with great sadness, but now is the right time,” says Swagrzak. “We plan to come back and visit friends and family,” says Logan. “We’ve invested such a lot in this place so it’s going to be hard to leave it, and of course we will miss the wonderful vista.”

Sherry FitzGerald Crowley seeks €649,000.