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How Trevor made his childhood dream come true – Árd na Ciúin

by inspire on May 19, 2011

Recently while participating in a triathlon training weekend with coach Peter Kerns and PB3 Coaching we stayed in a beautiful guest house on the Waterford/Cork border in Ireland. The moment I walked in the front door I felt very welcome particularly on meeting the owner Trevor. As you may know I really love when people follow their dreams and I teach a course on how to do it – see After chatting to Trevor over the weekend I realised not only was this guest house very special but here was a man who was a living example of someone who is “living his dream“. The following is Trevors inspirational story which he shared with me while at his guest house Ard Na Ciuin.  Enjoy! Sean


Back in 1970, after a family farm holiday in Somerset, England, Trevor, only a small boy proclaimed to his parents that one day he would have a farm and animals of his own!

Over the next decade his love of nature, the countryside and the desire to keep animals grew.  His friends at school would tell him of their summer holidays, spent on small family farms in Ireland, feeding cattle, collecting eggs and playing in crystal clear rivers!   Living in a big town in England, Trevor could only imagine such a place, where his dream could come true.

At 14 years of age Trevor told his father not only of his ambition to one day buy a plot of land but to build his own house too! His father explained that this was probably not realistic as it was hard enough to earn a living, let alone the cost and effort involved in such an endeavour. “It will be like chasing after a rainbow” he said,    “However, if you are going to do this, you had better start saving now and here is something to get you started!”   With that he gave Trevor a penny.

A Penny -

Although there were times when Trevor’s dream of owning a farm seemed nothing more than a childhood fantasy, over the next twenty years dabbling in many careers – agriculture, horticulture, forestry, construction, and a short spell as a fireman he did learn the skills needed to build a house and grow his own food.

The real catalyst for Trevor to go after his dream was the death of his beloved Mother Hazel and the decision that life was too short to waste any more time dreams! It was time to make it happen!

So in Autumn of 2000, armed with a huge pile of potential candidates found on the internet,  Trevor & his father John, travelled through Ireland in search of the ellusive ‘dream plot’.The requirements were: rich soil, somewhere quiet, with a nice view and plenty of sky! And of course friendly locals & good beer!

After ten long days travelling all over Ireland viewing many ruined cottages, plot after plot and sampling many pints of Guinness they came to Ballyduff.  As Trevor walked the fields on a plot of land, he saw the most incredible rainbow. The hairs stood up on the back of his neck and in that moment he knew the search was over.

Now all he had to do was sell everything that couldn’t be carried and leave behind everything that was familiar in his life in England! In January 2001 Trevor arrived with his son, daughter, dog and cat and only a landrover and small caravan to live in! The first night was on the roadside, but they soon cleared on ancient gateway and moved in!  With water collected from a neighbour’s farmyard tap and only a small generator for electricity they managed to carve out a place to live on this Irish hillside. And the house building had to begin.

After the back breaking task of digging out a level site it was time for pouring the house foundations.   Single handed of course! On the 1st of August 2001 Trevor was ready to lay the first foundation block of his dream home.

He had asked his father to be present in order witness the occasion, but before he did so, Trevor explained to his father that it was considered good luck to place a coin under the first block of any new dwelling. Producing an old coin from his pocket, Trevor asked his father “do you remember this penny?”  Open mouthed, John stood in silence. Trevor explained “I’ve kept it all this time to remind me to work hard and never loose sight of my dream”. After an embrace, very unusual for these men, John placed the penny in the fresh mortar and Trevor laid the first foundation block.
Apart from his children helping to lay the concrete floors and helping out whenever they could, Trevor spent the coming months working 18 hours a day, seven days a week on his future home with the aim of one day opening it to guests.

On Christmas Eve 2001 Trevor slept in his house for the first time -with no heating, no electricity, no running water, no ceilings, no finished floors or walls, just a mattress on a cold floor!  He slept like a baby!

Ard na Ciuin farm

Overall it took 16 months of single handed labour to build the house to a comfortable state with all the modern utilities. Many were now telling him – “All it needs now is a woman’s touch”  With his lifetime ambition fulfilled, one October Trevor went to the world famous ‘Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival’ in County Clare. One evening he heard a familiar English accent and there he met a lovely lady called Lynette! They became good friends and well of course fell in love.
Lynette then moved into the dream house in Ballyduff. Now, the curious though it may seem, both Trevor and Lynette happened to be born in the same town in England! Not only that but 20 years before they also used to live in the same street at the same time and even bought their groceries from the same little corner shop! As they say “there’s no accidents in this perfect universe!”

Ard na Ciuin

And with help from Lynette and Trevor’s son Adam we created the guest house and small farm that we have today which is always welcoming to guests from all walks of life.

Above all remember in the words of Trevor – “if you have one, always follow your rainbow”

If you’re interested in staying at Trevor and Lynette’s wonderful guest house click here –


Also remember to learn more about how you can make your dreams come true with some free Inspirational Dare to Dream videos go to

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