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Dublin: 14 °C Saturday 23 June, 2018

Virtual Reality Tour: Explore the 50ft houseboat you can stay on in the heart of Dublin's docks

An apartment with a difference: you’re floating.

Tap to start your tour of the Scéal Eile barge, above. Look around in 360 degrees, and walk by tapping the circles – you can also walk outside the barge and look around. The blue dots will tell you more, thanks to owner Trish O’Grady.

“LIFE AUTOMATICALLY slows down when you’re on board” the houseboat Scéal Eile, says its owner Trish O’Grady. “You instantly feel closer to nature.”

The Scéal Eile is a place you can stay in the heart of Dublin city. It’s fitted out with a full kitchen, bathroom, and beds for four adults. There’s just one main difference to your average Airbnb: this is a boat.

To be precise: this is a wide-beam barge, fifty feet long and 10 feet wide, moored at Grand Canal Quay. It “gives people a new perspective on Dublin city” when they stay here, says O’Grady.

My guests always say there is no comparison to an apartment or hotel. Looking out the window to see a swan looking in at you is something you’ll never experience anywhere other than on a boat.

O’Grady and her partner discovered the joys of houseboats first-hand: by living on board the Scéal Eile after they bought it and built it out for living – fitting a bed in the prow, with windows on three sides.

The Scéal Eile moored at Grand Canal Dock Source: Robert Linsdell

That done, they explored the country via its waterways. ”The slow pace of life took getting used to,” she says. But get used to it they did.

Waking up each morning to the dawn chorus, and on occasion the mist rising from the water as the canal stretches towards the horizon will always stay with me. A stillness and tranquility that the concrete jungle cannot offer.

When they finished exploring, they brought the Scéal Eile back to Dublin and launched Dublin Barge Hire – renting out their former home as alternative accommodation for tourists looking for something a little different. It has a solid-fuel stove, and a full double bed. “Numerous guests speak of having the best night’s sleep ever on board,” she says.

But what makes people choose to live bobbing on the water, rather than in an apartment on dry land? “All you need is an open mind,” says O’Grady.

Did you walk through the barge? Or climb out and look around Grand Canal Quay?

KBC’s Experience Your World is a technology project that allows people to experience spaces around them in virtual reality – from properties on Daft.ie, to iconic landmarks like Windmill Lane and city neighbourhoods on TheJournal.ie. As a digital-led bank, KBC also offers 24/7 anytime chat on the phone, webchat and social media, account opening in minutes on your mobile and a Mobile Mortgage team who can come to your house.

The maximum mortgage is 90% of the property value. Lending criteria, underwriting, terms and conditions apply. Security and insurance are required. KBC Bank Ireland plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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