The home of beautiful local books and prints Laurel Cottage includes Cottage Publications and Ballyhay Books

The home of beautiful local books and prints

We are a publisher of local books and prints based near the pretty seaside town of Donaghadee in County Down, Northern Ireland.
We’ve been supplying a wide range of beautiful books and prints to local shops for over 25 years and if you’re from or just visiting Northern Ireland, Ireland or England’s East Midlands we probably have the perfect book or print for you.

We offer hundreds of local books and prints but if you click through the categories below to narrow your search you’ll quickly find what you want.

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A little bit about Laurel Cottage

We’re a small family run business – in America we’d be called a Mom and Pop operation but here in Northern Ireland we’ll call ourselves Granny and Granda! Granny is Alison Johnston, to our grandchildren I’m Granda Tim and we’ve been publishing books and prints since 1990.
It was all started by Alison back in the late 80s when she created a series of paintings of our picturesque local town, Donaghadee, as part of a programme with the Donaghadee Community workforce to record the town’s history. However when folk saw the paintings they so admired them that they encouraged Alison to create a more permanently accessible record and so the idea of a book was born and by Autumn 1990 Cottage Publications’ first publication “Donaghadee, an Illustrated History and Companion” alongside a series of prints of the paintings was on sale.
I joined the business almost by accident after Alison sought to repeat the success of the Donaghadee book with a second book on another local town (Bangor). Being heavily pregnant she was going to have to step back from the business for a while and, although I was closely involved in the project, I had a full time job. As such we were faced with employing someone to do the marketing etc for the book for us – until Alison somewhat jokingly said “why don’t you come and work full time in the business?”
We had a young family, a mortgage, no savings, no other income and no background in publishing – what could possibly go wrong? Yet here we are more than 30 years later, still together, blessed with amazing grandchildren and still publishing books.
We’ve always prided ourselves both in the quality of our products and the level of service we provide to our customers which has stood us in good stead during various major upheavals and, barring any major calamities, we hopefully still have a few books left in us yet!

Enjoy browsing the site
Tim Johnston