24 Hours In Kinsale

The wonderful harbour town of Kinsale is the start point for the Wild Atlantic Way, the coastal route along the rugged west coast of Ireland. Before you set off on that exciting trip it really is worth spending some time in Kinsale itself.

There is a regular, reliable hourly bus service from Cork city and Cork airport to Kinsale that runs from 7am to 1030pm. Car rental is quick and easy at Cork airport. Which ever way you travel the sight of the harbour as you come down the gentle hill into Kinsale will calm and ease you.

Charles Fort Kinsale

Charles Fort, Kinsale

A great way to understand the history of Kinsale as well as see some wonderful views of the town is to take the marked 1.5 km walk to Charles Fort. The fort was built by the British and completed in 1684, guided tours are available as is a very pleasant tea room. The magnificent vista provides a great backdrop for some holiday photos. An alternative to the tea room is the Bulman pub in Summercove, a tiny village on the way back to Kinsale. The pub serves lunch and evening meals as well as an excellent pint of Murphys or Beamish!

As you amble back along the harbour to the town you get an opportunity to see the history of Kinsale through the variety of buildings dotted over the hills rising up from the sea. It’s worth walking around the town, it has an abundance of little shops, cafés and restaurants. Stop for a coffee and home cake at Jo’s café. If its nearly 6pm maybe pop along to the Tap tavern, going through the door is like stepping back in time. With the open fire and the small cosy setting makes it feel like being in someone’s sitting room of the 1950’s.


Kinsale is considered the Gourmet capital of Ireland, so it is well worth taking a little time to decide where you eat! One of the busiest establishment is the Black Pig, a wonderful wine bar that does an Irish take on tapas. The interior is a shrine to Samuel Beckett, lit by candles and heated by a wood burner; altogether creating a great atmosphere. The food is sourced from a range of local suppliers, it tastes wonderful and the simplicity of presentation makes it a delight. The extensive wine list offers many interesting options.

If you need a carb pick up next morning why not indulge in the full Irish breakfast at Mother Hubbards Café. It will certainly give you the energy to kick start your day!

Charles Fort Kinsale

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