Kinsale is in County Cork in the province of Munster and just 25km from Cork City and Cork International Airport, and is the gateway to scenic ‘West Cork’ and the start/finish point of the ‘Wild Atlantic Way,’ the 2,500km coastal journey from Kinsale, Co Cork to Inishowen, Co Donegal.
The impressive fortifications of Charles Fort and James Fort guard the narrow entrance from the sea – giving clues to its rich history. There are a number of guided walking tours (including an evening Ghost Tour!) available and plenty of information at the Kinsale Tourist Office in the centre of the town.
The Old Head Signal Tower is just over 200 years old. It was built during the Napoleonic wars in response to the threat of a French invasion. There were 81 such towers with line-of-sight visibility from one to the next, these being an effective communications system that allowed the quick transmission of vital information using a flag and ball system.
The area surrounding Old Head of Kinsale is steeped in history and hosts lovely blue flag beaches where you can try surfing. The local pub, The Speckled Door, serves delicious food all day and the nearby village has services including cafes, shop, pub and a petrol station. The Old Head is an uplifting and breathtaking area to visit.
Not only does Kinsale claim to be one of the most picturesque and oldest towns in Ireland, it is also internationally renowned for the number and quality of its restaurants. It has been hailed as ‘The Gourmet Capital of Ireland’, with no shortage of cafés, pubs and restaurants to suit every taste and budget.