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Day trip from Cork, Ireland

By Trip Sketch Subscribe to RSS | December 3rd 2011 | Views:

A visit to Cork is incomplete without a side trip to Kinsale, a beautiful seaside town that is popular with locals and tourists alike. The beauty lures English visitors and many an English accent can be heard on the streets of this attractive little town. Kinsale is only 25 minutes from Cork City and as with much of Ireland, Kinsale is best seen on foot. Parking is plentiful just outside the City center along the bay. For those that love to shop, narrow streets in the center of town hold interesting shops specializing in antiques, pottery, linens and books as well as the tourist paraphernalia. But a leisurely two mile stroll to Charles Fort, mainly along a pedestrian path and small road, is a marvelous way to take in the sights of the town, whether it is the expensive real estate on the top of Compass Hill, the ruins of James Fort across the bay or simply the sweeping vistas of Kinsale Harbor. Refreshment awaits along the way at the historic Spaniard’s Pub, with its modern menu in the restaurant upstairs and more casual pub fare downstairs.

At the end of the path is historic Charles Fort. The older, more informed docents provide a great historic perspective on the battles between the Irish and the English, and the role of religion in creating shaky alliances that proved to be the downfall of the Irish and led to 300 years of British occupation.

A drive out to the Old Head of Kinsale is another highlight of the area, and a walker and birder’s paradise. Fraught in controversy for many years over the exclusive and very expensive golf course, the Old Head is known for its spectacular views and is not to be missed, unless you suffer from vertigo. Dinner at the Blue Haven, Max’s wine bar in town, or Oz Haven in Oysterhaven, a neighboring town, will create the perfect end to your day.

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