European prize for Tourism and the Environment, Entente Florale, National Tidy Town, Gourmet Capital - a winner on all counts. And still a pretty little town, lying snug between hills and valleys, safely sheltered by the rounded contours of a beautiful harbour. In 1601 Kinsale became the Cockpit of Europe with the armies of England, Spain and the Northern Irish Chieftains in Contention. The Irish Army under O’Neill & O’Donnell was defeated and after an occupation of the town lasting 100 days the Spanish were granted safe passage back to La Coruña. The result of the battle was the end of the Gaelic way of life in Ireland and the breakdown of the power of the Chieftains and Clans. Kinsale however remained an important British Garrison Town until the start of the 20th Century. Since the influence of Anglo Normans in the 12th century and its first charter in 1334, Kinsale has enjoyed a reputation as a port of consequence, mainly through fishing and shipping. From the beginning of the 20th century, Kinsale's economy declined and many of the town's fine houses and buildings became derelict. But all was not lost - the story of the transformation from a run-down and jaded town, into a pretty, lively and prosperous one, is a story of foresight, co-operation, but above all, civic determination.
Dermot Ryan’s Heritage Town Walks - Walk on Water to trace our maritime and military traditions. Admire the work of the Normans in the 800 year old Saint Multose Church. The Siege and Battle of Kinsale, 1601, the turning point of Irish History. Walk in the footsteps of James II, Oliver Cromwell, William Penn and John Wesley. Enjoy the stories of the White Lady Ghost, Pirates, Robinson Crusoe and Polar explorers. Learn of the Wine Museum in Desmond Castle and the Lusitania Inquest in the Museum. Call for group reservations, 021 4772729 or 086 8267656. Leaving from the Tourist Office at
10.30am and 4.30pm or by appointment. Adults 5 euro, children free.
places of interest…
CHARLES FORT - A short distance outside the town past Scilly, Charles Fort is a most interesting site. This star-shaped fort was built about 1677 on the site of an earlier Norman harbour fortification. The original architect was William Robinson who also built the Royal Hospital at Kilmainham, in Dublin. Many changes were made to Charles Fort during the succeeding centuries and it continued to be sgarrisoned until 1922. In 1973, it was declared a National Monument. The Heritage Service of the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht is now responsible for the restoration work currently in progress at the fort. Charles Fort is open to the public all year. Guided tours are available.
GOURMET KINSALE.... Gourmet Capital, Culinary Centre, are just two of the titles Kinsale headlines under. The Gourmet Festival, is one great opportunity to experience the wealth of cuisine available in Kinsale. The town is certainly famous for its variety of restaurants and eateries, which have sprung up in recent years, as a result of the enterprise of a small few in the '60's, and the following close camaraderie of Kinsale's Good Food Circles restaurateurs. To visit one and all would demand great appetite and determination, but absorb as you wander, the colours, aromas and bustling life of the streets of Kinsale. Inhale the richness and flavour of blackboard menus, enticing you to local delicacies, that only Kinsale could imagine!
Maritime activities of course are an essential element of life in Kinsale; cruising, deep sea angling with blue shark fishing, yacht charter and river trips all available to visitors. The town boasts fine outdoor activity centres with full hire and tuition facilities for windsurfing,
sailing, canoeing, to all levels. Nearby beaches, coves, and inlets allow space and privacy of bathing, swimming, snorkelling and on some patrolled beaches, surfing and body-boarding. Take your binoculars to the coasts to see gannet, cormorant, terms, gulls and hosts of sea-birds, nesting on the sanctuary cliffs of the Old Head. Or cruise up the Bandon river and backwaters to see heron colonies, sandpipers, curlew, dunlin in an expanse of tranquillity and natural environment. For the earthly minded, perhaps a round of the golf at the beautiful 9 hole course at Ringenane, overlooking the Belgooly river or at the new 18 hole course, north of the town in meadowlands of the Bandon river valley, as well as the 18 hole course at The Old Head Golf Course. Green fees and society outings are available to visitors at all courses. Horse-riding or pony-trekking, guided and self-guided walks, a maze of country roads awaiting exploration by foot or bicycle, all within easy distance of the town.
KINSALE Where Business is a Pleasure
With great quality accommodation, excellent conference facilities and unrivalled leisure attractions, Kinsale offers a stimulating and unique location year-round for conference or business meetings. Kinsale hosts national/international meetings and events, many which return year after year.
VISTA AND V-IZZA - On The Marina, Kinsale, Co Cork for Reservations Tel: 021 4706886 (Bookings & Private Parties)
THE FOLK HOUSE - Kinsale’s Music Venue - Guardwell, Kinsale, Co. Cork. Tel: 021 477 2382. An unparalleled selection of live music. Check out our ever changing music schedule on our website www.folkhousevenue.com
Kinsale Map and Tourist Information
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