The perfect day trip to Kinsale: 10 things to do, see and eat in the area

Is there anywhere more blissful to spend a summers day in Cork?

Dubbed the ‘Gourmet Capital of Ireland’, Kinsale has been a hotspot for locals and tourists since the dawn of time. With an endless supply of restaurants, beaches and landmarks to choose from, it’s no wonder this seaside town comes alive during the summer months.

Getting there

Kinsale is pretty close to Cork city, and there are three options to get there:

  • Bus – the 226 bus departs every hour from 5:50am – 23:50am from Kent Station. Total journey time is 50 mins
  • Taxi – a taxi will cost around €35-50 for a duration of 25km. Check out Wilton Cabs, Sun Cabs, Satellite Taxis ABC Taxis and Free Now
  • Drive – If you have access to a car, this is the fastest and cheapest way. The total journey should take approximately 26 minutes

Now that you’ve arrived in sunny Kinsale, here’s 10 ways to have the perfect day in the Gourmet Capital:

1. Soak up the sun at The Dock Beach

This hidden gem is one of Kinsale’s most popular beaches. Located at Castlepark, this small but beautiful beach is just across the bridge, and a small walk from the town.

2. Take in the view at Old Head

This is a definite must-see when you’re in Kinsale. It’s about a 20-minute drive from the town, but it’s worth the wait. Who needs the Cliffs of Moher when you have this at your doorstep?

3. Go for a drive along Kinsale’s Wild Atlantic Way

After you’ve taken in the views at Old Head, be sure to take a drive along the Wild Atlantic Way. This scenic route will take you along the Irish coast, boasting some of the most breathtaking views and the freshest air.

4. Step back in time at Charles Fort

A trip to Kinsale wouldn’t be complete without checking out Charles Fort. Roam the massive star-shaped military fortress as you learn about Cork’s history in the 17th century. Admission is free and visitors are advised to wear suitable footwear due to the uneven terrain (no heels, ladies!)

5. Grab some lunch at The Bulman

Conveniently located next to Charles Fort is one of Kinsale’s most famous bars, The Bulman. If you’re after hearty, traditional Irish food, then this is the place to go! The Bulman has some of the best views of the harbour, with indoor and outdoor dinning available (weather dependent).

6. Wander the colourful streets in Kinsale town

We’ve all seen pictures of those charming, colourful buildings in Kinsale town. Go for a stroll along the cobblestone streets and get some Insta-worthy snaps. This is a must-do!

7. Ride the waves with Kinsale Harbour Cruises

Hop on board the Spirit of Kinsale and take a cruise along Kinsale harbour. Cruises last approximately 1 hour, staring from 12 noon and tickets start from €14.

8. Grab dinner and a pint and Kitty O Se’s

Worked up an appetite? Check out Kitty O Se’s, a traditional Irish pub in the heart of the town. The service here is second to none and they serve some of the best traditional food in the village.

9. Try one of the famous ice cream waffles at JESK

Craving dessert? Check out the hugely popular desert bar, JESK. Choose from ice cream, waffles or crepes, and wash it all down with a freshly brewed Americano. Bliss!

10. Catch the sunset views along the Scilly Walk

To finish off the day, we’d highly recommend taking a stroll along the Scilly Walk during sunset. The total roundtrip loop is 6km, and showcases Kinsale in all its glory. Check out this link for directions.

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