New stop on tour: Kinsale
New stop on tour: Kinsale
This year we are proud to have Kinsale as one of our overnight stops on our small group tours of Ireland. Kinsale is located about 25 kilometres from Cork and its originally an old fishing port. Its takes its name from from the Irish, Ceann tSaile – ‘Head of the Sea and is one of the nicest picturesque towns of Ireland.
Our tours are busy but there is always plenty of free time to explore this little town. Your guide will give you plenty of guidance but just in case you want to prepare yourself before you arrive on tour please find below some tips on what to expect and what to do.
The first thing we recommend is just to have a wonder around this little town, explore all the tiny winding streets, check out all the shops and get a baring for the town. You will discover the typical Irish architecture and you will notice that town has plenty of it and in the best condition possible. You will love the beautiful colours of the buildings.
Desmond Castle and Wine museum
This castle is typical type of Irish castle and is a tower house, build by the earl of Desmond back 1500 century. It has had many functions over the year from Customs House, Prison, Ordnance store and a Workhouse. Currently it’s a museum telling the story of the wine geese and it’s a perfect all weather activity and the entrance is free, which is always a great bonus.
Visit Charles Fort
This 17th century star shaped fort is well worth a visit and one of the most visited attractions in Kinsale. The fort has 5 enormous bastions, two looking out the estuary and three facing Inland. In the middle there are multiple barracks and facilities to support the forts garrison. It was used until 1922.
St. Multose Church
This church dates back to 1190 and has remained in use till this day. There are loads of interesting features about this church in the heart of Kinsale. There is a wooden code of Arms, an inscription by fisherman’s wives to bring their husbands home safe from sea and many other things to explore. This activity is right smack bang in the middle of Kinsale and is free but you can always leave a donation.
Eating and drinking
Kinsale is considered a foodie’s town and we really can confirm this, the number of great eateries is amazing and there is something for all tastes and budgets. Let’s start of in the morning where many of us are on the lookout of a good cup of coffee. Our tour guides always need a caffeine fix in the morning and the one spot they all recommended as the best place for a good cup of coffee was Cucina on Market Street.
For lunch, we would recommend a bowl of thick Fishy Fishy chowder. This world famous restaurant is always busy is right on the main Main Street in Kinsale. It`s an award running restaurant run by husband and wife Martin and Marie Shanahan. Chef Martin knows his fish and before opening the restaurant had a seafood shop in the heart of Kinsale.
The Black Pig is another favorite, not only our guests adore the place, its also a hangout for the many tour guides that stay overnight in Kinsale. The location is perfect, a 18th century coach house, and on a sunny day they have a great cobble stone back garden. They serve excellent artisan food which has been all locally sourced and with 50 wines by the glass to choose from you won`t get thirsty.
For the carnivores out there we would recommend the Steak House. We all know The Wild Atlantic Way is famous for its seafood but we cannot forget our beef. We love Ireland because of all the shades of green. Our fields are lush and the cows have plenty to graze on which produces some of the best beef in the world. This restaurant cooks your steak to perfection in a great ambiance.
After a day of adventure, some excellent food for some of us it’s time to hit the bed but for most of our guests the time is ripe to get a taste of our great Irish pub life. Our guides will only stay for one but we would recommend the following pubs.
The Spaniard pub is on the hill overlooking the harbour. The pub was named because of Don Juan d`Aquila who took part in the battle of Kinsale in the 16th century. This great watering hole also serves one of the best chowders. Especially in the weekends Kinsale town can be a little hectic and busy and this is one of the few places where you can escape the madness and enjoy a good pint of the black stuff.
The Greyhound is a 400-year-old pub full of character and locally people to go with it. Not as touristy as many of the other places and they have some of the best Guinness out there. The music great to and it’s a dog friendly place as well. It`s also a great shelter when there is a bit of rain as they often have a turf fire going which is great to heat you up. It’s behind The White House Hotel. It’s unique, old and gritty.
Another great little hide out is the Silent Banjo. They serve a mean pint of Guinness and the owner, Francis, is always up for a bit of banter and a good chat. We had a number of nights there with great live music.
There is so much more to do and explore in Kinsale, but these are few things that we would recommend. Your guide will have personal preferences and will always be happy to advice what is best for you. If you want to know more about Kinsale or about our tours, just give our team a shout. They can be contacted by email, chat or simply by phone. Our website has also plenty more information on offer.