Kinsale is the jewel in the crown of County Cork. This gorgeous town is located on the southern coast of Ireland and has a rich history, postcard-worthy scenes, interesting attractions and plenty of opportunities to keep active while enjoying the Irish countryside. Hotel Isaacs in Cork city is ideally located as a base for your day trip to Kinsale with buses departing regularly from the city centre. Here are some of the best bits, not to be missed on your Kinsale Tour.

Travelling to and from Kinsale

Getting to Kinsale from central Cork is easy via road or public transport. If you’re driving, the trip will take just 30-minutes if you follow Google maps instructions, taking the N27 and R600 roads out of the city. If you want to keep costs down or don’t fancy a drive, Bus Eireann’s 226 bus connects Cork Railway Station, Cork City Bus Station Cork Airport and Kinsale and they depart every hour. The closest bus stop to the hotel is less than 5-minutes’ walk from our Cork city hotel at the main bus station, Parnell Place. If you’d like to learn the history of the gorgeous town on your way, Paddywagon Tours have a great ‘Kinsale and West Cork’ tour that you’ll love. Our friendly reception staff are happy to help you find your way to Kinsale, no matter how you’re travelling.


Charles Fort Kinsale

Historical attractions in Kinsale

Part of the charm of Kinsale is in the colourful, small-town coastal beauty and the casual, relaxed vibe. While there are many attractions and things to see, a great way to get to know the town is simply wandering around the waterfront or the pretty streets at your own pace.

Some of the bucket list places to see in Kinsale include: Charles Fort - a picturesque, star-shaped fort, which claimed to be impenetrable until it was taken over by the British during the Williamite War in Ireland in 1690. It was occupied by British troops for two centuries before the Anglo-Irish Treaty, later becoming a National Monument in the 1970s. Besides the fort, the area is beautiful and a great scenic photo opportunity.

Kinsale Museum is an elegant building which once contained Kinsale Courthouse and today holds a selection of artefacts from the social and political history of the town. It was the site of the original inquest into the sinking of the Lusitania, a British Ocean Liner attacked and subsequently sunk by a German submarine off the Old Head of Kinsale in 1915. It is an interesting place to visit and learn more about what makes Kinsale so special.

Dining in Kinsale

Once you’ve spent the afternoon exploring this gorgeous little town, you’ll need to refuel so you can keep going. Not everyone loves seafood but if you do Kinsale is a foodie’s dream. The town’s restaurants are supplied by local fishermen and it doesn’t get any fresher than the catch of the day in award-winning restaurants like Bastion and Fishy Fishy. If you’d like something a little more casual (perhaps because you’re saving yourself for a delicious meal in Greenes Restaurant when you return), try the Lemon Leaf Café or Mother Hubbard’s for a light bite. Once you’ve eaten your fill, you may want to sample some of the towns very own, home-brewed beer straight from the brewery. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting in the summer months, you can visit Blacks Brewery Kinsale run by husband-and-wife team Sam and Maudeline Black. The boutique brewery is open for tours from May onwards and has its own tasting bar especially for visitors to relax and enjoy the samples. 


Kinsale Lighthouse

Keeping active in Kinsale

You’ve travelled this far, you might as well take in some of the natural beauty of West Cork too. A short drive outside of Kinsale, The Old Head of Kinsale Peninsula is a six-kilometre loop and one of West Corks most spectacular walking routes. During the leisurely 90-minute walk you can enjoy views of a 17th-century lighthouse, ancient Celtic ruins and an 18-hole golf course extending two miles out into the Atlantic Ocean.

When you return

After a long day of exploring one of the most beautiful towns in Ireland, you’ll want to relax. Why not enjoy an early bird in the award-winning Greenes Restaurant or browse our excellent à la carte menu? Based in a converted 18th-century warehouse with high ceilings, Greenes offers a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere with great food prepared to order by our talented chefs. After a great feed, you’ll enjoy a couple of cocktails from our very impressive drinks menu in Cask. We have a wide range of beers, wines and spirits too, perfect for a nightcap. If you need a base to stay in Cork which is in a great location to start a Kinsale tour or to explore Cork City, Hotel Isaacs - our boutique Cork City hotel – is the ideal accommodation for you.

To ensure you are enjoying our best available rates, make sure to book using our official website. Our friendly staff are always willing to help or suggest places to see in Cork.

Hotel Isaacs GPS coordinates

51°54'06.9"N 8°28'05.4"W 51.901918, -8.468162

Kinsale GPS coordinates

51°42'23.8"N 8°31'20.4"W 51.706596, -8.522326

About The Author

Sarah originally from Dublin has a keen interest in travelling and writing and aims to travel around the beautiful places in Cork in Ireland as much as possible. From the most popular places to hidden gems Sarah aims to find the best of Cork and the surrounding areas to get the best out of your visit to Cork, whether long or short.

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