Kinsale: Wikis


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Cionn tSáile
Location of Kinsale
centerMap highlighting Kinsale
Province: Munster
County: County Cork
Elevation: 10 m (33 ft)
Population (2002)
 - Town:
 - Environs:

Kinsale Market House (circa 1600), now a Museum
Market Street in Kinsale, one of the town's oldest thoroughfares
On the quayside at Kinsale

Kinsale (Irish: Cionn tSáile) is a town in County Cork, Ireland. Located some 25 km south of Cork City on the coast near the Old Head of Kinsale, it sits at the mouth of the River Bandon and has a population of 2,257 which increases substantially during the summer months when the tourist season is at its peak and when the boating fraternity arrive in large numbers. The April 2006 census recorded that British nationals made up 9% of the town's population.[5]

Kinsale is a popular holiday resort for Irish and foreign tourists which is known for its many gourmet restaurants and leisure activities - including yachting, sea angling, and golf. The town also has several art galleries and a noted school of English. The town is compact with a quaint air of antiquity in the narrow intersecting streets. There is a large yachting marina close to the town centre which attracts sailing enthusiasts. A number of hotels cater for the tourists. The town is noted for its eating establishments, and holds a "Gourmet Festival" annually. The celebrity chef Keith Floyd was previously a resident of Kinsale.[6]

Prominent buildings in the town include St. Multose's church (Church of Ireland), St. John the Baptist (Roman Catholic), the Market House and the so-called French Prison (or Desmond Castle).

On October 8, 2005, Kinsale became Ireland's second Fair Trade Town, with Clonakilty being the first.



In 1601, Kinsale was the site of a battle in which English forces defeated an Irish/Spanish force, led by the princes Hugh Roe O'Donnell and Hugh O'Neill.[7] Following this battle the Flight of the Earls occurred in which a number of the native Irish aristocrats, including the Earls of Tyrone and Tir Conaill abandoned their lands and fled to mainland Europe.

In 1690, James II of England and Ireland, following his defeat at the Battle of the Boyne, departed to France.

Charles Fort, located at Summer Cove and dating from 1677, is a fortification that guards the entrance to Kinsale harbour. It was built to protect the area and specifically the harbour from use by the French and Spanish in the event of a landing in Ireland. James's Fort is located on the other side of the cove, on the Castlepark peninsula. An underwater chain used to be strung between the two forts across the harbour mouth during times of war to scuttle enemy shipping by ripping the bottom out of incoming vessels.

When the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat on May 7, 1915, some of the bodies and survivors were brought to Kinsale and the subsequent inquest on the bodies recovered was held in the town's courthouse.[8] A statue in the harbour commemorates the effort.


Bus Éireann provides Kinsale's primary means of public transport. Buses regularly operate from Kinsale to Cork City, with most of these going through Cork Airport on the way. Kinsale and Bandon are linked by public transport with a bus service provided by West Cork Rural Transport.

Transition towns

Kinsale is the first Transition Town in Ireland. It is a community-based group, supported by Kinsale town council. It looks for sustainable solutions to the challenges of peak oil and climate change. Public meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month. It has taken much guidance from the Kinsale energy decent plan 2021, which has spawned further Transition Towns worldwide.[9]

Sports and community groups

Kinsale Rugby Football Club recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.[10] It has a strong underage system[citation needed], a women's team and competitive squad of players in both the first and seconds junior men's team.[citation needed]

The Kinsale GAA club plays in the Carrigdhoun division of Cork GAA.[11]

The Kinsale Branch of the Red Cross has been in existence since 1939 and is staffed by volunteers, who are present at local events and activities - including the annual Kinsale Sevens By The Sea rugby event.[12] The branch has 2 ambulances which are housed in a purpose built building in Church Lane and crewed by trained volunteers.

Kinsale won the Irish Tidy Towns Competition in 1986.

International relations


Twin towns — Sister cities

Kinsale is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". in Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A.. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. 
  4. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November), "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850", The Economic History Review Volume 37 (Issue 4): 473–488, doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x, 
  5. ^ "On Census Day, April 23rd 2006". Ireland News: Top Story. Irish Times. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2009-01-27.  Irish Times 1 July 2008
  6. ^ Davenport, F.; Charlotte, Beech; Downs, T; Hannigan, D; Parnell, F; Wilson, N (2006). Lonely Planet Ireland. Lonely Planet Publications. ISBN 1740599683. 
  7. ^ "Kinsale Past and Present". West Cork Travel. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  8. ^ "Kinsale". Eircom. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  9. ^ "Article on Transition Towns". The Guardian. 2007-04-07. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  10. ^ "Kinsale RFC". Kinsale RFC. 2009-01-18. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  11. ^ "Kinsale GAA Club". Kinsale GAA. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  12. ^ "Kinsale Red Cross - About Us". Kinsale Red Cross. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  13. ^ "Helpful Links for Visitors: Sister Cities". City of Newport. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  14. ^ "The Mumbles Reporter". February 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Kinsale[1] is a small town in city West Cork, Southwest Ireland.

Kinsale Harbour
Kinsale Harbour

Kinsale is situated in the estuary of the river Bandon, nestling among hills that hide it from the open sea. Because of its situation it is a historic port and is still very popular with pleasure sailors and anglers.

Two forts guard the approach to the sea and one of the most significant battles in Irish History was fought here. The battle was in 1601 and was fought when an Irish army had traveled from the north of Ireland to relieve an English siege on the town that was held by the Spanish. Against the odds the Irish lost the battle, and this defeat marked the end of the ancient Gaelic aristocracy in Ireland. In addition to its visual charms, the town has become a home of good food, especially seafood, and holds an annual festival to celebrate.

  • From Cork Airport If you have not already rented a car for your trip, the easiest way to get to Kinsale is via taxi, or by bus. Taxis await in a line ("queue") just outside the front entrance to the terminal, and are always present. Count on spending €25-€30 for the 30 minute drive.
Desmond Castle
Desmond Castle
  • Charles Fort, half a mile south of town in Summercove, Telephone: 021/477-2263. This is a 17th century star shaped fort, which is very well preserved and has seen very little military action. 45 minute tours depart every hour, last entry 45 minutes before closing, €3.70, covered by Heritage Card, open daily mid-March to October 10AM-6PM, November to mid-March 10AM-5PM.
  • James Fort, 2 miles south of town on Pier Road. This is an older fort and is on the other side of the river and in much poorer condition. On the west shore of the bay.
  • Desmond Castle, on Cork Street, Telephone: 021/477-4855 Built circa 1500 by the Earl of Desmond as a custom house, this is a well-preserved tower house. The Castle is known locally as the French Prison following a fire in which 54 French prisoners died in 1747. The building was later used as an auxillary workhouse during the Famine. Admission €2.90, covered by Heritage Card, open daily April to October 10AM-6PM, last entry at 5:15PM, tours given on request, closed November to mid-April.
  • Kinsale Regional Museum, on Market Square, Telephone: 021/477-7930. An interesting small museum with exhibits on domestic and maritime history, including the Lusitania, costs €3.50, open M-Sa 10:30AM-5:30PM, Sunday 2PM-5:30PM.
Kinsale town centre
Kinsale town centre
  • Sailing, Blue Flag marina, at Castlepark just outside the town, has public boat ramps and docks. Both crewed cruising yachts and small recreational sailboats are available.
  • Kinsale Harbour Cruises, tel: 021/477-3188,[2]. Adults €12, children under 12 €5, children under 7 free.
  • Tourist Information Office, Tel: 021/477-2234, [3]. Near the main bus stop at the head of the harbor, giving free maps & brochures, open July to August Monday to Saturday 9:15AM-7PM, Sunday 10AM-5PM, March to June & September to November monday to Saturday 9:30AM-5:30PM, closed Sunday, shorter hours December to February.
  • Ghost Tour, mobile 087-948-0910. A slapstick-style horror-humor tour, 90 minutes, €10, May to September M-F leaves at 9PM at the Tap Tavern.
  • Historic Stroll in Old Kinsale, Tel 087 2500731. An engaging and fun tour of the town's history. Leaves Tourist Office daily at 11:15AM. Duration one hour (approx),Cost €9
  • Kinsale Crystal, Market Street, (++) 353 21 4774493 (fax: (++) 353 21 4774463), [4]. A charming crystal shop specialising in deep cut lead crystal. The founder was originally with Waterford before setting up Kinsale Crystal. Several items are available for purchase on their website.
  • Kinsale Silver, Pearse Street, Tel: (++) 353 21 774359 (fax: (++) 353 21 774805), [5]. Handmade silver jewelry with celtic themes. Proprieter is very personable.


Kinsale is a gourmet centre with many restaurants for all prices and tastes.

  • Man Friday, Scilly, Kinsale, 021-4772260. 7.30PM-10.30PM. Famous for its Steaks, Seafood and their Stuffed Duck served in a nice restaurant with a good atmosphere. Range from 20-35 Euro.  edit
  • Actons Hotel, Pier Road. Tel: (++) 353 21 477 9900, [6]. Serves excellent Sunday carvery lunches as well as having a daily dinner menu. Staff are extremely friendly and helpful. Family-friendly.
  • Fishy Fishy Shop, Guardwell Street across from the church, Tel: 021/477-4453. The local place for seafood, €20 specials, cash only, open for lunch only Tu-Sa noon-3:45PM, closed Su,M.
  • Fishy Fishy Cafe, on Pier Road, Tel: 021/477-0415. Bigger, with more spacious seating (indoor, balcony, terrace) same prices & menu, no reservations taken, open daily noon-4:30PM.
  • Cafe Blue, Pearse Street in Blue Haven Hotel. Open daily.
  • Cucina Cafe, Market Street. Open daily.
  • Patsy's Corner Near market square, sandwiches, baguettes, salads & coffee.
  • Mother Hubbard's Near market square, sandwiches, baguettes, salads & coffee.
  • Super Valu Supermarket Great for picnic food, open M-Sa 8:30AM-9PM, Su 10AM-9PM.
  • The Little Skillet, Main Street, Tel: 021/477-4202. Romantic atmosphere, Irish music, much fresh vegetables, €20 entrees, €25 3 course early-bird meal before 7:30PM, open daily noon-2:30PM & 6PM-10:30PM.
  • Hoby's RestaurantMain Street, Tel: 021/477-2200. Romantic, quiet, & candlelit, €25 3 course dinners, open daily 6PM-10PM.
  • Max' Wine Bar, Tel: 021/477-2443. International food, fancy interior & presentation, lunch from 12:30PM, dinner from 6:30PM, closed Tuesday, €22 3 course early bird special before 7:30PM.
  • Jim Edward's Steak & Seafood, at Market Quay, Tel: 021/477-2541. A crowded local favorite with €20-30 dinner only meals in romantic area, or €12-19 meals in the bar, steaks, seafood, & vegetables, cheaper than other restaurants, bar open daily 12:30PM-10PM, restaurant daily 6PM-10PM.
  • Muddy Maher's PubMain Street, Tel: 021/477-4602. Funky atmosphere, €10-15 dinners, open daily noon-3PM & 6PM-9PM.
  • Cobra Tandoori, 69 Main Street, Tel: 021/477-7911. One of many ethnic restaurants, this one serves Indian food, €10 plates, open daily 4:30PM-11:30PM.
  • Bulman Bar & Restaurant, 200 yards towards Kinsale from Charles Fort in Hamlet of Summercove, Tel: 021/477-2131. Seafood & seasonal produce, €10 lunches, €22-26 meals in fancy restaurant upstairs, open daily 12:30PM-9:30PM.
  • Mediterraneo Italian Restaurant, 7 Pearse Street (town center next door to AIB Bank), 0214773844, [7]. Delightful Italian restaurant that exudes charm in one Kinsale's main streets. All meats and fish are sourced locally and the most is made out of seasonal produce. Private parties and small family celebrations are catered for. Special rapido menu for 14.99€ from 5PM to 7PM.  edit


Kinsale's many pubs have a lively atmosphere, all near the center of town:

  • An Seanachai, Main Street.
  • The Tap Tavern Below St. Multose Church, has music on Thursday nights
  • Bulman Bar Near Charles Fort, has great music sessions Tuesday, Thursday, & Sunday at 9:30PM, Wednesday folk session at 9:30PM, get there a half hour early to ensure a seat, Telephone: 021/477-2131
  • Spaniard Inn, Tel: 021/477-2436. A ten minute walk from town out onto the Scilly Peninsula, music at 9:30PM on Wednesdays, arrive an hour before to ensure a seat.
  • Trident Hotel, World's End, Tel: 353-21-4772301, [8]. 66 rooms, harbor views, restaurant and bar. €35-€100.
  • The Old Presbytery, 43 Cork Street, Tel: 021/477-2027 Fax: 021/477-2166, [9]. 10 rooms, goofy floor plan, nice lounge, quiet, fine breakfast. Double €110, bigger double €150, biggest double €170, family quadruple €180, 2 quadruple suites with no breakfast €170, free wi-fi and internet access, private parking.
  • Friar's Lodge, Friar Street, Tel: 021/477-7384 Fax: 021/477-4363, [10]. New & modern on a hill with 18 rooms, single €80, double €90-130, triple €150-160, quadruple €190, wi-fi, private parking.
  • Chart House B&B, 6 Dennis Quay, Tel: 021/477-4568, Fax: 021/477-7907, [11]. A Georgian hotel with 1 single, 4 doubles, non-smoking, quiet, high ceilings, chandeliers, great lounge, a block from the harbor, single €40-45, double €120, deluxe double €170, 10% discount when payed with cash, easy parking.
  • O'Donovan's B&B, 8 Guardwell Street, Tel: 021/477-2428. In a 400-year-old building, quiet, non-smoking, friendly, in the medieval center, single w/no bathroom €45-50, double w/no bathroom €70, double w/bathroom €75.
  • The Olde Bakery B&B, Tel: 021/477-3012, [12]. Six quilt bedded rooms, 2 friendly dogs, cozy breakfast, cash only, non-smoking, laundry service available, double w/no bathroom €70, double w/bathroom €80.
  • The Sea Gull, Cork Street, Telephone: 021/477-2240. On a hill next to Desmond Castle, cash only, six rooms, single w/no bathroom €35-40, double w/bathroom €70, triple w/bathroom €95.
  • Guardwell Lodge, Guardwell Street, Tel: 021/477-4686 Fax: 021/477-4684, [13]. A great budget hotel, with 44 rooms on top of a hill, but stark and somewhat prison-like, but modern and comfortable. Almost like a hostel, but isn't, no breakfast, all bedding provided, TV lounge, fully equipped self-service kitchen, quiet rooms are on the church side. €17 beds in 4-bed dorms, single €30, twin double €55, double with large bed €60, triple €60.
  • Kinsale Arms, 55 Main Street, Tel: 021/477-2233. Nine, cheap, spartan rooms in a rather run-down hotel. Double €60-66, no twins.
  • There are a number of excellent Blue Flag beaches in the area. Both Garretstown and Garrylucas (White Strand) beaches are just over 8km from Kinsale and can be reached by following the R600 to Ballinspittle village. Garretstown beach in particular is renowned for its surf and equipment is available to rent on the beach.
  • The charming, but not-as-charming-as-Kinsale town of Cobh is reached by first driving and then taking a poorly signposted ferry to the island it's on, make sure you don't accidentaly take the ferry that goes to France instead. It can also be reached by road via Cork city.
  • The ever-famous castle at Blarney is also less than an hour away
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

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Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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