I live fairly close to the lovely town of Kinsale, in County Cork, and it is a place that always has a buzz about it, gets lots of visitors, has plenty cafes, restaurants and bars, (sometimes known as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland). There are great walks such as the Scilly Walk, which is a 4km trail along by the sea, which brings you to a 400 year old fort (Charles Fort) that has been restored and is a major tourist attraction. This is a star shaped fort and was occupied by the British when the battle of Kinsale took place in 1601, when the British were almost defeated by the combined forces of the Spanish and Irish armies. The fort was restored in later years, and was declared a national monument in 1973. On the walk to Charles Fort, should you be in need of some light refreshments, or even a pint, there are some very nice pubs, such as the Spaniard, one of the oldest pubs in Kinsale, or the Bulman, which is in Summercove, and is a great place to sit outside and watch the world go by, on a sunny day.
A few miles further on from the town is the Old Head of Kinsale, where there is a lighthouse, and in 1915 the RMS Lusitania, a Cunard ocean liner, sank off the Old Head, during the first world war. The ship was torpedoed by a German U Boat, and sank in 20 minutes, with the loss of over 1000 passengers.
This past weekend was the Guiness Cork Jazz Festival, and Kinsale, which is only about 20 minutes drive from Cork, also holds a jazz festival on the same weekend, so there is a great choice of places to hear live music.
Kinsale is also a great fishing and yachting town, and you can see the fishing boats coming in every morning to bring fresh fish to the restaurants and fishmongers. As a child I remember coming down to the pier close to one of the local hotels, where there was often a shark being weighed straight off a fishing boat.
Above are some photos so you can see some of its charm for yourself.