The Old Head of Kinsale

We had a pleasant, long, rain-free, walk from Ballinspittle to the Old Head of Kinsale, and back again on Sunday, a round trip of about 14 km, and boy were  my feet feeling the pain at the end!    We walked from Ballinspittle, mainly on road, and it was a welcome relief to come to Garrettstown and White Strand beaches, and walk along the sand and see the windsurfers having a great time with the strong winds.

After leaving the beach we walked as far as the old Signal Tower at the Old Head.   Unfortunately we could not go in to view the lighthouse, as all the land surrounding it is owned by the Old Head Golf Club, and walkers are not encouraged  allowed to go beyond the gates.    There are only a few days a year when access to this area is allowed for us normal folk who are not members of this private elite golf club!

The history of light keeping at the Old Head goes back to the 1600′s and the current lighthouse was built in 1846, it stands 30 metre’s tall and roughly 76 metre’s above the water. The lighthouse became automated on the 1st of April 1987.

It also witnessed the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat, and of the 1900 people on board, more than 1200 people were drowned, including over 100 Americans.    This action is said to have encouraged America to enter World War 1, as the Lusitania was mainly used for ferrying goods and people between England and America, and was not involved in the war.

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