Kinsale – County Cork
Kinsale was one of our favorite little towns, being from the Jersey Shore as soon as we got to this adorable seaside area, we fell in love.
We stayed at Acton’s Hotel on the water for the following two nights.
Since we got to Kinsale in the later part of the afternoon we walked around the town, had a late dinner, and then we went out.
Dinner was great at Max’s Seafood
We started with a lobster appetizer from the specials menu.
We both had different fish dishes for dinner and both were fabulous, Sean had the Hake and I had Monk Fish.
If you have ever listened to the song Out Last Night by Kenny Chesney you can understand how our night went. Oh boy did we go out, we stayed out very late drinking in a pub with locals, then went back to our hotel bar where an Irish High School was having their 40th reunion so we stayed and drank some more with them. The next morning was rough, but so worth it.
The pub we were hanging out in was the Lord Kingsale and our bartender Shane was great. Sean and I are big beer drinkers, we loved that every town we visited had not only classic Irish beers, but a lot of great local craft beer options. Blacks of Kinsale was the local beer on tap and you can visit their brewery and distillery. Another small detail that we loved was that whatever beer you ordered it matched the brand on the glass you received. This might sound ridiculous, but its a pet peeve of mine in America that when you order a beer it can come in any branded glass. I like consistency.
Pro Tips: In Ireland you can order a pint or half pint. Half pints are great for trying different beers. Also, in pubs people buy rounds, so if you are drinking in a group you grab a round for everyone and then someone else will get the next and so on.
As mentioned, the next morning was rough since after a full night of indulgence we had to get up bright and early and head to the Jameson Distillery. But, first we needed donuts to start the day.
There are two options for visiting Jameson in Ireland, Dublin and Midleton. Jameson is no longer distilled in Dublin and it is just a storehouse to visit. The Midleton factory is where all distilling takes place which is why we decided to visit this location.
Tickets to a tour at the Jameson Distillery are available for purchase prior to or day of as well. The tickets are good for the tour, a tasting and drink of choice at the end.
I really enjoyed this tour and found it really interesting to see, you tour the old factory which is right next to the new modern factory that is used today. Our tour guide was so nice and very informative, he also amazed us and spoke every language of tour participants.
After our Jameson tour – we headed to Cork City which was a very busy city. We were there in the middle of the day on a beautiful Saturday, so I know that had a lot to do with it. It had some cool stores and shops as well as an outdoor market while we were there. We did go inside the famous English Market and walked around and looked at the food.
Cork is considered the Foodie Capital of Ireland, although we had delicious food everywhere we did find Cork to have fantastic food options. We also hit Rising Son’s Brewery while we were in the city. I felt a little like I was walking around Manhattan while in Cork City.
Pro Tip: Day trip to Cobh if you can fit it into your schedule, and are looking for smaller towns and not cities. I wish we went here instead of Cork City, but I am glad to say we saw the city.
We headed back to Kinsale to spend more time there since we enjoyed the town so much.
Our second dinner in Kinsale we ate at The Blue Haven Bar & Bistro. This was a very interesting concept, within the Blue Haven hotel they have multiple different restaurants but they are all sort of connected, we walked through one to get to ours and looked into another while sitting at our table.
We started with a charcuterie board.
I had a steak and Sean had fish for dinner.
Our last night in Kinsale there was a huge Gaelic Football championship match between Counties Kerry and Dublin. All of the pubs were packed, but we went to Kitty O Se’s for the end of the match and then listened to traditional Irish Music.
The next morning we got up early and headed to Charles Fort, which was only about 10 minutes from our hotel. We wanted to get there as soon as it opened so we could spend a significant amount of time there before getting on the road to Killarney.
Charles Fort is a star shaped military fort on the waters edge in Kinsale constructed from 1677 to 1682 during the reign of King Charles II. It was built to protect the harbor. It was a bit cloudy when we went, but the views and buildings were spectacular. Charles Fort is self guided, you can walk throughout the entire military base and there are buildings with interactive exhibitions inside.
Pro Tip: They do not take card payments at Charles Fort, cash only. And yes, we had to rummage change from our car for admission because we did not know this beforehand.
After a few hours in the morning spent exploring Charles Fort we were on the road to our next destination, Killarney.
Pro Tip: If you are visiting County Cork I suggest staying outside of the city in a small town like Kinsale or Cobh. If you can’t stay here in Kinsale definitely make the trip to visit for a day, it is so worth it.
Part 3 County Kerry – Coming Soon.
Missed Part 1 Overview & County Kilkenny? – Available Here.
Ireland Travel Essentials – Available Here.