We have compiled a list of some FREE things to do here in Kinsale. Click on the links to find out more information on each and if you would like to suggest any additional FREE things to do please send them to [email protected].
All OPW sites nationwide have free admission on the 1st Wednesday of each month so why not take advantage of this when in Kinsale and visit the town’s most visited attraction. Charles Fort is the best-known historical attraction in Kinsale and open open all year with and regular guided tours available. Charles Fort is one of the finest surviving examples of a 17th Century star-shaped fort, and much of the construction begun in 1678 remains. The fort has two enormous bastions overlooking the estuary, and three facing inland. Within its walls were all the barracks and ancillary facilities to support the fort’s garrison. The fort continued in military use until 1922.
This beautiful Garden of Remembrance is dedicated to the memory of Fr. Mychal Judge, Chaplain in the New York Fire Department and to the 343 brave fire fighters, who so courageously lost their lives in New York on September 11th 2001. There is a tree planted and dedicated to all these lost firefighters in this most picturesque and peaceful garden located just outside the town.
Looking to get some fresh air, walk off that great meal or see some local stunning scenery why not get your walking or running shoes on and try one of these excellent local walking trails.
- Kinsale to Castlepark / Dock Beach / James Fort
- Lower Cove Harbour Walk / Charles Fort Walk
- Scilly Walk
- Ballinspittle / Garrettstown Woods
- Wildlife Marsh and Bird Sanctuary / Cammogue Marsh
If you have a bike Kinsale is also great for cycling!
Kinsale has a really nice kids playground conveniently located in the town park.
6. Desmond Castle and Wine Museum (Free on 1st Wednesday’s)
Built as an urban tower house by the Earl of Desmond c. 1500, Desmond Castle has served as Customs House, Prison, Ordnance store and a Workhouse. The Museum details the history of the Wine Geese; the intriguing story of Ireland’s wine links with Europe and the wider world. This is an essential half-hour all-weather activity and free admission on the first Wednesday of each month from April to September.
On December 24, 1601 a battle was fought between approximately 5,000 Irish troops and 3,000 English. The battle itself took place about 4 miles north west of the town. The weapons used in the battle would have been swords, haliberds, firearms and pikes. The battle of Kinsale was over within a few hours with victory won by the English who claimed to have killed over 1,000 Irish and Spanish soldiers while suffering relatively few casualties themselves.
Built in 1190, this church has remained in continuous use to the present day. Some interesting features include an inscription in Norman French, the Easter sepulchre, the Baptismal font, the carved memorials, and the reredos from the Galway chapel as well as the wooden Coat of Arms. The Southwell Memorial in Carrera marble, is the work of Arnold Quellin of London. It was in this church that Prince Rupert proclaimed Charles II as King, after hearing the news that Cromwell had had King Charles I executed in London. Prince Rupert’s fleet was at anchor in Kinsale harbour at the time. Inside there is a large flat stone carved with a round-handed figure was traditionally rubbed by fishermen’s wives to bring their husbands home safe from the sea. Several victims of the Lusitania sinking are buried in the graveyard.
9. James Fort
James Fort holds a commanding position directly across the harbour mouth from Charles Fort. Together, these forts guarded the narrow harbour entrance. James Fort is now mostly ruins but still a very in interesting site to visit even for just the stunning views of the harbour and the town.
This fascinating museum which hosted the official inquest into the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 is packed full of very interesting local artefacts. Free entry Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 2pm
Do you have any more suggestions for this list? If you do please send them to [email protected]!
Visiting Kinsale? For full details of What’s On pick up a FREE copy of the weekly Kinsale Advertiser & Guide to What’s On! Available in over 100 local outlets every Friday or pdf online every Thursday at www.kinsaleadvertiser.com or for details on Hospitality, History, Activities and Good Food pick up a FREE Kinsale Map! A lovely keepsake to take home from your holiday in Kinsale.