An Invitation To… Kinsale, Ireland

A few years ago, my husband and I visited Ireland and fell in love with the town of Kinsale. Surprisingly when we mentioned visiting Ireland to friends who’d also been, this was hands down our favorite stop on our respective trips. “Wait, you’ve been to Kinsale, too?! No way! Isn’t it amazing….”

We stayed for one night but could’ve easily made this “home base” for our whole trip. Our Bed & Breakfast (B&B) host had endless recommendations for us. Join me as I reminisce.

Something I learned…

Charles Fort was the largest engineering feat of its time in the 17th century.

Kinsale is the southernmost port in Ireland. It served as a critical trade hub to the country over the centuries, especially in wartime, as it used to be the only port of entry to Ireland from the south. Charles Fort, built in 1601, was designed in the shape of a star to better resist cannon fire from those trying to threaten or take over Ireland.

While we enjoyed the history bit, we really soaked in the breathtaking 360 degree views, since Charles Fort sits atop the whole city. I was definitely more focused on the swathes of green grass blankets, intricate cobblestone walls, and sailboat-dotted shoreline surrounding us.

Something I ate…

Jim Edwards Restaurant has a scrumptious seafood dinner that won’t break the bank.


Our lovely B&B host suggested we try Jim Edwards for our first and last dinner in Kinsale. We had an amazing four-course meal for the price of one expensive bottle of whiskey back home. I couldn’t believe the bill and thought they forgot a bottle of wine or something.

We got the works… stuffed mussels, pan fried fish, grilled steak, Irish cabbage, potatoes au gratin AND french fries, then dessert: perfectly rich, I-can-die-happy-now, chocolate fudge cake with vanilla bean ice cream.

Obviously, I insisted on sharing more than usual because “I didn’t get a good taste of those potatoes” (!)

This meal has a solid place on my top 10 all-time best dinners list. (What, you don’t have a similar list…?)

Something I felt…

Nonstop laughter for two hours on the Kinsale Walking Ghost Tour.

Another recommendation from our B&B host, we initially exchanged some looks at the mention of “ghost tour”. But, we soon found out this wasn’t a scary or “lame” tour in the least. We got to hear some of Kinsale’s best legendary stories that gave context to the rustic churches and dark corners we explored. We left with sore cheeks that night from laughing so hard


We ended the night with night caps at Kitty O’ See’s down the street, where we slapped knees to a live band playing Irish jigs and tried our first taste of other-than-Jameson Irish whiskey: Tullamore Dew.

Wrap Up: Kinsale is a must-see

Kinsale is a very charming, very small town that you can easily get to know in a day. But stay longer if you can; the locals will treat you as one of their own the minute you meet. 

There’s so much more to tell, but I’ll leave that to you to discover.

What would give you a full mind, belly, and heart in the next city you explore? Follow more of my “invitations to” adventure at the top right of the page: Home > Travel+Bug.

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