Hike in Kinsale

Kinsale Travel Blog

 › entry 6 of 8 › view all entries

I promised myself to get at least two hikes in while I was here in Ireland. Today I did the first hike. I hiked from my hotel out to a place called Charles Fort. The hike was following the bay, and was mostly flat with a bit of a grade at the end up to the fort. It was about 3 miles round trip, maybe a bit more. The distances here are in kilometers and I don’t have a 5th grader with me to convert into miles.


I left the hotel at about 7ish ("ish" that is the in phrase for our tour driver. "Sean, when will we be getting into the next town? Oh, I'll be saying 4ish!") and started walking.

I had a backpack with me and had hoped to get a bottle of water, but none of the stores were open yet. I figured I could just get a bottle out at the fort. I had my MP3 player with me, but after listening to all the birds along the bay's edge, I decided that would be more enjoyable to listen to, so I put the MP3 player back in my pocket.


My route started out taking me through a bit of the town of Kinsale. It is a fishing village that has developed a rep for good resturants. I think I would have to agree. I had a fish dinner the night before that was great. And I am not usually a big fish person. I enjoyed my walk through town looking at all the buildings and since I was on the waterfront, looking at some of the fishing boats. There is a major tide shift in this harbor twice a day. We are talking 10 or more feet.

The tide shifts that the fishermen deal with just blew my mind
Many of the fishermen sail in and the just let their boats wallow in the mud until the next hide tide to move them again.


I continued with my walk and walked around the head of the harbor. I had to cross the street because the side I was on ran out of sidewalk. This was one of the major ways into town, and I did not want to be in the road at that point. The roads can be very narrow. So I continued my walk passing a small wildlife park that was labled as being a bog. There is a 13 year old boy on our tour that is facinated with the idea of bogs (well ok there are a few men that are to), I had to remember to tell him of this park so he could go take a look. I  continued and past on of the more popular pubs in the town. A place called the Spaniard.

..I would end up having a few pints there later in the evening :). I then entered a little section of town that had very narrow streets. And of course there was a work crew that had all but about a foot blocked off with their work truck. I squeezed thru and kept walking. Now I was right on the shoreline with nothing between me and the water but a fall of about 20 feet. The birds were really singing, and the sun was trying to peak out from behind the clouds. The trees grew out over the path from time to time. It was very peaceful and relaxing.


Now most of the hike was fairly level and just minor increases and decreases in elevation. But at the end of this part of the hike, I had to start gaining some elevation to get to the hike. Here I discovered that Mt Woodson has a little brother here in Ireland.

Entry to Charles Fort
The grade was about the same, thank god it was not as long a climb. And I thank my sons for hiking with me the past couple of months. This made the climb up the hill all that much easier.


Finally I was at Charles Fort. There was hardly cars parked in the car park, although I did see a motorhome (they are called caravans over here) and I wondered if it belonged to a "Traveller". I hiked around to the entry to the fort. Then I had my first dismay. The fort was not open until 10am. I was way early for that. I noticed that the gates were open so I approached the fort to take a look inside. I walked in the gate and saw a man that looked like he was a groundskeeper talking on his cell phone. I approached him and politely waited for him to notice me (not all that hard to do at 6-1ft and 200 lbs).

Mosaic just inside the fort, shows the layout.
He noticed me and just waived off into the fort. I don’t know if he was just trying to get rid of me or giving me permission to walk around inside, so I did what anybody else did...I walked around inside the fort :)


The fort is pretty impressive. It is built on a 5 pointed star design and has many deffensive features. It is a ruin at this point, but it is still very impressive. I had worn running shoes for my hike as most of the way was paved road, but here in the fort it was mainly grass with gravel paths. And the grass was wet to point of being muddy in several places. I wished I had worn my hiking boots at this point. I walked around the interior of the fort taking pictures and admiring the contruction and deffensive features. I then decided I had seen enough and walked out of the fort.

Charles Fort from the water side.


At this point I saw a local walking her dog, and she walked out into the deffensive ditches that surround the fort. I then noticed that there was a well worn path, and figured...Well I keep hearing women say "All men are dogs", so I figured I would be safe. Following the path, I was soon on the beach side of the fort looking up at the battlements. It was a very impressive site. I hiked out onto the rocks to get a better angle for a picture, but they were pretty slippery. At this point there was nobody around and I was concerned about slipping into the bay, so I took a couple pictures and climbed back to the path.


I was done with my toursity picture taking and started back for the hotel. The walk back was just as enjoyable, if not more so since I was walking down the hill :) I arrived back at the hotel, only to find the housekeeping staff was in my room making up the bed, etc. I had planned to take a shower and head down for breakfast, but had to go down and eat first. I just sat by myself so I would not disturb anybody else.

nik2blessed says:
Might take on a new adventure to start hiking, hmmm..interesting blogs!
Posted on: Apr 06, 2011
tvillingmarit says:
Can`t wait to see your photos
Posted on: Apr 12, 2008
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The tide shifts that the fishermen…
The tide shifts that the fisherme…
Entry to Charles Fort
Entry to Charles Fort
Mosaic just inside the fort, shows…
Mosaic just inside the fort, show…
Charles Fort from the water side.
Charles Fort from the water side.
Cannon shot for my son. I get in t…
Cannon shot for my son. I get in …
Walking the battlements
Walking the battlements
I think these were the fort wells
I think these were the fort wells
An example of the houses built up …
An example of the houses built up…
The path I walked was so peaceful
The path I walked was so peaceful
And it went between trees in sever…
And it went between trees in seve…
Looking down the coast from Charle…
Looking down the coast from Charl…
I just thought this look out was t…
I just thought this look out was …
Small graveyard at the fort.
Small graveyard at the fort.
Another view of the entry bridge t…
Another view of the entry bridge …
This small cover caught my eye on …
This small cover caught my eye on…
photo by: Paulovic