A Day in Kinsale with Izzy



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Hi I’m Izzy (@izzyforde). An Irish lass from Cork studying an MSc in marketing and retail innovation at Michael Smurfit Business School UCD.

What is a typical breakfast and where would you go?

Grab a hot chocolate and a raspberry and white chocolate scone from Jo’s cafe and stroll around the town, popping in to shops to say hello.

OHK and St. Francis are relatively new cafes to the scene but have quickly become brunch favourites of mine also.

OHK | picture credit: @ohkcafe

Where is your favourite place to grab lunch?

Would have to be The Bulman – hands down, best lunch in town. Stunning spot to sit on the wall and sip on a G&T while looking out at the harbour. Plus, everything on the menu is delish.  

The Bulman | picture credit: @jmw.u

What is the ideal afternoon activity in a city like Kinsale?

Ideal afternoon activity is to walk through the little meandering streets, keeping an eye out for all the gems the shops have to offer. Grab an ice-cream from Sunday’s and sit amongst the colourful buildings.

A walk from the town, across the bridge to the Dock Beach is also a favourite of mine. A quick dip in the Atlantic Ocean is so refreshing and has to be done. Although, I really emphasise the word ‘quick’ here because water temperatures reach a maximum of 15 degrees Celsius – pretty cold!

Where are the best places for dinner?

Too many to choose from – The Black Pig Winebar for drinks and nibbles, Man Friday for a good, hearty Sunday dinner, Bruno’s for authentic Italian pizza in the heart of west cork.

The Black Pig Winebar | picture credit: @imenmcdonnell

In the evening, what is the city like and where do you find yourself?

It’s a small town, with limited amenities, so evenings largely consist of hopping from bar to bar, linking up with whoever is out and about. It’s really lovely and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Kinsale isn’t commercialised whatsoever. No shopping centres, no cinemas, no major lit-up attractions – just the town with all of its genuine locals. We recently got an Apache Pizza (a fast food chain) and I am still coming to terms with it.

What is there to do for something fun and different?

The Kinsale street food festival which features the national chowder cook off – a weekend full of great food, great people and great drink! It’s usually in April.

Another event that many declare as ‘better than Christmas’ is the Kinsale Rugby 7s – a weekend many flock to for fun. You don’t need to have any knowledge of rugby to have a good time at it. It’s essentially a mini festival to kickstart the Summer!

On a regular basis, there are some fun activities to do like taking a boat trip on The Spirit of Kinsale or going a guided tour around Charles Fort, The Ghost Tour is also good fun.

Where is the best area to stay/sleep for young travellers?

There’s not really a best area, since it’s so small. But I would suggest staying as central as possible! Actons hotel is a great location and also Blindgate House B&B. Both places I’ve stayed and loved! Alternatively, using Airbnb is a great way to live like a local and get to meet people straight away.

What season would you recommend visiting?

I would definitely recommend coming in the Summer months so you’ve got a better chance of good weather!

Is Kinsale best for a family holiday/friends holiday or couple holiday?

Honestly, it suits everyone. If you’re looking for a wild weekend with friends, a romantic getaway with your significant other or a family trip with the kids, Kinsale has something for everyone!

It’s also the starting point of The Wild Atlantic Way, a tourism trail on the west coast which I would highly recommend doing! Depending on how far you wish to travel along the 2,500km driving route, you can pass through 9 counties and three provinces, stopping off and soaking up the culture of all the pretty, picturesque towns dotted along the way.

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