Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Ireland  /  Province of Munster  /  County Cork  /  Kinsale  /  Historic Sites  /  Charles Fort

Charles Fort, Kinsale

4.6
#1 of 35 in Things to do in Kinsale
Historic Site Tourist Spot
A fine example of a star-shaped military structure, Charles Fort once served as an important part of a waterfront defense system designed to resist cannon attacks. Built in the 1670s on the site of a medieval castle, the fort remained in use until 1922, playing a key role in some of the most important battles in Irish history. Two giant bastions, the fort's main features, overlook the water, while three others face inland. To learn the history behind the fort's weather-beaten walls and see what remains of the old military barracks and support facilities, join a daily guided tour, available year-round. The tour involves a walk on rocky terrain, so bring appropriate footwear. To visit Charles Fort on your trip to Kinsale, use our Kinsale travel itinerary planner.
Create an itinerary including Charles Fort
map
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,580 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • We were lucky to visit this fort on a gorgeous day so the views were even more beautiful. Well informed guides, excellent exhibitions and lots to look at kept us entertained for a couple of hours.  more »
  • Charles fort tour was well worth doing, if you go wait on the guide it's very informative and worth listening to, the stories are well worth hearing, usually I would be bored with historical sites but...  more »
  • Recently visited this fort, but not in great detail. It's a good location if you like historical locations. Has a great view of Kinsale and the inlet for this area. Very windy, so take a jacket and if...  more »
Google
  • A great day out for the family. What you get for the entrance fee is completely worth it. There are exhibitions with information about the history of the site and short video clips to keep all entertained. Walking through the Fort can feel like a maze as there are so many buildings and ruins that it can be difficult to keep track of where you are. You can walk along the edges of the Fort and enjoy the spectacular views of Kinsale. The staff are very friendly and there to answer any questions one might have. There is a cafe on site to indulge in a cup of coffee or treat yourself to lunch. Would highly recommend.
  • We were lucky enough to arrive just before the tour started which was very interesting. Would recommend it. Loved it all. Thank you to our tour guide also :)
  • Definitely worth the 5€ entrance fee. Really nice place to visit, lots of history. It's a 40 minute walk from Kinsale but it's a nice walk. I would highly recommend it and would go again.
  • This was fantastic. So much to walk around, so many incredible ruins to see and walk THROUGH. We were warned it might be closed and we'd just see it from the outside, that alone would have been cool, but it was open and walking through each portion of it was AMAZING. And all of it is right alongside the water, making it an absolutely beautiful setting. There is one and only one thing I point out as a flaw. There is so much history there and so many things and stories to tell, that it was really frustrating that there was no tour offered. We asked and they apparently do it at busier times of year. Okay, I get that, but then create an AUDIO guide at least. Add signs on each part that show what room it is, there was so little information while walking around it was really limiting. Yes there was information before you started but this could be one of my favorite tours of all time if it was explained to me along the way, I really hope they do something about it, I could see this becoming like the Tower of London tour where people in costume take you around and tell you stories at each part, it would draw loads of crowds. Just a really missed opportunity, because it's an awesome site.
  • Our guide was very knowledgeable about Irish🍀 history. Very interesting place!

Plan your trip to Kinsale

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Kinsale

If you visit the charming fishing village of Kinsale, opt for a place by the water rather than the center. It should be easy to find accommodations along the picturesque harbor, where a majority of the village's hotels are located. From here you will enjoy scenic views of the coast and easily be able to walk to the town's center. Budget travelers can find affordable guest homes away from the shoreline or outside of the town center. Visitors wanting more luxury will be able to find a few beautiful spa or upscale hotels.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
TripAdvisor
Millions of travel reviews
on TripAdvisor

Plans in Kinsale by other users

12 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, romantic, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM GREECE November, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in West Cork BY A USER FROM IRELAND September, relaxing, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: September, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 41 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in West Cork BY A USER FROM IRELAND August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in West Cork BY A USER FROM IRELAND August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: May, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM CANADA February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 48 days in United Kingdom & Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 33 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in West Cork BY A USER FROM IRELAND August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in County Cork BY A USER FROM IRELAND October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans