Old Head of Kinsale, County Cork

After sampling some of culinary delights of Kinsale, set your sights further west and discover the Old Head of Kinsale. This is what "picture moments" are made of

Rugged ocean cliffs, Old Head provided by Captblack76
Rugged ocean cliffs, Old Head provided by Captblack76

Just you and the ocean

Simply put, the Old Head of Kinsale in County Cork is one of Ireland’s most spectacular coastal areas. This large promontory juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, rising hundreds of feet above the water with towering sea cliffs. On this stretch of coastal bliss, it feels like you’ve left the world behind. It’s just you and the ocean.

Stretch your legs

The best way to explore the Old Head is by foot. The Old Head of Kinsale Loop is a gentle 6km (3.7 miles) walk that takes in a circular route around the head. The dramatic cliffs and lush headland speckled with bursts of white and yellow flowers aren’t the only gems here.

The walk will bring you by the mysterious ruins of a fort, which is said to have been built by the Celts around 100BC. Further on, the black and white striped Old Head Lighthouse stands looking out to sea. It was just off the coast here that a German torpedo sank the Lusitania. The wreck still lies beneath the waves.

Anyone for golf?

The Old Head of Kinsale is also home to one of the most prestigious golf courses on the planet: The Old Head Golf Links. With the wild Atlantic Ocean crashing all around you, nature is the biggest challenge here. 

Add on award-winning accommodation and a luxurious spa onsite, and perhaps this is the place to completely unwind before continuing along the Wild Atlantic Way?

Hit the water

Of course, you can always explore the Old Head from a different perspective with a visit to H2O Sea Kayaking. The team caters for pros and beginners, and will take you around and even under Old Head via incredible sea arches. Keep your eyes peeled for zooming kittiwakes, friendly seals and basking sharks.

With the Old Head of Kinsale well and truly explored from land and sea, you’re ready to get back into your Wild Atlantic Way adventure.

Geographical coordinates: Latitude 51.6167; longitude 8.5250 (note, if you use your car’s GPS to go directly to this point, you may not always remain on the Wild Atlantic Way route.)

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