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 West Cork > Towns > Kinsale - present

Kinsale - Present
Part 2 of 2
Part 1 : Kinsale - Past

How different Kinsale is to-day. On a summers' evening, the flotilla of yachts moored at the Yachting Marina and the variety of other craft scattered around the harbour convey the image of a miniature Monte Carlo. Sailing, boating and fishing are the magnets which attract the many visitors to Kinsale Harbour. For those who wish to remain on solid ground, there is a selection of Golf Courses and a choice of scenic walks.
Kinsale justifiably boasts of being the Gourmet Capital of Ireland. Quality of cuisine and inter-restaurant cooperation are the pillars on which this reputation rests. Some thirty years ago twelve local restaurants formed "The Good Food Circle" to
cooperate in providing the widest variety of top-quality food. It was such an outstanding success that in recent years it was dissolved and re-established as "The New Good Food Circle" with an expanded membership of twenty one restaurants. What other town of similar size anywhere can offer such a variety of gourmet fare. The dining highlight each year in Kinsale is the "Festival of Autumn Flavours" held in October.

  A stroll through the town - its narrow streets remind one of Toledo - reveals some interesting bits of history: St. Multose Church: is a pre -Reformation Church built toward the end of the twelfth century.
The Courthouse: just predates the Battle of Kinsale and now serves as the Town Museum. It houses artefacts from the Lusitania which was sunk off the Old Head of Kinsale in 1915. It also has among its exhibits a colossal pair of boots that belonged to the Kinsale Ginat, the eight-foot-three-inch tall Conor O'Brien who died in 1806. Desmond Castle: also known locally as "The French Prison" is now the property of the state and is designated as "The International Museum of Wine".

A pleasant two-mile (3km) stroll along a well-marked coastal path leads to Charles' Fort, built by the English in 1670, to guard the harbour. It is one of the finest surviving examples in Europe of a star-shaped fort. Kinsale to-day is a most modern tourist town, yet it is haunted by its past - allegedly it has its own ghost, "The White Lady". According to legend, the governor of Charles Fort, at twilight on the day of his daughters' wedding, mistook her newly-wed husband for a negligent sentry and shot him, fatally wounding him. When the bride discovered what had happened, she rushed to the battlements and plunged into the ocean. Her ghost, in bridal gown - "The White Lady" - is reputed to regularly haunt Charles Fort. If you have not heard the haunting keening of Cliona's Wave during your visit to Glandore, you may be luckier in Kinsale and see The White Lady!

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