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 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!