Gorse, brambles and lots of green, green grass. It couldn’t be anywhere but the Emerald Isle. In fact, Cork is such a classic slice of Irish countryside, you half expect a leprechaun to pop out of a hedge with his pot of gold. And that’s just some of the scenery you’ll pass on your way to Kinsale. A beautiful harbour town in the south of Cork, Kinsale is also the gourmet capital of Ireland. It’s home to more than a dozen award-winning pubs and restaurants. Plus with narrow streets, overflowing window-boxes and brightly painted shop fronts, it’s got chocolate-box good looks, too. Better yet, you’ll see the wine museum in Desmond Castle. But it’s Charles Fort that deserves special mention here. This star-shaped fort sits two miles outside the town centre, guarding the harbour. You’ll have a brief photo-stop here before you head into the centre of Kinsale to explore. This isn’t your typical tourist town and it’s not full of high street favourites. Instead it’s all about dinky boutiques selling crystal, knitwear and Celtic jewellery. On the drive back to the ship, keep an eye out for Innishannon. A character-packed village pushed into the spotlight back in 1755 when the tidal wave backlash from the Lisbon earthquake wiped it out. Here you’ll enjoy the day’s final photo-opportunity on the banks of the River Bandon.
- SUITABILITY Little physical activity.