Garretstown and the Old head of Kinsale., Kinsale
If you have a car or can take a tour it is really worthwhile going a few miles beyond Kinsale to the Blue Flag beach at Garretstown and the magnificent cliffs at the Old Head. Garretstown beach is popular with watersports enthusiasts but it's also a good beach for walking or just chilling out with a picnic. The Old Head of Kinsale was once a Promontory Fort but is now home to an exclusive golf club, whose membership fees make sure that none but the very rich gets through its gates. The gates are at the start of the headland, marked by the ruins of an old tower but fortunately, parking here is possible. So while you won't be able to walk round the headland you can still get excellent views of the dramatic cliffs with the sea crashing over the rocks below. You can walk uphill from here, towards the old lookout tower and this is always an exhilarating, windy tussle with the elements. On a sunny day this is a perfect picture postcard spot to visit but it's still impressive even when the mist rolls in.
There is no charge for parking at the cliffs but if you don't have your own transport, you'll need to join a tour or take a taxi from Garretstown or Kinsale. The public bus goes as far as Garretstown and if you like hiking, then you could continue on foot.
A little word of warning: please be careful when you visit the Old Head. There are no railings or barriers , so don't go too close to the edge, especially when the grass is slippery after rain.
On our way from the Old Head of Kinsale to the town itself we stopped to bask a little in the sun on Garretstown Beach. It was July, the peak of holiday season, but the beach wasn't crowded, far from it - there were just a few people sitting on the rocks at its edge, walking or lying on the sand, and a handful of people bathing. Quite a few cars were parked by the road very close to the beach but their passengers were nowhere to be seen. Parking is not a problem and the beach is so close to the road that you can actually breathe in the sea air and admire the view without getting out of the car at all.
Fantastic drive out of Kinsale to Old Head Golf Club. Beatiful day to sit and have a picnic overlooking the sea on all sides.