Come to Kinsale Off-Season
Why would anyone want to travel in Ireland off-season? It's rainy cold and wet, Right? As is true in much of the northern hemisphere travel from October to April can take you into sporadically colder weather, however for the seasoned traveler who appreciates being able to really see and understand a country there is nothing to compare to traveling off-season. The tourist rakes in the benefits: less cost on accommodation and food, one-on-one help in shops and restaurants, and people having time to chat and share about their lives. From October to May you'll get a good sense of what it's like to live in the place you are visiting and Kinsale is no different. To travel here off-season is to reap the benefits of our charming medieval town, with its picturesque Marina and wide estuary, while experiencing none of the hassle that most tourists have to put up with.
Summer winds down slowly in Kinsale, gradually moving past harvest into a true autumn. Just about the time the colors come alive with the vibrant oranges and reds that typify the season, Kinsale hosts its annual International Gourmet Festival that runs each year in early October. Visitors follow Alice, the Mad Hatter, March Hare, and the Fieldmouse as they wind their way through town sampling the best of each of the Kinsale Good Food Circle chefs. Others enjoy strolling along Scilly Walk that leads from the edge of Kinsale at water's edge most of the way to Charles Fort and its reminder of Kinsale's history as a bastion for English troops for hundreds of years. A bit of history, great exercise, warm and wonderful people, and great food -- what more could a visitor want?
Of course Kinsale Christmas is the highlight of the winter season, with its torchlight parade, children's activities, stores and restaurants all decked out for the season, and best of all, local musical and theatrical entertainment that will leave you breathless with laughter and delight. Still, we like the stillness that takes over our area of the country in late November and early December. Time is less hectic, harvest and the busyness of autumn are over, and the days are short enough to drive people into the pub for a quick pint on their way home. This is great for the visitor who wants to engage with the locals and find out what life is all about. In Kinsale, you'll leave with many memories of great conversations, Irish traditional music, and evidence that gentler times and places are still available in some parts of the world.
As the country comes alive with daffodils and bright yellow gorse, spring in Kinsale brings an air of potential and people respond to it in many ways. In early April yachters enjoy the Kinsale Spring Series of races and the outer harbor is filled with colorful spinnakers as they take their yachts out for the first race of the season. Meanwhile local residents interested in encouraging environmentally sound practices gather for an amazingly fun and upbeat event called the Transition Town Kinsale Spring fair. Enjoy great slow cooking while measuring your carbon footprint, learning bike maintenance, or shopping at a car boot sale. A musical extravaganza with local talent Billy Crosbie will put a smile on your face as we locals spruce up our houses, plant or flower boxes, and prepare for the hectic summer season. Spring, especially April and May are one of our favorite times of year in Kinsale.
Day trips out of Kinsale in any season include: a quick visit to Old Head, and the memorial where the Lusitania sank, meandering through the English market in Cork city center, or climbing narrow and curved staircases at any number of nearby castles. Rain or shine, whether a warm breeze or a need to bundle in multiple layers, any visitor will enjoy the friendly people, the lovely views and the spirit of people who have made this charming town of delight for centuries.