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Charles Fort

Now a national monument with exhibition center, this 17th-century military stronghold has witnessed some of Ireland's most significant events.

Charles Fort is a historic landmark and the biggest visitor attraction in the village of Kinsale. Review 400 years of Irish history as you wander past bastions, ruined barracks and other remnants of this preserved defense structure. You don't have to be a military history enthusiast to enjoy this treasured Irish site; the views over the harbor and Kinsale town are magnificent.

This star-shaped fort was built during the 1670s and 80s and named in honor of King Charles II. Though parts of the fort were burned down in 1922, significant restoration has brought it back to life.

The Charles Fort vantage point is excellent for memorable vacation photos. Learn about important Irish history by visiting the exhibition center. Displays show how the site was originally another fort, a stronghold in the Siege of Kinsale in 1601. In 1690 Charles Fort played a key role in the Williamite War. Later, it served as a base for British troops, until it was seized and partially destroyed by anti-Treaty forces in 1922 during the Irish Civil War.

Guided tours of the fort are available regularly and last an hour. Join one to get an insight into the events that took place on the site and to hear the Southern Irish accent with its distinctive lyrical tones. Visit the on-site café for refreshments.

While wandering through the fort, make sure you get a picture of Robert Reading's 17th-century lighthouse. On the opposite side of the harbor on Castlepark peninsula is James's Fort, a smaller fortress that slightly predates Charles Fort.

In the nearby town of Kinsale, visit gourmet seafood restaurants, souvenir shops, art galleries or the idyllic yacht-filled harbor.

Charles Fort perches on the cliffs over Kinsale Harbor in County Cork, and is open daily. There's a small entrance fee. The fort is located 1.8 miles (3 kilometers) from the town of Kinsale, a scenic walk that is quite enjoyable if the weather is right.


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Lodging Near Charles Fort

See all 158 Properties near Charles Fort
Kinsale Hotel & Spa $94
Reviewed on May 6, 2019
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Kinsale Hotel & Spa

Kinsale Hotel & Spa

Rathmore Road, Kinsale, Cork
     
    4.2 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Kinsale was my first stop in Ireland, and after 17 hours in the air and 3 hours driving down from Dublin, all my partner and i can recall is the the clean comfortable beds and shower. That's all you need really.

    Amazing Sea Views From This Beautiful Kinsale Property
    Reviewed on Oct 29, 2016
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    Amazing Sea Views From This Beautiful Kinsale Property

    Amazing Sea Views From This Beautiful Kinsale Property

    Cork
       
      5.0 of 5
      0.0 out of 5.0

      Kinsale is a beautiful town and we had the best view of it. Billy is a real charmer and so eager to help. We had a wonderful time there and wished we could have stayed longer. The house is very well equipped with all the comforts of home. Would definitely rent again.

      Trident Hotel $206
      Reviewed on Apr 10, 2019
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      Trident Hotel

      Trident Hotel

      Worlds End, Kinsale, Cork
         
        4.5 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Very friendly and opens up breakfast early just for me.

        Tierney's Guesthouse $96
        Reviewed on May 24, 2019
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        Tierney's Guesthouse

        Tierney's Guesthouse

        70 Main Street, Kinsale, Cork (county)
           
          3.5 of 5
          2.0 out of 5.0

          It was what it said it was. Pretty basic but that’s what we wanted.

          Comfortable Kinsale Getaway
          Reviewed on Aug 14, 2018
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          Comfortable Kinsale Getaway

          Comfortable Kinsale Getaway

          Summercove, County Cork
             
            5.0 of 5
            0.0 out of 5.0

            We loved our stay at Neve's - the property is beautiful and really spacious, and the beds were very comfy. The kids each had a double bed in a large bedroom, which worked well. The kitchen was well equipped for cooking, and the bbq outside was an extra bonus which we used a couple of times. The house ...

            Actons Hotel $175
            Reviewed on May 25, 2019
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            Actons Hotel

            Actons Hotel

            Pier Road, Kinsale, Cork
               
              4.4 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0

              A very nice hotel in a beautiful location. If I had to live in Ireland I would live in Kinsale.

              The White Lady Hotel $168
              Reviewed on Jan 31, 2019
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              The White Lady Hotel

              The White Lady Hotel

              Lower O'connell Street, Kinsale, CORK
                 
                4.3 of 5
                2.0 out of 5.0

                Friendly team and delicious seafood. I'll be back!!

                Long Quay House $158
                Reviewed on May 23, 2019
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                Long Quay House

                Long Quay House

                Long Quay, Kinsale
                   
                  4.9 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  we liked everything about this property .coukd not fault a thing . breakfast was amazing and so much choice .