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A Guide To Dock Beach In Kinsale

A Guide To Dock Beach In Kinsale

Dock Beach in Kinsale is a fine spot if you’re looking to escape the busy town.

The closest of a number of beaches near Kinsale, you’ll find the small but spectacular Kinsale Beach where the River Brandon spills out into the ocean.

Sitting in the shadow of the mighty James Fort, it’s a good spot for relaxing and enjoying water sports.

Some quick need-to-knows about Dock Beach in Kinsale

kinsale beach

Photo left: © MediaProduction via Canva. Other: Google Maps


It’s easy enough to get to Kinsale Beach from the town, but there are still a few things to take into consideration before you set out.

1. Location

Just 6-minutes outside of Kinsale town centre, Dock Beach sits on the southern edge of Castlepark Peninsula. You’ll need to cross the bridge over the River Brandon to get there.

2. Parking

There’s a small car park a short walk from Dock Beach (here on Google Maps). Be warned though, like most of the best beaches in Cork, it soon fills up on sunny days.

3. Swimming

Kinsale Beach is a popular spot for swimming and watersports such as kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. Note that there is no lifeguard service, so please only enter the water if you’re a capable swimmer (read these water safety tips).


About Dock Beach

Lovely soft white sands lapped by a cyan sea make Kinsale Beach look like somewhere in the Seychelles rather than the outskirts of a busy Cork town.

You’ll get some fine views over the bay and across the harbour, with Charles Fort in clear sight.

The small sandy cove is bordered by rocks for scrambling on and as the tide goes out, you can be sure to see rock pools teeming with sea critters.


A good spot for a coastal walk

As you arrive on the sand, head left and follow the small path to the rocks.

Here, you’ll find a rope fixed to the rock wall and if you edge along, you can follow the path through to the fort, then up to the top of the hill for some great views.

Great for water sports

During the height of the summer season you can often find sea kayaks and stand-up paddleboards to rent from the folks at Atlantic Offshore Adventures.

You can also take a guided kayak or paddleboard tour of the harbour.


The Dock Bar

Just behind the beach you’ll find the Dock Bar, one of the best pubs in Kinsale for a drink with a view!

It’s a fine spot to sink a pint or two after fun in the sun, with lovely views over the harbour — amazing as the light declines.

Things to do nearby

One of the beauties of Dock Beach in Kinsale is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best things to do in Kinsale.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Kinsale Beach!

1. James Fort (5-minute walk)

James Fort

Photos via Shutterstock

Dating back to 1607, this former harbour side fortress is fascinating to stroll around.

It now lies in ruin, with mother nature slowly reclaiming its mighty stone walls. There’s a lovely walk around the site and you’ll enjoy panoramic views as you go. 


2. Kinsale for food (5-minute drive)

the bullman

Photos via the Bullman on FB

Cork may be known as the food capital or Ireland, but the smaller Kinsale can certainly hold its own.

The vibrant streets are lined with superb restaurants and pubs serving up some sumptuous meals. See the Kinsale restaurants guide.


3. Forts, walks + beaches (10-minute-plus drive)

Scilly Walk

Photos via Shutterstock

Check out the superb Scilly Walk which takes you up to Charles Fort for a great stroll.

Alternatively, head a little further out to tackle the Old Head of Kinsale Walk, which will leave you near the spectacular Garretstown and Garrylucas Beaches.


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