The Scilly Walk in Kinsale is one of my favourite things to do in Cork.
And it’s easily one of the best things to in Kinsale (especially when the sun’s shining!).
With amazing food, historic attractions, vibrant pubs, and much more, Kinsale is a fantastic place to explore on foot.
And few walks in or near the town can rival the mighty Scilly Walk. In the guide below, you’ll find everything you need to know.
Some quick need-to-knows about the Scilly Walk in Kinsale
The Scilly Walk in Kinsale is a nice and straightforward trail, but there are a handful of need-to-knows that’ll make your ramble that bit more enjoyable.
The 6 km round trip is a fairly light and enjoyable walk, taking in an array of sights and attractions. Here’s what you need to know.
1. How long it takes
At around 6 km there and back, it’s possible to complete the walk in as little as 30 minutes each way. However, you’ll want to allow some more time for taking it slow when the views start to emerge. Allow even longer if you plan on stopping at Charles Fort (the end of the trail)
2. Where it starts
You’ll want to head for The Spaniard (one of the best pubs in Kinsale) and Man Friday. Both are in the village, and its from here that the walk officially starts. The Scilly Walk circles back on itself, so you’ll end up back here in time for lunch or dinner.
3. A handy signposted trail
The Scilly walks is fairly well signposted. Keep an eye out for the greeny-brown signs with ‘Scilly Walking Tour’ written on them.
4. Things you’ll see
Along the way you’ll pass numerous pubs, cafes, and restaurants, so there’s no shortage of amazing refreshments along the way. Stunning views over the harbour accompany you for much of the route, and you’re bound to see some interesting sea life. If you’re really lucky you might catch a glimpse of dolphins, but seals, cormorants and herons are common sights.
The best way to tackle the Scilly Walk in Kinsale
Regardless of where you’re staying in Kinsale, you’ll want to point your nose in the direction of the Spaniard Pub.
You’ll know you’ve reached it when you see its bright yellow exterior come into view. If you haven’t had breakfast (or coffee) you could always nip in here to refuel.
Kicking off your walk
From here, you’ll want to aim for ‘Lower Road’ — it’s easy to find from the Spaniard. From here, head straight on, and you’ll pass ‘Man Friday’!
Follow the road downhill and you’ll see signs for the walk, which runs along the water’s edge, offering great views of the town, as well as both James and Charles forts.
The climb to ‘High Road’
Once the road runs out, you’ll find yourself at the bottom of a fairly steep hill. Climb up it and continue along the road until you reach the bright orange Bulman Bar.
The Bulman is another solid spot for a bite to eat. From here, you have two options: head back the way you came or continue on to Charles Fort.
I’d recommend extending the Scilly Walk to take it Charles Fort, as it’s only a 6-minute stroll from the Bulman and it’s well worth a visit (here’s everything you need to know about the fort)
The walk back to Kinsale
When it comes to making your way back to Kinsale, you’ve two options: you can retrace your steps or you can take the High Road (the road you climbed up onto).
The High Road offers some brilliant views out over Kinsale, but there’s no paths to walk on for a good chunk of the stroll back.
If you do decide to take the High Road, please be careful and make sure to stay tight into the side of the road and listen out for oncoming vehicles.
Things to do after the Scilly Walk
When you finish up the Scilly Walk, you can either chill for the day or spend some time soaking up some more of the area.
Below, you’ll find some things to see and do after you’ve conquered the Scilly Walk.
All that walking surely worked up an appetite, so why not treat yourself and grab a slap-up meal at one of many great restaurants in Kinsale.
Along the Scilly Walk you’re spoiled for choice, with The Bulman and Man Friday offering up gourmet dishes, while the Spaniard dishes up high quality pub grub.
Alternatively, head back into town where you’ll find no shortage of amazing food to suit any appetite. From Michelin starred bistros to homely cafes, Kinsale’s amazing food scene has got you covered.
The ultimate way to wrap up a day of walking is with a couple of pints in one of Kinsale’s many amazing pubs.
To really soak up the atmosphere, head for somewhere that offers live music — there are plenty of places with almost daily sessions. You can check them out in our guide to the best pubs in Kinsale, cheers!
3. Walks, hikes and historic sites
There’s plenty of other things to do in Kinsale, from a visit to Charles Fort to a stroll along Kinsale Beach, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.
There’s also the Old Head of Kinsale Loop and there’s plenty of beaches near Kinsale if you fancy getting your feet wet.
FAQs about the Scilly Walk in Kinsale
Since first publishing this guide a few years back, we’ve had questions asking everything from how long is the Scilly Walk in Kinsale to where to kick it off.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
How long is the Scilly Walk?
At around 6 km there and back, it’s possible to complete the Scilly Walk in Kinsale in as little as 40 minutes each way.
Where does the walk start?
The Scilly Walk kicks off at Man Friday restaurant. See the directions above for the trail to follow (it’s nice and straightforward).
What is there to do after the Scilly Walk?
When you finish up the Scilly Walk, you can either grab a bite to eat in one of Kinsale’s many restaurants or you can tackle some of the towns other attractions.