Standing strong throughout the Williamite War of 1689-91 and the Civil War of 1922-23, the Charles Fort has played witness to some of Ireland’s most significant battles, and it remains one of the country’s most impressive castles. The fort is most renowned for its classic star-shaped design, the work of architect William Robinson, and was built by King Charles II in the late 17th century.
Now preserved as a National Monument, Charles Fort remains an impressive landmark, perched dramatically on the coastal cliffs of Summer Cove, looking out across the Celtic Sea. Visitors are free to roam the ruins, learn about the fort’s fascinating history at the on-site museum, and take in the views from the ramparts.
Insider’s Tip: The most impressive way to reach Charles Fort is to hike along the 3km Sicily Walk, a scenic coastal route, signposted from Kinsale.
Charles Fort is located on Ireland’s south coast, around 3km southeast of Kinsale and is open daily from 10am to 5pm (Nov to mid-March) or 6pm (mid-March to October). Adult admission is €4.