A fine example of a star-shaped military structure, Charles Fort once served as an important part of a waterfront defense system designed to resist cannon attacks. Built in the 1670s on the site of a medieval castle, the fort remained in use until 1922, playing a key role in some of the most important battles in Irish history. Two giant bastions, the fort's main features, overlook the water, while three others face inland. To learn the history behind the fort's weather-beaten walls and see what remains of the old military barracks and support facilities, join a daily guided tour, available year-round. The tour involves a walk on rocky terrain, so bring appropriate footwear. Use our Kinsale trip itinerary website to arrange your visit to Charles Fort and other attractions in Kinsale.
Tours to Charles Fort
Cork Shore Excursion: Cork Tour Including Kinsale and Blarney Castle BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $66
Duration: 7 hours
Shore Excursion from Cobh (Cork) to Blarney Castle, Cork City and Kinsale BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $66
Duration: 8 hours
Charles Fort Reviews
This is a magnificent set of structures. The engineering was incredible and the fort stayed in tact until the 20th century. Ask the locals as to why it fell into disrepair - an interesting story. Take... more »
This Fort has lots of history from 1500 to 1800. We were lucky to get complimentary entry. You could spend a couple of hours here easily but we only had 1 hour to spare which was fine if you get a mov... more »
If you like exploring forts, Charles Fort is a superior example of a star fort. They’re still in the process of restoring it, but there is plenty to see. Lots of amazing views are available on every side. Be sure to book your tour ahead of time as we weren’t able to do the guided tour.
This place is huge inside...it really doesn't look like it from the pictures and maps but damn! Cool Irish history lessons nice hike through it. Definitely recommend this place.
Places to stay near Charles Fort
Plan your trip to Kinsale
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
View all >
Hidden gems in Kinsale
Side trips from Kinsale
Shopping in Kinsale
Museums in Kinsale
Plans to Charles Fort by other users
15 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 29 days in Ireland, Northern Ireland & Iceland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 37 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 9 days in Ireland's West Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 3 days in Cork BY A USER FROM POLAND October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA September, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: September, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium