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Dejlig Ko

Blarney or Kinsale?

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Our cruise stop in Cobh is too short to visit both places.  Looking for recommends on which to visit. Thank you in advance!

Edited by Host Bonjour
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Well, it depends on your interests.  If you go to Blarney Castle you can view the gardens, and climb the castle to kiss the Blarney Stone.  Woolen Mills shopping area is adjacent to the grounds, as well.  Kinsale is a picturesque harbor town with unique restaurants and shops.  The drive to Kinsale is very scenic, allowing you to see some of the Irish countryside.

 

We took an independent tour that went to both places, so we had the best of both worlds!  I would recommend checking out a combination tour if you are unsure which site to choose.

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We booked a tour through eCoach that went to both. If I had to choose one over the other, I'd go to Blarney. We enjoyed going up in the ruins of the castle. There's just one line, and it can be quite a wait. We got lucky and ran into friends from a previous cruise while waiting. It did not seem as long since we were catching up with them. We had time to tour the gardens but not to go to the Woollen Mills. Our tour went back through Cork on the way to Kinsale. The driver pointed out a few highlights. It looked like a nice place to return to. We had around 90 minutes in Kinsale--enough time to eat fish and chips, stop for ice cream, and look in a few shops. It's a quaint town on the water, but nothing that special.

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4 hours ago, Cruisen Elf said:

Well, it depends on your interests.  If you go to Blarney Castle you can view the gardens, and climb the castle to kiss the Blarney Stone.  Woolen Mills shopping area is adjacent to the grounds, as well.  Kinsale is a picturesque harbor town with unique restaurants and shops.  The drive to Kinsale is very scenic, allowing you to see some of the Irish countryside.

 

We took an independent tour that went to both places, so we had the best of both worlds!  I would recommend checking out a combination tour if you are unsure which site to choose.

What company did you use for the tour?

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2 hours ago, geoherb said:

We booked a tour through eCoach that went to both. If I had to choose one over the other, I'd go to Blarney. We enjoyed going up in the ruins of the castle. There's just one line, and it can be quite a wait. We got lucky and ran into friends from a previous cruise while waiting. It did not seem as long since we were catching up with them. We had time to tour the gardens but not to go to the Woollen Mills. Our tour went back through Cork on the way to Kinsale. The driver pointed out a few highlights. It looked like a nice place to return to. We had around 90 minutes in Kinsale--enough time to eat fish and chips, stop for ice cream, and look in a few shops. It's a quaint town on the water, but nothing that special.

Do you have a web address for eCoach?

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4 hours ago, LouiseCobh said:

Hey, 

Sometimes eCoach do a half day tour to Blarney which may suit your times. 
https://www.ecoach.ie/index.php

On our day they only offer the 1/2 day to Blarney due to the ship's limited time in port. I am trying to decide between that 1/2 day to Blarney or a different 1/2 day to Kinsale.  Thanks for all the replies so far! Does anyone prefer one over the the other?

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19 hours ago, Dejlig Ko said:

On our day they only offer the 1/2 day to Blarney due to the ship's limited time in port. I am trying to decide between that 1/2 day to Blarney or a different 1/2 day to Kinsale.  Thanks for all the replies so far! Does anyone prefer one over the the other?

It is hard to pick one over the other. Blarney is stunning with beautiful gardens to walk around. It is a great spot for photos and the woollen mills across the road from it has delicious scones and lots of Irish made products.

 

Kinsale is a stunning colourful town, full of cobbled streets and great little shops and cafes. Kinsale is further away so if I had to decide I would probably chose Blarney as there is a bus tour going there and you could spend some time in Cobh once the bus gets back to the port.  If you have a higher budget then possibly book a private bus tour to Kinsale and stop in Charlesfort on the way down there. You won't have time to get there via public transport.
Hope this helps..  

Edited by LouiseCobh
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You have other options closer to Cóbh too. If you have only a short stop in port.

There's Fota: a wildlife park and historic gardens and house. A lovely walk through Irish countryside. You can catch the train right next to port that stops at Fota. About €20 pp for train or park. About 10 min train ride. Fota House does lovely cakes and lunches

 

Or you could stay on the train to Midleton and visit the Jameson whisky distillery which is very Interesting.

 

Cobh itself has plenty of local Irish products from arán jumbers to marmalade, you do not need to go miles to see Ireland.

 

But if you are determined to do a tour I would choose Blarney you probably get more for your money. They also have a lovely cafe in the stables at Blarney.

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On 11/15/2018 at 1:40 AM, LouiseCobh said:

It is hard to pick one over the other. Blarney is stunning with beautiful gardens to walk around. It is a great spot for photos and the woollen mills across the road from it has delicious scones and lots of Irish made products.

 

Kinsale is a stunning colourful town, full of cobbled streets and great little shops and cafes. Kinsale is further away so if I had to decide I would probably chose Blarney as there is a bus tour going there and you could spend some time in Cobh once the bus gets back to the port.  If you have a higher budget then possibly book a private bus tour to Kinsale and stop in Charlesfort on the way down there. You won't have time to get there via public transport.
Hope this helps..  

Thank you so much, it does help -  quite a bit

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On 11/15/2018 at 2:19 AM, kerryincork said:

You have other options closer to Cóbh too. If you have only a short stop in port.

There's Fota: a wildlife park and historic gardens and house. A lovely walk through Irish countryside. You can catch the train right next to port that stops at Fota. About €20 pp for train or park. About 10 min train ride. Fota House does lovely cakes and lunches

 

Or you could stay on the train to Midleton and visit the Jameson whisky distillery which is very Interesting.

 

Cobh itself has plenty of local Irish products from arán jumbers to marmalade, you do not need to go miles to see Ireland.

 

But if you are determined to do a tour I would choose Blarney you probably get more for your money. They also have a lovely cafe in the stables at Blarney.

great options - thanks!

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Honestly Kinsale was crowded and a big disappointment.  If i had to pick between those two, go to Blarney and hopefully you have some time to walk around Cobh afterwards.  We didn't stand in the line to go inside the castle but the grounds and walking around outside were worth it.

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We had no interest in seeing or kissing the stone.   We spent about three very pleasant hours exploring the grounds — loved it.

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We loved our half day in Kinsale.  We took a historical walking tour (with Don & Barry's - excellent) and had a fabulous lunch at Dinos, right on the water.  Kinsale is charming and picturesque, and definitely has quite a bit of history, if that interests you.

 

We took a one day tour with Tours by Locals, so after our visit to Kinsale we had enough time for a visit to the Jameson Distillery in Middleton.  I'm not much of a drinker - in fact, I took my very first sip EVER at the end of this tour - but I still found the tour quite interesting.  And the drive between Cobh and Kinsale, and Kinsale and Middleton, was gorgeous.  Lots of green rolling hills and beautiful scenery.

 

And even with all that, we visited the Cobh Heritage Center for about an hour.  This is a fabulous activity to do at the end of the day, because we were literally steps away from our ship.  It's a great little museum , but again, I really like history.

 

Hope this helps.  We had a lovely day in the area and made a ton of great memories!

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