Wild Atlantic Way – The world’s longest coastal route
Where land and sea collide
The Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s first long-distance driving route, stretching from Kinsale to the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal, and offering visitors an opportunity to truly discover the west coast.
It’s hard to imagine a more picturesque or charming town. Kinsale has many strings to its bow, with all the fresh produce in the local restaurants, the rich history of Charles Fort and the excellent fishing charters available. But just west of the town is another of Kinsale’s treasures waiting to be discovered: The Old Head of Kinsale.
Just you and the ocean
Simply put, the Old Head of Kinsale in County Cork is one of Ireland’s most spectacular coastal areas. This large promontory juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, rising hundreds of feet above the water with towering sea cliffs. On this stretch of coastal bliss, it feels like you’ve left the world behind. It’s just you and the ocean.
Stretch your legs
The best way to explore the Old Head is by foot. The Old Head of Kinsale Loop is a gentle 6km (3.7 miles) walk that takes in a circular route around the head. The dramatic cliffs and lush headland speckled with bursts of white and yellow flowers aren’t the only gems here. The walk will bring you by the mysterious ruins of a fort, which is said to have been built by the Celts around 100BC. Further on, the black and white striped Old Head Lighthouse stands looking out to sea. It was just off the coast here that a German torpedo sank the Lusitania. The wreck still lies beneath the waves Anyone for golf? The Old Head of Kinsale is also home to one of the most prestigious golf courses on the planet: The Old Head Golf Links. With the wild Atlantic Ocean crashing all around you, nature is the biggest challenge here.
Hit the water
Of course, you can always explore the Old Head from a different perspective with a visit to H2O Sea Kayaking. The team caters for pros and beginners, and will take you around and even under Old Head via incredible sea arches. Keep your eyes peeled for zooming kittiwakes, friendly seals and basking sharks. With the Old Head of Kinsale well and truly explored from land and sea, you’re ready to get back into your Wild Atlantic Way adventure.
Based in Kinsale Town, Ocean Addicts can whisk you away on a scuba diving adventure. Their diving and coastal cruise trips explore the coast of West Cork from Kinsale, Bantry and beyond.
Here’s what makes Ireland great…
A quirky but informative travel guide – 50 Secrets of the Wild Atlantic Way – has been designed to highlight some of the hidden treasures along the route.