If you're a fan of history and/or photography, be sure to spend time at Charles Fort in County Cork. This National Monument of Ireland is the bastion on the water's edge near Kinsale, and is open year round.
The fort was built on the site of an earlier stronghold known as Ringcurran Castle, that was featured prominently during the Siege of Kinsale in 1601.
The fort you see today was built in the 1670s and 1680s to a star fortification design - a layout specifically designed to resist attack by cannon.
Charles Fort looks out over Kinsale's harbor, and it's a great place to watch the sun go down and to let your kids run around. The fort buildings, which date back to the 17th century, make a good setting for hide and seek, and the hilly grounds invite running with glee. We watched the boats come in, explored the old buildings, and just enjoyed the sun and breeze.