I visited Cobh on a day trip from Cork last October. There is no need for a guided day trip by bus, you can catch the train which is extremely easy. Have a look at my trip report for further information (scroll down to Thursday 7/10/10 if you don’t want to read all of the report).
I agree, you don't need a guided trip to Cobh at all as Welsh said. Train is the only public transport option from Cork city to Cobh and only takes 25 mins (About €6 return).
The heritage centre is right at the train station and there is a very interesting walk through the small town up to St Colmans cathedral on the hill - a must see when you are in Cobh. The harbour views from there are superb.
If you do want some history of the town why not book a titanic trail walking tour. www.titanic-trail.com
It would not be practical to complete a visit to both Cobh and Kinsale on the same day by public transport as both are in opposite directions and it would mean a fairly rushed trip to both.
If you want to get to Kinsale however, you can do so by bus, a journey time of 50mins each way, and Kinsale too is an interesting town to visit, though I normally recommend that you have a car when you visit there so that you can also fit in both Charlesfort and Jamesfort when you are there, not to mention a 6 mile drive to Old head of Kinsale and Garrettstown beach.
Bring good walking shoes to Cobh, definitely avoid wearing heals at all costs! The hills are practically vertical! I nearly died running up to the Cathedral to make it in time for a confirmation!
Try Fishy Fishy, for a dinner at lunchtime, or the Blue Haven cafe for lunch if it soup and sandwiches you are looking for.
You should really do the scilly walk. It's out of Kinsale, along the water, and you can make it a circle which means you end up back in Kinsale. When you end the part by the water and end up at the main road it is left back to Kinsale but if you have time go right. 5 minutes down this road is a pub called the Bullman. It is so lovely, out by the water, and the food is really good. Not open until 4pm on Mondays. The walk takes about 50 minutes.
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