THE HOOK LIGHTHOUSE AND PENINSULA
The Hook Peninsula is packed full of heritage, adventure and beaches. The iconic Wexford landmark, Hook lighthouse, is one of Wexford’s top attractions.
“The road shadowing the long, tapering finger of the Hook Peninsula is signposted as the Ring of Hook costal drive. Around every other bend is a quiet beach, a crumbling fortress, a stately abbey or a seafood restaurant, and the world’s oldest working lighthouse is flung out on its tip” Lonely Planet
The Hook Peninsula boasts heritage dating from every important period in Ireland’s history, from monastic times through to the Normans and the Knights Templar and onwards to modern day. Highlights include Tintern Abbey, 12th century Dunbrody Abbey, The Kennedy Homestead, Loftus Hall and Ballyhack Castle. Medieval Hook Lighthouse is a 13th century Norman structure, built by the Earl of Pembroke as part of the development of his Lordship of Leinster.
One of the highlights of the Hook Peninsula is Hook Lighthouse, which is over 800 years old and is the oldest intact operational lighthouse in the world. Hook Lighthouse offers guided tours of the lighthouse all year and it is frequently rated as one of the top things to do Wexford.
Fancy some exercise? Why not climb the 115 steps at Hook Lighthouse to the spectacular view from their balcony, try your hand at the myriad of watersports available including kayaking, kitesurfing and scuba diving, or for the more adventurous try something new like caving, coasteering, abseiling and rock climbing. Fill your lungs with fresh air and cycle through the breath-taking scenery of the Hook Peninsula or simply walk along the rocks and enjoy listening to the waves crashing against the shore.
Discover one of Ireland’s best kept secrets, one of the 14 golden beaches that are scattered along the Hook Peninsula. Walk along the wide open unspoilt strands, flanked by ruined fortresses, castles and ancient churches. Witness the amazing transformation of Duncannon beach during the annual Sand Sculpting Festival which takes place each year on the first week in August.
Get lost in a garden… Kilmokea County Manor & Gardens, JFK Arboretum and Colclough Walled Garden on the Hook Peninsula are a delight for the senses and the perfect afternoon stroll, from the most avid gardeners to the more casual enthusiast.
Novice and experienced fishermen have lots to explore on the Hook Peninsula. Mackerel flock to Slade harbour in mid to late summer, while bass and mullet frequent the shallow rocky bays which punctuate both the eastern and western sides of the peninsula. Pollack and wrasse are there to be caught in the vicinity of the lighthouse, especially on the eastern (deeper) side. At high water the harbour at Fethard is abundant with mullet during the summer months while the rocky ground to the east around Ingard Point offers bottom fishing for wrasse, dogfish, rockling and conger. There is also shore fishing galore along the Wexford coast and beaches.
Don’t forget to watch out for seals, dolphins and sometimes even whales. Majestic whales and dolphins can be watched with binoculars from the shore around Hook Head, while fin whales and humpback whales usually visit in the winter to feed on the shoals of herring.LESS INFORMATION