The now iconic Hook Lighthouse emerged on the skyscape of Wexford’s southern-most tip, some 800 years ago. Thought to be one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world, its creation from the local limestone was an extraordinary feat of construction at the time.
Your enjoyment of the lighthouse begins long before you arrive; its black and white form protruding from the rugged headland, framed by epic sea views as you navigate the winding coastal roads.
The highlight of your guided tower tour is the voyage to the top; as each one of the 115 ancient steps inside the thick-walled chamber brings you closer to the incredible 360-degree views over miles of rolling sea.
With a hunger well and truly roused, recharge at the Lightkeeper’s House Café and Bakery where toasted crab sandwiches, homemade soup and fresh seafood chowder is served as you watch the waves crash. Eagle-eyed visitors may even spot seals, dolphins or whales along the coast.
Events at Hook Lighthouse
A guided tour is far from the only way to enjoy the beauty of Hook Lighthouse. For a more interactive approach, why not attend a themed cookery demonstration, historical re-enactment or art workshop at the historic landmark?
The Lighthouse hosts a range of festivals and family events all year round, including the New Year Sunrise Tour, the Imbolc Festival in February, as well as Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Mother’s Day events. The Shine a Light Festival during the May bank holiday is always a popular one, as is the Hooked on the Sea Festival in June and the Harvest Moon Celebration in September.
If you don’t spook easily, Loftus Hall, just five minutes from Hook Lighthouse is said to be one of the most haunted houses in Ireland. Visitors regularly remark on the eerily cool temperature inside the crumbling mansion.
If you dare, take a 45-minute tour of the ground floor, where your guide will delve into the fascinating and gruesome history of the house. To calm the nerves afterwards, take a stroll in the walled gardens or relax with a coffee and something sweet at onsite café, Ely’s. Afternoon Tea is also served in the newly renovated Lady Jane’s Room.
Hook Head adventures
Exploring Hook Peninsula by bike
Go off-road and explore the beauty of the peninsula by bike. Daily bike hire from Loftus Hall is available, 10am and 6pm in summer months. Take in the spectacular landscape at your own pace, picnic by the ocean and stop off at historic landmarks along the way – there’s no better way to explore this remarkable headland.
Kayaking and coasteering at Hook Head
To really get amongst it, try sea cave kayaking around the beautiful Baginbun Beach with Hook Head Adventures, or why not book a spectacular, sunset kayaking trip? You could also try stand up paddleboarding and coasteering, for an authentic explorer experience.
A visit to the Hook Peninsula is the perfect opportunity to explore the Model County. Our Wexford destination page has lots of ideas for places to see and things to do.