Arriving At Hook Lighthouse
In the south east of Ireland standing alone among the rocks lies one of the oldest functional lighthouses in the world today. Hook Lighthouse is on the hook peninsula on the south coast of county Wexford and has been alerting sea fares to the dangers of the coast line for an incredible 800 years. Originally built by renowned Knight William Marshal, Hook Lighthouse has a long tradition in all things maritime from the original build, to the monk’s settlement through to the high times of sea trade in the eighteenth and nineteenth centauries the hook is well worth a visit. I took the family for a day out and this is what we discovered.
Travelling from Enniscorthy it took us just under an hour to get to the Hook Lighthouse location on the southern coast of County Wexford. Our three kids were fascinated by the spooky Loftus Hall on the way down and tales from this location will warrant another visit and updates for another day. As we drove down the craggy coast road the excitement rose as we came into view of the hook head lighthouse, standing alone and defiant of the mighty sea waves crashing off the coast line nearby. My first impression was how fresh and well maintained the exterior of the main lighthouse building looked because this was a fresh April morning and the structure looked no worse from the ravages of winter, but then again, a hard winter was nothing new to this building. The road wound its way from the rocks and jags of the coastline into the carparking area of the attraction and the next thing that struck me was the wide open space in front, ideal for picnics, kite flying or just stretching the legs after the journey, it is also a walled space so good for keeping active kids corralled.
Gift Shop & Facilities
We disembarked the car and let the kids run about for a bit, the we proceeded to the facilities on site with a view to booking the full tour. The gift shop had all the usual paraphernalia with a nautical twist given the location, so having used the well maintained restrooms and with the kids loaded up with pirate eye patches and plastic cutlasses we had a quick cup of coffee in the quaint coffee area with stunning views of the mighty Atlantic and then headed to the main attraction.
The family pass for two adults and two children was very reasonable at fifteen euro, we also have a baby girl of 18 months who was free of charge. The tour guide took us up the main building and gave us a fascinating account on all aspects of the history of the site and indeed the importance of the hook head lighthouse and the significance of the building as the seas off the coast in this area are particularly treacherous. Our guide also gave a brief history of the Knight William Marshal who was a fascinating character (Some say the inspiration for Sir Barristan Selmy for any Game of Thrones fans) and such was our guides enthusiasm that I ended up doing more research on the man. The original living quarters are something to behold in themselves and give a glimpse back to a tougher time devoid from our current cultural privileges. The tour ended after about an hour and we made our way back to the carpark to set off on the journey home. Its true what they say about the sea air because the kids slept the whole way home after a swash buckling day of exploration.
In summary the hook is well worth a day trip for families of individuals alike, the throw back in history and the raw nature of the site means it has something to offer for most. There was ample parking, the facilities were clean, and the coffee shop/café was reasonable with a decent selection of fresh produce on offer.
Places To Stay
There are a number of hotels within the hours’ drive including Brandon House in New Ross, The Talbot Hotel Wexford Town or the Riverside Park Hotel In Enniscorthy as well as many hotels in Waterford City.
Looking for ideas of great places to visit around Ireland? Check out Scratchable Map Ireland.