Hook Lighthouse

The Hook peninsula and Hook Lighthouse

The rocks around the Hook Lighthouse looking north and west

The rocks around the Hook Lighthouse looking north and west

It has to be admitted that, as far as I can see, Wexford is not the most popular area for tourists to Ireland. I get the impression that people get off the ferry at Dublin or Rosslaire and head west as quickly as possible. I have not followed this pattern much yet and have been up and down the N11, the main, north-south road through Wicklow and Wexford far too many times. But another of my favourite places to visit in Wexford is the Hook peninsula and Hook lighthouse.

The peninsula is flat and wild, poking south from the mainland of Wexford, and has the same exciting desolation that makes Dungeness in Kent one of my favourite places. My trips there take me through Wexford itself and west to Wellington Bridge before heading south. The road to the lighthouse, from Fethard is narrow and passes down the spine of the peninsular so you can often see the see on both sides, as though you are heading for the end of the world.

Hook lighthouse. The building to the left houses the gift shop and cafe. Tours take place every 30 minutes and are guided and are limited to about 20 people. The cost is 6 euro (or was in 2013)

Hook lighthouse. The building to the left houses the gift shop and cafe. Tours take place every 30 minutes and are guided and are limited to about 20 people. The cost is 6 euro (or was in 2013)

The lighthouse itself stands at the end of the peninsula, at the southern tip of the county and is the oldest operational lighthouse in the world. The landscape here is bleak and windswept but the ring of Hook is a beautiful and scenic drive (or ride) that passes through lovely countryside, much of it by the seashore.

The lighthouse is well worth a visit and the small  charge for the short guided tour up the tower is well worth the money. It is worth noting that although there are pubs and other places to eat nearby the café in the lighthouse complex serves really nice snacks and lunches at reasonable prices. I can’t recommend the whole experience highly enough. You don’t get to the top of the lighthouse but the viewing area you get to gives great views of the landscape.

The land around the lighthouse is flat but the shore is rocky and, on a sunny day (the weather obviously can be horrendous here) the rocks are a wonderful pace to relax and daydream.

Armeria maritima (thrift) is only found by the coast in the wild but can easily be grown in gardens in well drained soil. But it is a rare treat to see plants in the wild and this is among our most showy natives

Armeria maritima (thrift) is only found by the coast in the wild but can easily be grown in gardens in well drained soil. But it is a rare treat to see plants in the wild and this is among our most showy natives

There are interesting, coastal plants here too like the buck’s horn plantain (Plantago coronopus – which can be eaten as a salad, often called minutina), wild carrot and, in June, great drifts of thrift (Armeria maritima).

Bucks horn plantain is a widespread plant but most often found by the coast in the wild. It can be grown as a salad leaf though seeds are not easy to come by in UK and Irish seed catalogues. It is among the prettier plantains

Bucks horn plantain is a widespread plant but most often found by the coast in the wild. It can be grown as a salad leaf though seeds are not easy to come by in UK and Irish seed catalogues. It is among the prettier plantains

Bucks horn plantain usually grows in fine grassland but also seeds into walls where the drier conditions cause the foliage to be less lush so the flowers and, as here, the seed pods, are more showy

Bucks horn plantain usually grows in fine grassland but also seeds into walls where the drier conditions cause the foliage to be less lush so the flowers and, as here, the seed pods, are more showy

 

The Hook peninsula, Looking north from the lighthouse - the bike in the car park

The Hook peninsula, Looking north from the lighthouse – the bike in the car park. Co. Waterford is in the distance across the estuary.

 

 

For information about the Hook peninsula visit

http://hooktourism.com/

For information about the lighthouse go to

http://hookheritage.ie/

 

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Training Course LEAD II. Wexford, Ireland | Youth In Advancement 18+ - February 2, 2014

    […] Hook Lighthouse (thebikinggardener.com) […]

  2. Plantago maritimo | Find Me A Cure - June 28, 2014

    […] Hook Lighthouse […]

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