The Hook peninsula and Hook Lighthouse
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.
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.
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).
For information about the Hook peninsula visit
For information about the lighthouse go to