Hook Lighthouse

Top choice lighthouse in Hook Head

On its southern tip, Hook Head is capped by the world's oldest working lighthouse, with a modern light flashing atop a 13th-century tower. Access is by half-hour guided tour, which includes a climb up the 115 steps for great views. The visitors centre has a good cafe, while the grassy grounds and surrounding shore are ideal for picnics and walks.

It's said that monks first lit a beacon on the head in the 5th century, and that the first Viking invaders were so happy to have a guiding light that they left them alone. In the early 13th century William Marshal erected a more permanent structure, which is still standing today beneath the lighthouse's neat, black-and-white-striped exterior.