Hook Lighthouse

Top choice in County Wexford

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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby County Wexford attractions

1. Loftus Hall

1.89 MILES

Situated 3.5km northeast of Hook Head, this crumbling manor house gazes across Waterford Harbour to Dunmore East. Dating from the 1600s and rebuilt in the…

2. Duncannon Fort

6.73 MILES

Star-shaped Duncannon Fort, just west of Duncannon village, was built in 1588 to stave off a feared attack by the Spanish Armada, and was later used by…

3. Ballyhack Castle

8.59 MILES

Pretty Ballyhack village is 5.5km northwest of Duncannon. It’s dominated by the 15th-century Ballyhack Castle, a Knights Hospitallers tower house…

4. Tintern Abbey

8.74 MILES

Tintern Abbey is named after its Welsh counterpart, from where its first monks hailed. The atmospheric remains of the abbey enjoy a lovely setting amid 40…

5. Colclough Walled Garden


Walking trails lead 350m from Tintern Abbey to the beautiful, 200-year-old Colclough Walled Garden. It has been replanted and restored to its former glory…

6. Tramore Strand

9.03 MILES

Tramore's broad, 5km-long strand is backed by 30m-high sand dunes at the eastern end. The Blue Flag–rated beach is patrolled by lifeguards from June to…

7. Dunbrody Abbey

11.03 MILES

Beside the R733, 9km north of Duncannon, ruined Dunbrody Abbey is a remarkably intact Cistercian abbey founded by Strongbow in 1170 and completed in 1220…

8. House of Waterford Crystal

12.03 MILES

This large modern complex combines a retail shop and cafe with a factory offering a 90-minute tour that shows how world-famous Waterford crystal is…