Walking

There are brilliant, blustery walks on both sides of Hook Head. Poke around the tide pools while watching for surprise showers from blowholes on the western side of the peninsula. The rocks here are carboniferous limestone, rich in fossils. Search carefully and you may find 350-million-year-old brachiopod shells, lacy bryozoans and tiny disclike pieces of crinoids, ancient relatives of the sea urchin. The slabs beneath the seaward side of Hook Lighthouse are a good place to look.

At low tide there's a good walk between Grange and Carnivan beaches, past caves, rock pools and Baginbun Head which, surmounted by a 19th-century Martello tower, is where the Normans first landed in 1169 to begin their conquest of Ireland. It's a good vantage point for birdwatching: more than 200 species have been recorded passing through. You might even spot dolphins or whales in the estuary.