Lonely Planet Writer

Take a sunset tour at the world’s oldest working lighthouse in Ireland

The world’s oldest intact working lighthouse is based in Ireland and it is now offering sunset tours. They will take place at the 800-year-old Hook Lighthouse, which is situated at the tip of Hook Peninsula in Wexford, on the corner of Ireland’s Ancient East.

Hook Lighthouse will offer sunset tours. Image: Colin Shanahan
Hook Lighthouse will offer sunset tours. Image: Colin Shanahan

“Watching the sun go down at the tip of the Hook Peninsula is a memorable experience,” lighthouse manager, Ann Waters, tells Lonely Planet. “We are delighted to introduce the sunset tours this season, and are considering the possibility of holding sunrise tours in the winter.”

Hook Lighthouse will offer sunset tours. Image: Hook Lighthouse
Hook Lighthouse will offer sunset tours. Image: Hook Lighthouse

According to Ann, visitors from across the globe enjoy climbing the 115 well-worn steps of the tower during the tour, stepping back in time and exploring its thick-walled chambers. Taking visitors on a journey back through time, they first meet the life-size hologram of fifth century monk, St Dubhán. According to legend, the monks from Dubhán’s monastery erected the first fire beacon to warn seafarers to keep away from the dangerous rocks, and he describes the freezing nights he spent with fellow monks warning sailors against danger.

As they ascend to the second floor, visitors meet another life-size hologram, Knight William Marshal, who was called “the greatest knight that ever lived” by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Marshal built the tower 800 years ago to guide shipping to his port at nearby New Ross, and also built Kilkenny Castle and Tintern Abbey. Up on the third floor, visitors can hear tales of times gone-by from a lighthouse keeper, before stepping onto the top floor outdoor balcony to take in the panoramic sweeping views of the southeast of Ireland.

Hook Lighthouse will offer sunset tours. Image: Paul Holmes
Hook Lighthouse will offer sunset tours. Image: Paul Holmes

Visitors can savour Irish mead, prosecco, tea and coffee along with smoked salmon on homemade brown bread, a selection of canapés and mini desserts, while enjoying the stunning sunset from the balcony and the newly-opened lighthouse watch room. “Enjoying this vista of the sunset at the end of the day is something we have enjoyed at the lighthouse for many years,” says Ann. “We’re delighted to now offer this as a shared experience to visitors with the added flavour of some local and Irish food produce.”

Hook Lighthouse will offer sunset tours. Image: Fran Byrne
Hook Lighthouse will offer sunset tours. Image: Fran Byrne

The Sunset Tour Experience will be on offer at 8pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until the end of September 2017 by advance booking only. General guided tours are on offer seven days per week at Hook Lighthouse. See here or call 00 353 51 397055 for further information.