The Enchantment of The Hook


For many Irish people, memories of childhood summers spent in Wexford hold a special place in their heart. Now families, friends and couples are eager to return to the historic and breathtaking Hook Peninsula, and it doesn’t take long to work out why.

Aerial view of Hook Head Lighthouse on Hook Peninsula
Evening at Hook Peninsula
Left: Hook Head Lighthouse on Hook Peninsula | Right: The Lighthouse aglow in the evening light

Many of us have been longing for the opportunity to have the classic summer holiday; and the chance is finally here. The Hook Peninsula in particular conjures memories of warm days and starlit nights, long walks and sea breezes... and there's no better time to get out and create new memories.

Hook Lighthouse

The now-iconic Hook Lighthouse emerged on the skyscape of Wexford’s southern-most tip, some 800 years ago. Thought to be one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world, its creation from local limestone was an extraordinary feat of construction at the time.  

Your enjoyment of the lighthouse begins long before you arrive; its black and white form protruding from the rugged headland, framed by epic sea views as you navigate the winding coastal roads. 

The highlight of your guided tower tour is the voyage to the top; as each one of the 115 ancient steps inside the thick-walled chamber brings you closer to the incredible 360-degree views over miles of rolling sea.  

With a hunger well and truly roused, recharge at the Lightkeeper’s House Café and Bakery where toasted crab sandwiches, homemade soup and fresh seafood chowder is served as you watch the waves crash. Eagle-eyed visitors may even spot seals, dolphins or whales along the coast. 

Ghost-hunting at Loftus Hall
Loftus Hall
Left: Ghost-hunting at Loftus Hall | Right: Atmospheric Loftus Hall

Loftus Hall

If you don’t spook easily, Loftus Hall — just five minutes from Hook Lighthouse — is said to be one of the most haunted houses in Ireland. Visitors regularly remark on the eerily cool temperature inside the crumbling mansion.

The hall has a long history. A building has stood on the land since the first castle was built on the site in 1170 by a Norman knight before being replaced by a Hall in 1350. Since opening to the public in 2012, Loftus Hall has been committed to conserving the period details and the ghostly atmosphere that comes with such an ancient site.

If you dare, take a 45-minute tour of the ground floor, where your guide will delve into the fascinating and gruesome history of the house. To calm the nerves afterwards, take a stroll around the walled gardens or relax with a coffee and something sweet at onsite café, Ely’s. Afternoon Tea is also served in the newly renovated Lady Jane’s Room.
Sea Pinks on Hook Peninsula
Waves at Hook Peninsula
Left: A carpet of Sea Pinks on Hook Peninsula | Right: An ideal spot to watch the waves rolling in...

Hook Head Adventures

Exploring Hook Peninsula by Bike — go off-road and explore the beauty of the peninsula by bike. Daily bike hire from Loftus Hall is available, 10am and 6pm in summer months. Take in the spectacular landscape at your own pace, picnic by the ocean and stop off at historic landmarks along the way — there’s no better way to explore this remarkable headland.

Kayaking and Coasteering at Hook Head — to really get amongst it, try sea cave kayaking around the beautiful Baginbun Beach with Hook Head Adventures, or why not book a spectacular, sunset kayaking trip? You could also try stand up paddle boarding and coasteering, for an authentic explorer experience.

Time to start planning your trip to Hook Peninsula – see you there!

Before you head for the Hook, be sure to contact individual attractions and businesses in advance to confirm they're ready to welcome visitors again. Because our changed world means a new focus on public protection, social distancing and safe travel measures will be essential everywhere — as explained in the new nationwide COVID-19 Safety Charter.

While you're deciding how to make more magical Wexford memories, read about more ways to experience Ireland's Ancient East. Ready to go further afield? Find out more about how to Make a Break for It in other regions of our amazing island...


More Wexford To Explore

Get Hooked on Wexford

Enjoy your escape in Ireland’s Ancient East!

For more ideas, check out the Highlights section