HOOK LIGHTHOUSE: No trip to Hook Peninsula is complete without the guided tour of the world’s oldest operational lighthouse. Built over 800 years ago, this iconic feature of the Wexford coastline stands unchanged as a testament to the skill of its medieval builders. Discover the fascinating history and meet some interesting characters on your way to the balcony where you will take in the stunning sea views. The visitor centre is open all year and the gift shop and cafe are not to be overlooked. A number of popular events are held here throughout the year and more information is available here.
LOFTUS HALL: This abandoned stately home and its troubled past are home to the best ghost story of all time. The most haunted house in Ireland sits on the Ring of Hook scenic drive and has its own private beach as well as fairy door trail, walled garden and cafe. More information and open times can be found here.
TINTERN ABBEY: A 13th Century Cistercian ruin, Tintern Abbey also known as Tintern Minor or Tintern de Voto (Tintern of the Vow), was founded by William Marshal in 1203 following a particularly rough sea voyage during which he swore to God that if he was delivered unharmed, he would build an abbey in thanks. Take a stroll on one of the Tintern Trails walking routes or sample the delights of the tea room. For opening times please check heritageireland.ie/places-to-visit/tintern-abbey/
COLCLOUGH WALLED GARDENS: Located at Tintern Abbey, Saltmills, this 2.5 acre walled garden has been lovingly restored and make a must-see addition to the abbey. Check out the back story here.
DUNCANNON FORT: A 16th Century Bastioned Fortress perched on a cliff overlooking Duncannon beach, this experience holds 450 years of history and the guides bring it to life on the 1 hour tours. Take in the magnificent views of the Waterford Estuary in a fort that was once home to both King James as he fled & King William as he pursued following the infamous Battle of the Boyne. More information and opening times can be found on their website here.
BALLYHACK CASTLE: Built by the Knights Hospitaller c.1450 this tower house is packed with features for you to explore. Open from May to August 9.30am-5pm. Admission Free.
PASSAGE EAST CAR FERRY: A great way to get to Waterford for a day trip, the ferry travels from Ballyhack to Passage East. Everybody loves the boat trip and the views are stunning as you traverse the estuary.
DUNBRODY ABBEY: Founded on the orders of Strongbow, Lord of Leinster, Dunbrody Abbey is one of the largest Cistercian Ruins in Europe and at 59m in length is one of the largest churches in Ireland. This abbey has quite the chequered past – in 1355 it is said that William de Ross, Abbot of Dunbrody, along with 2 of his monks was indicted for kidnap & theft, but luckily they were later acquitted. Next to the Abbey lies the ruins of Dunbrody Castle, where there are the Craft Shop, Museum, and one of only 2 full sized mazes in Ireland made from 1500 yew trees. Dunbrody Abbey is open 1st May – 30th September.
KILMOKEA COUNTRY MANOR & GARDENS: A magical family day out, with Viking Settlement, Norman Motte, Fairy Wood and even a Dragon, a visit to Kilmokea keeps everyone entertained and the tea rooms and craft shop will keep you well refreshed too. These spectacular gardens also offer a peace and beauty in their tranquil woodland surrounds. Find out more at www.kilmokea.com