Hook Head is one of our favourite places in Ireland. I’ve been lucky enough to finally get a new halfway decent camera so I wanted to take a visit to the Hook for some long-hoped-for photos for the site. A long flat low bare almost treeless peninsula in the south-east, at the other side of the Suir-Nore-Barrow estuary, it stretches out into the Celtic Sea and at the end is Hook Lighthouse, reputedly the oldest operational lighthouse in the world. (You’ll have noticed by now that I have a thing for lighthouses). Unlike most lighthouses, there are actually public tours and inside the modern tower are the older walls of the 13th century tower
Estuary up toward Waterford from above Passage East
The fastest way to the Hook from Waterford is on the car ferry at Passage East, the trip across the estuary takes about 4 minutes.
Just outside Duncannon is an old lighthouse for the inner estuary.
Duncannon Lighthouse (1774)
Halfway down the est side of the estuary is town of Duncannon which was used as a military Fort to protect the entry to the estuary.
Duncannon Windsurfer (taken on greyer day)
Duncannon beach is very popular with wind and kite surfers.
Duncannon Fort & Hook Lighthouse in the distance
The currents round the Hook are pretty vicious and it catches a lot of very rough water, howling winds and big unsurfable waves. It’s also a great spot for whale watching.
Before the Hook on the west side is an old small fishing slip, with only mere nubs of rusted iron stakes left in the rocks, which is a nice walk where few of the visitors go.
There are some interesting blowholes in the rocks, with a northerly offshore wind and flat water that day, they weren’t providing any entertainment but I took some a very short video there previously.
The dogs like the area.
Scout on the reefs on the reefs
Lighthouse & buildings from the gate
The (probably apocryphal) story told locally is that that the phrase “by hook or by crook” derives from Hook Head, referring to Ireland’s historical bete-noir Oliver Cromwell who stated his intention to invade by Hook Head or by Crook Head, which is on the opposite side of the estuary.
Lighthouse from the road
The old residential buildings are used for a café and gift shop and children’s art gallery. The café serves the largest chunks of cheddar in their Ploughman’s Lunch!
Lighthouse from below the road
Unsurprisingly for somewhere with a lighthouse, the area is surrounded by exposed reefs.
The dogs would happily stay playing around.
Time to go you say?
The first monastery (St. Dubhan’s) was built on the peninsula in the 5th Century AD and there are still remains of a later Church on the same site. In Irish the Hook peninsula is actually named after this Church.
There’s a great view of the whole estuary, and the western bank including Crook Head, Dunmore east, Creaghan Head, Woodstown and Passage East.
Waterford to Passage East to Dunmore & Crook Head (size has been reduced so it loads quickly)
When we got home Toby would have stayed in the car. He loves the car.
Thinking of a visit? The Hook Lighthouse webcam is my favourite webcam.
Hook Head webcam.
Lighthouses of the North Atlantic – loneswimmer.com
Sailing from Crosshaven to Dungarvan – loneswimmer.com
Tall Ships Waterford 2011 – loneswimmer.com