What’s on at the Hook

Annually Hook Lighthouse hosts a plethora of festival, special events and fun family days.

FEBRUARY

VALENTINE'S WEEKEND AT HOOK LIGHTHOUSE

Evening-At-Hook-Head

Sitting at the tip of breathtaking Hook Head in county Wexford the world’s oldest intact working lighthouse is offering couples the chance for seaside romance this Valentine’s Day with a tour for €10, a family tour ticket is also on offer for the same fee from Saturday, February 11th until Tuesday, February 14th.

Visitors are invited to climb the 115 steps of this fifth century tower where the monks of Hook Head in Co Wexford lit fires to warn ships off the rocks. With each step you ascend you will delve back in time and hear the fascinating tales of the Knights, the Monks and Light keepers who lived there along with the battles, shipwrecks and heroic seafaring they encountered before you step onto the tower balcony to view the miles of sea and coastline rolling out before you.

Hook Lighthouse is rich in history, character, natural beauty and romance. The tower was built by the 1st Earl of Pembroke William Marshal also known as the ‘greatest knight that ever lived’, he came to Ireland for land but also for love; he married the daughter of Earl Richard of Striguil otherwise known as ‘Stongbow’. His wife Isabel de Clare’s inherited wealth paired with William’s earned status made for a fortuitous pairing, they became very much the medieval ‘power couple’. From what can be gleaned from the history books, the marriage was successful at a personal level. They were to have ten children, five boys and five girls, and there is no hint of there ever being any estrangement between them.

Although close throughout their 30-year married life, Isabel and William remain separated in death. As befits his status and Templar affiliation, he is buried in the Temple Church in London, while she is buried in Tintern Abbey in Wales, close to her mother, Aoife (a Waterford woman and wife of Strongbow). But there is also an Irish connection for Isabel’s remains, a cenotaph discovered in the churchyard of St Mary’s in New Ross, Co. Wexford, carries the words Isabel Laegn (Isabel of Leinster). It is suggested that the cenotaph marks the burial place of Isabel’s heart, as her heart always remained in Ireland.

MARCH

ST. PARTICK'S DAY AT HOOK LIGHTHOUSE – Is your name Paddy?…Hook Lighthouse_St_Patrick
Celebrate all that is uniquely Irish at hook Lighthouse this St. Patrick’s Day … from a green theme in our café and our celebration of Paddy’s… yes, that’s right, if your name is Paddy you can enjoy access to a free Lighthouse tour on St. Patrick’s Day.

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

 

MOTHER'S DAY – Sunday March 26th
We know how hard all you wonderful mums work day in and day out and to honour you we are delighted to welcome all mammies on Mother’s Day and offer you access to a free tour on the day.

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

APRIL

EASTER SUNDAY, April 16th
Hook Lighthouse presents an array of family fun events this Easter Bank Holiday weekend with treasure hunts….arghhhh and of course lots of choclatey treats. Enjoy fun and games on the lawns and our resident Captain Hook might even pay us a visit!
EASTER MONDAY from 1pm.
Easter arts and craft sessions with our resident artist Rose will also be on offer.

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

Hook Lighthouse - Fun

MAY

Hook Lighthouse Pirates

SHINE A LIGHT FESTIVAL - May Bank Holiday (April 29th to May 1st)
The Hook Lighthouse Shine a Light Festival celebrates all things nautical.

On the grounds of Hook Lighthouse the festival showcases the work of the rescue services, with fun family activities, local crafts, live music, children’s workshops and great food.
An action packed day of festivities will get underway on Saturday April 29th from 11am join in the fun and games for all the family with Captain Hook.

Over the weekend learn about safety at sea from members of the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI.

Explore the craft market onsite or join in lawn games and fun adventures with Pirate Pat and Captain Hook or for the ‘bigger adventurous kids’ can try out the Bungee Trampoline.

The festival takes place in conjunction with the Great Lighthouses of Ireland, ‘Shine a Light’ events.’ At the Shine A Light events 12 lighthouses including Hook Lighthouse will shine a light and celebrate and share the rich tradition and work that they of carry out across Ireland over the May bank holiday weekend.

Further details on Maritime Matters will be announced on our FACEBOOK page

The annual ‘Hike to the Hook’ event organised by Hook Tourism will also take place in the region.

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

June

Hook Lighthouse - Pirates

HOOKED ON THE SEA FESTIVAL -  June Bank Holiday Fun
During the June Bank Holiday weekend from Saturday June 3rd to Monday, June 5th the BBQ will be fired up at Hook Lighthouse, games on the lawns and music will be in full swing and there are reports of Pirates on the horizon…. Special events at Hook Lighthouse are planned for the ‘Hooked on the Sea Festival 2017’.

Hooked on the Sea 2017 will be running across the Peninsula, a host of marine themed events for all ages across the June Bank Holiday Weekend. Activities on and off the water; paddle boarding, boat trips on the estuary, local produce picnic in Colclough Walled Gardens, pirates galley in Kilmokea Gardens, beach foraging, sea themed children’s workshops and outdoor market.

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

 

July

PIRATE DAY - Sunday, July 2nd

Hook Lighthouse Pirate Day

  • Them scurvy ridden pirates are have set sail for Hook Lighthouse and have vowed to reach us and take any roamers captive by Hook or by Crook this July.
  • Captain Hook says they be sayin' it be best if you ‘save yourself’ and dress like a pirate for the day in order to avoid capture and maybe win a prize in a Fancy Dress Competition.
  • The pesky Pirates will be given free reign of the Lighthouse for just one day and are planning nautical games on the lawn for their ship mates… do you dare walk the plank…

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

 CONCERT WITH KIERAN GOSS - Sat July 1st

KieranGoss_AnnieKinsella

On Saturday evening July 1st internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Kieran Goss who will also be joined by special guest Annie Kinsella will host an evening concert in the Lighthouse Tower. This special event is expected to see out in record time so be sure to book your tickets in advance with Hook Lighthouse.

Tickets: +353 51 397 055, €30 in advance
For further details see www.hookheritage.ie

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

HOOK STRONGMAN COMPETITION - Sunday 9th JulyHook Lighthouse - Strongman

Hook Lighthouse hosts a festival with a difference, as some of Ireland’s leading ‘Strongman’ competitors descend on the 800-year-old tower. Over 15 competitors from all around the country will be battling it out for the title of ‘Hook Strongman 2017’.

Entrants include the Republic’s previous strongest man, Italy’s strongest man and world-class power lifters. Alongside the serious display of strength, Hook Lighthouse is planning lots of seaside and piratey fun with events for all the family.

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

August

AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY FUN

AUGUST-FAMILY-FUN-SUNDAY
During the August Bank Holiday weekend the BBQ will be fired up at Hook Lighthouse, games on the lawns and music will be in full swing and there are reports of Pirates on the horizon…

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

HERITAGE WEEK EVENTS – Saturday 19th to Sunday 27th August

A variety of events will take place as part of the many happenings at Hook Lighthouse for National Heritage Week, which takes place from August 19th to 27th 2017.

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

FAMILY FUN SUNDAY - August 20th

Fun is to the fore… the BBQ will be fired up at Hook Lighthouse, games on the lawns and music will be in full swing and there are reports of Pirates on the horizon.

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

MARIA DOYLE KENNEDY IN CONCERT - August 25th & 26th

Maria-Doyle-Kennedy-at-Hook-Lighthouse
Maria Doyle Kennedy one of Ireland’s most gifted and versatile female artists will host two very special evening concerts at the world’s oldest intact operational lighthouse – Hook Lighthouse on August 25th and 26th.

Maria Doyle Kennedy has forged a name and held her own in diverse arenas from film and TV to her career as a singer-songwriter. She has spent the best part of 20 years performing live all over the world to audiences ranging from the many thousands who have enjoyed her show at festivals including Glastonbury, Oxegen, Cambridge Folk Festival to the more intimate theatre concerts. She has hosted sell out shows at Hook Lighthouse in the past and returns later this month to host two more magical performances in the 800 year old Lighthouse Tower. A limited number of tickets to this fully seated event are on sale at €30.

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

IRISH WHALE AND DOLPHIN DAY - August 26th

Hook Lighthouse - Dolphins

On Saturday August 26th the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group will host an information day at the Lighthouse, the group will tell visitors how best to spot the Minke and Humpback Whales which are frequently seen off the Peninsula, along with details on Dolphins,Porpoises, Seals and other sealife.

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

PIRATE DAY - August 27th

Hook Lighthouse Pirate Day

And to taking the Summer season to a close for the pesky Pirates on the Peninsula, they will be given free reign of the Lighthouse for just one day. Don’t miss the calamity on Sunday, August 27th as the Captain Hook and his cronies host their final Pirate Fling, all of their usual antics and mischief will be par for the course.

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

September

HARVEST MOON CELEBRATION FOR CULTURE NIGHT – Friday, September 22nd

Harvest-Hook-DWANE-DORAN


Hook Lighthouse
is set to host its second annual Harvest Moon celebration this Culture Night, September 22nd 2017. Visitors can enjoy watching the sunset and the harvest moon rise over Hook Peninsula beneath the protective beam of the world’s oldest intact operational lighthouse.

According to Manager at the Lighthouse, Ann Waters, “The tip of the Hook Peninsula is the ideal spot for watching the slideshow of nature in the skies. During sunrise, sunset, moonrises and on starry nights the Hook Peninsula offers incredible vistas. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone for the Harvest Moon Celebration and we know it will offer ample opportunity for great photographs so we will host a photographic competition during the event and a prize for the best Harvest Moon at Hook Lighthouse photograph is also up for grabs.”

From 6pm the Lighthouse Visitor Centre will open especially late, and invites visitors to come along and find a spot on the straw bales around the fire-pits on the lighthouse lawns and watch nature at its best during the autumn equinox, enjoy some treats from the Hook Lighthouse Barbeque and some Hook Pilsner and sample the brand new Hook beers and a harvest brew from Arthurstown Brewing Company which have all been brewed from the harvesting of locally grown malted barley.

Musician Brendan Keane will be playing some songs  from his forthcoming album, 'Dreaming in Parallel'. Keane has opened, in a solo acoustic capacity, for some of Ireland, and the world's, biggest acts including Status Quo, Rod Stewart, the Christians, multiple Grammy-winner, Albert Lee, Mundy, Jack L, Juliet Turner, Declan O'Rourke, Nina Hynes, Ezio, Don Baker and Mary Black to name but a few. He will be joined by fellow singer-songwriters, Shane Kenny and Jimi Cullen. Kenny, who was signed to an American record label and shared stages with some of Ireland's foremost international stars, will be performing songs from his latest album while Cullen, who will be showcasing material from his three albums, to-date, has been described as 'what you might get if Bob Dylan had a baby with John Prine and  fostered it out to Neil Young and Woody Guthrie'. The Hooks and Crookes sea shanty singers will also be on hand to perform some favourite sea faring songs.

A photography competition also forms part of the celebration event, anyone who wishes to have their image considered for the competition can email their image with their details to info@hookheritage.ie by 5pm on September 25th

 For those wishing to climb the tower a limited number of €30 tickets will be available for the Sunset Tour Experience, offering visitors the opportunity to take a guided tour up the 115 well-worn steps of the medieval tower and step onto the top floor outdoor balcony to take in the 360degree sweeping views of the Southeast of Ireland.  Tours culminate with the spectacular panoramic views as visitors savour Irish mead, prosecco, fresh tea and coffee along with Ballyhack smokehouse smoked salmon on homemade brown bread, a selection of homemade canapés in the lighthouse watch-room and balcony while the sun sets. Tickets can be booked in advance by calling 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

The celebration of the harvest moon originated in Europe. They rejoiced in the fact that just when days were getting shorter, the harvest moon in the fact that just when days were getting shorter, the harvest moon arrived to extend the hours that harvesting could be done.

The harvest moon is the full moon nearest to the autumnal equinox. This usually falls in September, but it can also fall in October. Usually, the moon will rise around 50 minutes later than it did the night before. But during the harvest moon, it rises around the same time every evening. Sometimes it feels as though there is a week of full moons    

October

Féile Samhain announced for Halloween at Hook Lighthouse

Halloween is just around the corner so make plans to discover the history and mystery of the 800-year-old Hook Lighthouse and celebrate a traditional Samhain Festival from October 28th to 31st.

Hook Lighthouse - Halloween

 

Féile Samhain at Hook will open with a guided Sunset Tour Experience on Saturday, October 28th at 6.30pm, visitors will be guided through the oldest working lighthouse in the world and the tour will culminate with the spectacular panoramic views of the rolling seas while visitors savour Irish mead, Prosecco along with a selection of canapes made from local produce; as the sun sets over the lighthouse watch room and balcony. The experience will also have a haunting flavour added with tales of some horrible histories from the Hook Peninsula. Pre booking for this experience is essential call 051 397055. 

On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evening (Oct 29-31) from 6 pm to 9 pm an ‘Evening of Fire' based on the ancient tradition of Samhain of extinguishing old and lighting anew will take place. Age-old tales of Samhain will be shared by ‘Druids'  around the circles of fire at Hook Lighthouse; families are invited to gather around the blazing fire baskets beneath the ever-present beam of the 800-year-old lighthouse to hear stories of druids and sncient Irish Samhain customs and heritage in the graveyard of one thousand ships. A family BBQ evening, children's entertainment, Halloween stories. These events are on offer free of charge and no pre-booking is required. Pumpkin carving with the resident artist at Hook Lighthouse, Rose, will also be on offer at €5.

Hook Lighthouse - Halloween

During the evening special ghastly lantern-lead Halloween tours only for those who like the ghoulish and ‘sphooky’ will be on offer at 6pm, 7 pm, and 8 pm. Venture into darkness as you ascend the 115 steps of Lighthouse tower for a night-time view of the graveyard of 1,000 ships, explore the original keepers' quarters and learn about the Ghostly tales behind the Lighthouse and its grounds including the paranormal experiences of previous guests and staff. Atmospheric lighting and creepy nooks and crannies along the way create an experience which is not for the faint-hearted. These tours are suitable for brave adults and braver kids but are not for anyone of a nervous disposition. Pre booking is advised and available on www.hookheritage.ie

Hook Head Lighthouse is the oldest intact operational lighthouse in the world and they will be offering three evenings of ‘Samhain Feile' and thrilling tours from October 28th to 31st. The Halloween Sunset Tours Experience is available for €30pp, tickets must be booked in advance, by calling Cathy on 051397055. The ‘Samhain Feile' celebration evenings are free of charge and available to families from 6 pm to 9 pm from October 29th to 31st.  Ghostly Halloween evening tours at Hook Lighthouse tickets are available online at www.hookheritage.ie at €9.00 per adult. During mid-term Halloween themed art workshops will also be on offer for kids and wimps.

The Lighthouse café will serve traditional fare of Colcannon, Irish stew, ribs, Barm Brack, Apple crumble and a bbq will serve Ribs, Baked potatoes along with the usual hotdogs, burgers and chicken skewers. The lighthouse visitor centre is open every day year-round; to book your Sunset Experience and Halloween tour places at Hook Lighthouse; for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

November

WHALE WATCHING SEASON begins at Hook Lighthouse

Hook Lighthouse - Humpback Whales
November sees the beginning of Whale watching season off the Hook Peninsula. The waters around Hook Peninsula are frequently visited by majestic whales, such as Humpback, Fin and Minke, along with Harbour Porpoise, Common Dolphins and Seals. The Humpback has become particularly associated with the Hook Peninsula.

This is one of the largest animals on the planet and is best seen during the winter months when they visit our warm waters to feed. They don’t have true teeth but large filter type ribbons (Baleen plates) lining their huge jaws. When feeding, they open their jaws wide while swimming through shoals of small fish and plankton (tiny marine animals). The jaws then close again, while the tongue which is the size of a car, pushes the water out, trapping the food against the filter plates.

The red balcony at the top of Hook Lighthouse is an ideal viewing point for whale, seal and dolphin watching, while there are also chartered whale and dolphin watching boat trips.

Hook Lighthouse - Fin Whale

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie

December

NEW YEAR ARROW CEREMONY

Hook Lighthouse Arrow Ceremony

An age-old tradition is revived on New Years Day at Hook Lighthouse at noon. The Dunbrody Archers will assist the Mayor of New Ross in an ‘arrow ceremony’. They will cast an arrow into the sea symbolizing the Ports authority over the estuary.

The age-old tradition dates back to 1687, when the Mayor and the corporation of New Ross Town Council claimed their authority over the Tower and waters by travelling to the point of the Hook and shooting an arrow into the sea from Hook Head Lighthouse.

Guided tours are on offer 7 days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. To book a tour call 051 397055 and for further details see www.hookheritage.ie