What’s on at the Hook

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

JANUARY

NEW YEAR'S DAY ARROW CEREMONY - 3pm Jan 1st 2019

A centuries-old tradition will take place on New Year’s Day at the 800-year-old Hook Lighthouse as the Dunbrody archers, will take part in a traditional “arrow ceremony”.

The Dunbrody Archers and the Chairman of New Ross Council will participate in the  ceremony. 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. On New Year’s Day 2018 The Dunbrody Archers will assist the Mayor of New Ross in an ‘arrow ceremony’. The Mayor will cast an arrow into the sea symbolising the Ports authority over the estuary.

Members of the public are invited to come and watch the free historical event at 3pm on New Year’s Day.

Hook is renowned as the oldest intact working lighthouse in the world, from the 5th century monks lit fires to keep the ships at sea safe. The Hook Lighthouse tour incorporates 115 steps to the top of the lighthouse tower featuring holograms illustrating the ancient history of the tower and the Hook area and spectacular views of the southern coast.

Hook Lighthouse Visitor Centre and Café closes on December 18th and re-opens on St Stephen’s Day at 11am and will remain open throughout the holiday season. The visitor centre opened in its initial form 16 years ago and, since then, hundreds of thousands of people have passed through its doors and climbed its many steps. For further details see www.hookheritage.ie

 

FEBRUARY

First Imbolc Festival to be celebrated at 800-year-old Hook Lighthouse - Feb 2nd - 4th 2018

For the first time, Hook Lighthouse will celebrate Imbolc, a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring, it is also the feast of St. Bridget, in ancient Irish mythology, Bridget was a fire goddess, she is also the patron saint of boatmen, sailors, and mariners.

Imbolc is one of the lesser-known festivals of the ancient Celts, but it was one of the four most important festivals in the Celtic calendar and it is set to be revived and celebrated at the 800-year-old lighthouse on February 2nd, 3rd and 4th 2018.

On Friday evening, February 2nd multi-platinum selling singer and songwriter Brian Kennedy will host a unique concert in the ancient lighthouse tower. The chart-topping singer is known for his ballads and toured with the legendary Van Morrisson and has shared the global stage with some of the all-time greats – Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles amongst much more and has toured the world performing his chart-topping songs.

Getting the weekend's festivities off to a start on Saturday, February 3rd is a sunrise tour of the ancient lighthouse at 7.00 am. Guests will be treated to the dawning over the spectacular South East coast while enjoying a bespoke lighthouse tour and savouring bucks fizz, prosecco, fresh tea, and coffee along with a selection of breakfast canapés made from the finest local produce, including Ballyhack smokehouse smoked salmon on homemade brown bread. This adult only tour must be booked in advance by calling 051 397055.

In the afternoon storyteller Baya Salmon-Hawk who will offer free story telling sessions for children telling ancient Celtic tales from 2 pm to 4 pm, she will also be assisted by Captain Hook.

On Saturday evening at 5 pm, ‘A Fire in the Head' spoken word event will commence celebrating the turning of the Celtic year; poetry, stories, and song will be shared by candlelight, all under the theme of fire and water. The story of St. Bridget of Kildare will also be shared. A spoken word event will take place with an open invitation to storytellers, poets, rappers and all wordsmiths to join the occasion the ‘word’ competition around the theme of Imbolc, this spoken word event will be judged by none other than best selling author Cat Hogan and the winner will be awarded tickets to the Kieran Goss concert which is due to take place at the lighthouse in the summer.

On Sunday a Celtic Goddess Ceremony on the theme of ‘quickening' is set to take place. The word Imbolc means literally "in the belly" in the old Irish Neolithic language, and is symbolic of the beginning of the season and signals the 'quickening of the year'. At 12 noon on Sunday, Baya Salmon-Hawk will perform a Celtic Goddess Ceremony on the theme of ‘quickening within you' commencing the ceremony at St Dubhan's Well located at Dubhan's church ruins and walking to lighthouse into garden cobbled maze, in the centre of maze participants can tie Spring wishes on the Imbolc tree sculpture surrounded by the fire-baskets lighting in maze garden.

On Sunday afternoon from 12 to 4 pm children's entertainment fun and games will be on offer with Captain Hook and Cafe specials will include Pancakes filled with seasonal berries and sweet sharing plates. All weekend Art with Rose including specials Bridget's cross Celtic goddess art will also be on offer.

All Imbolc Festival events at Hook Lighthouse are available to enjoy free of charge apart from the Brian Kennedy Concert (tickets €30pp), Sunrise Tour and Art Workshops with Rose. Sunrise tour tickets are €45pp and Art with Rose is from €5. For further details and ticket booking see www.hookheritage.ie or call 051 397 055.

 


FREE TOURS FOR COUPLES AT HOOK LIGHTHOUSE THIS VALENTINE'S DAY February 14th 2018

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 the chance to explore the ancient lighthouse for free on Wednesday, February 14th 2018.

Couples 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 stretching out across the Celtic sea.

Also on offer at the 800 year old lighthouse is a delicious sharing platter of a selection of homemade desserts plus two glasses of prosecco for €10 each, available at the Lighthouse Café from Saturday, February 10th to Sunday, Feb 18th, 2018.

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

MOTHER'S DAY AT HOOK LIGHTHOUSE - March 11th 2018

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


ST. PARTICK'S DAY AT HOOK LIGHTHOUSE - March 17th 2018

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 Patrick, Pat, Paddy or Patricia 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

APRIL

EASTER SUNDAY, EASTER MONDAY - April 1st & 2nd

Hook Lighthouse presents family fun games and entertainment this Easter Bank Holiday weekend ….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 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

SHINE A LIGHT FESTIVAL - May 5th to 7th 2018

Hook Lighthouse Pirates

A fun-filled festival set to shine a light on all things maritime will get underway at the world’s oldest original working lighthouse on the Hook Peninsula County Wexford this May bank holiday weekend.

An action-packed weekend of festivities will get underway from Saturday, May 5th from 12 noon. Join in the fun and games for all the family with games and entertainment from The Wobbly Circus. Younger visitors will also have the chance to join in pirate fun and games with the resident Pirate Pat and Captain Hook and a combat school and medieval games will be on offer from Montague Heritage or for the ‘bigger adventurous kids’ can try out the climbing wall and activities. A craft market featuring pieces from crafters based all across the southeast region will also be hosted over the weekend.

On Sunday May 6th, a focus will also be placed on maritime life and the environment, in the festival marquee a series of free talks will be on offer from the experts at Leave No Trace, Ecologist and Senator Grace O’Sullivan will host a talk on marine environmental sustainability, a Smoked Salmon demonstration by award winning local Company Ballyhack Smokehouse and the RNLI will offer free life jacket safety checks.

The festival weekend places a large emphasis on sea safety at what is typically the beginning of the bathing and boating season and throughout the weekend an opportunity to learn first hand about safety at sea with free demonstrations on offer from members of the Irish Coast Guard and voluntary rescue services.

Also on Monday afternoon a ‘Naturalist Marine Nature Walk’ will be on offer and lead by nature heritage expert Jim Hurley, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group will also host a talk in the afternoon at the festival marquee and a Smoked Salmon demonstration will be on offer by Ballyhack Smokehouse.

As the weekend comes to an end members of the public are invited to the cobbled yard under the lighthouse to take a moment to reflect and remember all those lost at Sea, On Monday May 7th at 4pm a Pipers Lament will be performed by a member of the New Ross Pipe Band.

Throughout the weekend the Hook Lighthouse team will also place a focus on the heritage and past of Hook Lighthouse, shining a light on life as it was at this, the world’s oldest operational lighthouse.

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

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

Also taking place on the Hook Peninsula over the weekend is the annual ‘Hike to the Hook’ event organised by Hook Tourism, walkers will take on a 20km walk along one of Ireland’s most scenic routes from Tintern Abbey to Hook Lighthouse on Saturday, May 5th.

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

For details on the Great Lighthouses of Ireland see www.greatlighthouses.com 

June

HOOKED ON THE SEA FESTIVAL - June 2nd to 4th

Hook Lighthouse - Pirates

 

During the June Bank Holiday weekend from Saturday June 2nd to Monday, June 4th 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 2018’.

Hooked on the Sea 2018 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


Concert with Kieran Goss & Annie Kinsella at Hook Lighthouse - June 29th & 30th 2018

On the evenings of June 29th and June 30th 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.

KieranGoss_AnnieKinsella

Tickets: +353 51 397 055, €35 (including booking fee) 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

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

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 The 4 of Us at Hook Lighthouse - July 6th & 7th 2018

On the evenings of July 6th and 7th – The 4 of Us will host an evening concert at the ancient Hook Lighthouse.

Tickets: +353 51 397 055, €35 (including booking fee) 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 July 29th 2018

Hook 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 2018’.

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 4th to 6th 2018

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

STAR GAZING at Hook Lighthouse - August 12th 2018

Look to the skies at the Perseids offer the best movie nature can offer… bring a blanket and find a spot on the lighthouse lawns as you gaze skyward for shooting stars under the intermittent ray of light from the ancient tower.

The lighthosue will be opneing until mid-night offering hot chocolates and more at the café.

HERITAGE WEEK EVENTS – Saturday 18th to Sunday 26th 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 18th to 26th 2018.

Free guided ours will be on offer  each eveing from 6pm to 8pm – pre-booking is essential at 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

FAMILY FUN SUNDAY - August 19th 2018

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 10th, 11th, 24th & 25th 2018

Maria-Doyle-Kennedy-at-Hook-Lighthouse
Maria Doyle Kennedy one of Ireland’s most gifted and versatile female artists will host four very special evening concerts at the world’s oldest intact operational lighthouse – Hook Lighthouse on August 10th, 11th, 24th and 25th.

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 this month to host four more magical performances in the 800 year old Lighthouse Tower. A limited number of tickets to this fully seated event are on sale at €35.

Please order your tickets here.

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 - Saturday August 25th 2018

Hook Lighthouse - Dolphins

On Saturday August 25th 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

FAMILY FUN SUNDAY - August 26th 2018

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 26th 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 CELEBRATIONS -  CULTURE NIGHT – Friday, September 21st 2018

Harvest-Hook-DWANE-DORAN


Hook Lighthouse
is set to host its third annual Harvest Moon celebration this Culture Night, September 21st 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.

From 5:30pm 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.

Musicians will be playing on the lawns and the Hooks and Crookes sea shanty singers will also be on hand to perform some favourite sea faring songs.

Free guided ours will be on offer  each eveing from 6pm to 8pm – pre-booking is essential at www.hookheritage.ie

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

 

October

Féile Samhain announced for Halloween at Hook Lighthouse - Oct 27th to Oct 29th & Oct 31st 2018

Discover the history and mystery of the 800-year-old Hook Lighthouse and celebrate a traditional Samhain Festival from October 27th to October 29th & 31st 2018.

Hook Lighthouse - Halloween

 

Féile Samhain at Hook will open from 4pm to 8pm each evening (Oct 27t to 29th & 31st inlcusive). 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 evening, withchildren'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 from €5.Hook Lighthouse - Halloween
On the eveing of October 31st an ‘Evening of Fire & Spoken Word’ will be on offer on the LIGHTHOUSE LAWNS.

Spooky Tours:
During the evenings (Saturday, Sunday & Monday) special ghastly lantern-lead Halloween tours only for those who like the ghoulish and ‘sphooky’ will be on offer at 5pm, 6 pm, and 7 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; tickets to these ghostly Halloween evening tours at Hook Lighthouse are available online at www.hookheritage.ie at €10.00 per PERSON. During mid-term Halloween themed art workshops will also be on offer for kids and wimps.

The Lighthouse café will serve traditional fare.

November

WHALE WATCHING SEASON begins at Hook Lighthouse

Hook Lighthouse - Humpback Whales
November marks 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

Hook Lighthouse is closed from 5 pm December 23rd and re-openes on December 26th (St. Stephen’s Day at 11am).