Reading through the visitors’ book you will see that Hook Lighthouse is universally recommended. Every age group seems to enjoy the tour of this historic building with its dramatic backdrop of rocky seascape. A half hour’s drive from Fruit Hill, the route to Europe’s oldest lighthouse is picturesque and interesting. Slade village, Duncannon fort and Loftus Hall are worth a visit too, and there is an excellent visitors’ centre and cafe at the Hook. There are 14 sandy beaches around the penninsula, and at certain times of year you can see dolphins and whales swimming out at sea. Horse riding on the strand is an option in Fethard on Sea ( one of several in this horse-loving county ), and the Outdoor Education Centre in Ramsgange offers short courses.
If the weather is not favourable for a day at the beach, you could follow the Wexford coastal drive and stop off at pretty Kilmore Quay with its thatched cottages and excellent sea food restaurants. Wexford town has a famous Opera House, and is a nice place for a stroll and some shopping. Fine foods and art exhibitions at Green Acres or the Wexford Arts Centre. Johnstown Castle is open to visitors, and the the Irish National Heritage Park just outside Wexford is another popular place to visit, especially with children.
Probably the biggest hit is the tour of Dunbrody Heritage Ship. This is in nearby New Ross, and everyone will enjoy exploring the reconstructed famine ship with guides in costume to give a flavour of what life was like on board during the 6 week crossing to America in the 19th Century.
Waterford City is famous for its glass factory, and the new visitors centre in the historic heart of the city also has an excellent restaurant – one of several in the area. You can tour the Bishop’s Palace Museum, and Reginald’s Tower, or just browse around the shops in this very accessible small city on the river Suir.
Coastal Waterford is full of surprises, and a packing a picnic and heading off by way of the Passage East Ferry is another great day out. You could venture as far as Lismore with the Devonshire’s amazing castle, or even as far as Cork City – a little over 2 hours drive. Stock up at the English Market with the best of local procuce to cook later back at the cottage.
The prettiest drive of all is from here to Kilkenny City, and this is listed on Discover Ireland along with upcoming festivals and lots of other suggestions for holiday activities.