Claudia DowellSee other Blog articles filed in ‘Travel and touring’ written by Claudia Dowell
Talk about the luck of the Irish! We were blessed with fantastic weather when Bryony and I paid a brief visit to the Hook Peninsula in Wexford, in the southeast corner of Ireland this month.
At the end of the peninsula stands the oldest operational lighthouse in the world, overlooking stunning cliffs, and a popular stop for motorhomes and caravans along the cliff top here. The lighthouse was built by a Knight Templar more than 800 years ago. You can find out more on the guided tour, and do pop into the shop and café here; try the eggs benedict or pancakes with maple syrup and bacon for breakfast.
The peninsula is also home to Loftus Hall, a great, lumbering spectre of a place, with boarded up windows, close to the cliff edge, and Ireland's most haunted house; on weekends you can join a ghost tour here. (During high season, they run tours during the week, too.)
Driving around the Peninsula you will pass ancient churches and abbeys - visit Tintern Abbey and explore its beautiful, 18th century walled garden. The Knights Templar also built a church on the peninsula, and opposite you'll find The Templars Inn, a good place for dinner - the potted crab was delicious.
Our campsite was on the east side of the peninsula, just across the road from Duncannon beach, which you can drive and park a car on from Duncannon harbour. From the camping field in the evening you could watch the sun go down over the water. In Duncannon, Roches Bar and Restaurant is a good place for dinner.
A little further north is Ballyhack, from where you can catch the ferry across the River Barrow to explore the coastline further west. Once you are past pretty Dunmore East and Tramore, which has a horse racing track, the R675 follows the Copper Coast in County Waterford.
This was an ancient copper mining area and is now a geopark boasting a fascinating history. You can find out more at the Geopark Visitor Centre, housed in a church in Bunmahon. The coast boasts many beautiful secluded coves, most have accessible car parks, but one or two are less easy to access, especially in a motorhome.
The drive along this stunningly beautiful coastline is like a rollercoaster ride along good roads fringed with pink thrift; you'll enjoy every minute.
There's plenty to see in the area; after the Copper Coast is the Gold Coast, but we will save that for another time.
You can read more about our Irish adventure in an upcoming issue - keep your eyes peeled! To make sure you don't miss it, you can subscribe today.