Hook Lighthouse has survived 800 years of light keeping. One of the oldest operating lighthouses in the world and a favourite with Lonely Planet and Tripadvisor, the lighthouse marks the entrance to Waterford Harbour at the mouth of the Three Sisters river system. Guided tours take you through the lighthouse with fascinating insights, stories and facts of this unique building. Enjoy the spectacular view from the balcony.
Further information at www.hookheritage.ie
A Cistercian abbey, founded c. 1200 by William, the Earl Marshall, and named after Tintern in Wales. The remains consist of nave, chancel, tower, chapel and cloister. It was partly converted into living quarters after 1541, and further adapted over the centuries. The Abbey was occupied by the Colclough family from the 16th century until the 1960s.
Irish National Heritage Park
Irish National Heritage Park is an open-air museum which recreates the key stages in Ireland’s cultural evolution.
Further information at www.irishheritage.ie
Loftus Hall is an imposing and stark building with a troubled history. Now abandoned and reputed to be haunted. Guides provide an interactive tour of the ground floor.
Further information at www.loftushall.ie
The Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience
The Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience in New Ross is one of the premier tourist attractions in the South East of Ireland. The vessel is an authentic reproduction of an 1840’s emigrant ship; it also provides a world-class interpretation of the famine emigration history. As well as the ship-tour, the Dunbrody Visitor Centre offers a unique riverside dining experience with full restaurant facilities and extensive menu available all day.
Further information at www.dunbrody.com
Dedicated to the memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President of the United States from 1960 to 1963, the Arboretum is a plant collection of international repute. It covers 252 hectares (623 acres) of the southern slopes and summit of Slievecoiltia. It contains 4,500 types of trees and shrubs from all temperate regions of the world; there are 200 forest plots grouped by continent.
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The Kennedy Homestead
The Kennedy Homestead, birthplace of President John F. Kennedy’s great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy, celebrates the story of five generations of the Kennedy dynasty which is still farmed by his descendants. Visit the state of the art interpretative exhibit which explores the most famous Irish-American family through the 20th century to the present day.
Further information at www.kennedyhomestead.ie
Dunbrody Abbey was founded for the Cistercian Order by Herve de Montmorency in the years following the Norman invasion of Ireland twelfth century. Dunbrody Castle was built in 1641 as a home for the Etchingham family but it was never fully completed and never lived in.
Further information at www.dunbrodyabbey.com
The Wexford Wildlife Reserve
The Wexford Slobs are internationally famous for wild geese which spend the winter months here. The first geese came to the Slobs in 1898. These were Greylags from Iceland, the common winter species in Ireland at that time. White-fronted Geese from Greenland, first appearing on the Slobs about 1910 building up to several thousand in the mid-1930s and replaced the Greylags. Currently about 10,000 Greenland White-fronted Geese, one-third of the world population, spend the winter on the Wexford Slobs.
Further information at www.wexfordwildfowlreserve.ie
Duncannon Fort is an impressive presentation of a bastioned fortress perched on the side of the stunning Hook Peninsula, County Wexford, part of Ireland’s Ancient East. This historic structure has gathered countless intriguing and awe inspiring stories over its 450 year history and provides one of the best vantage points from which to view the beautiful Waterford Estuary.
Further information at www.duncannonfort.ie