Winding further up the spiral staircase, we had lost count of the amount of steps we had taken. Our guide Gillian had told us it were 115 to be exact, and we will just take her word for it.
Earlier that morning, we had arrived at Hook lighthouse, the world's oldest working lighthouse which is located in County Wexford on the Hook Peninsula.
Having parked up the car, we headed to the lighthouse cottage which nowadays houses the ticket office, a gift shop and tearoom.
We bought our tickets from Gillian who told us she would show us around the lighthouse in the next few minutes. First stop was the more modern watchtower which opened up panoramic views across the peninsula and the sea.
The old foghorn was sitting here on display, which to much delight of the locals was decommissioned back in 2011.
Hook lighthouse is approx. 800 years old and has since those early days back in 1210 AD been in operation. During those 800 years, it has seen many upgrades. Where it started off as a coal fired beacon, over the years it got upgraded to a lamp fueled by whale oil. Nowadays, it is an energy efficient LED light which helps the many ships navigate around the peninsula.
Originally, it was monks who were the lighthouse keepers. They lived in the tower, and we can only imagine how tough it must have been keeping that light lit. Where the coal were stored on the ground floor, all 115 steps had to be navigated day in day out carrying heavy bags of coal up the stairwell in order to keep the fire lit. Each of the floors of the lighthouse were used as living quarters by the monks, some of the rooms used as sleeping quarters, others used as a chapel, others as a place to gather and share stories.
On each of the floors, you get to meet a Hologram figure which explains about life in the lighthouse, its keepers and what life was like on the Hook peninsula.
You also get an overview of the worlds oldest lighthouses ,...
The top floor of the lighthouse is dedicated to modern life in the lighthouse, especially the years when the commissioners of Irish Lights became the body in charge of the lighthouse.
The last part of the tour is the tower balcony from where you can admire 360 degrees panoramic views all along the Wexford and Waterford coastline. The views are mesmerizing and it is difficult to leave this fabulous place behind and decent the 115 stairs.
Hook lighthouse is so worthwhile a visit, one which will be enjoyed by young and old. There is also a great spot to have a picnic while the kids are playing on the huge pirate boat.
Walk towards the rocks where you can admire the many blowholes.
About the Author
We are Peter & Dolores De Bie. We love the great outdoors, discovering new parts of the world and writing about our adventures along the Wild Atlantic Way and further afield