• Cyril McAree

Hook Lighthouse Announces Late Tours and Opening Hours For July & August To Meet Visitor Demand

Due to popular demand the world’s oldest operational lighthouse ‘Hook Lighthouse’ is announcing late opening this summer season for the first time. Earlier this year Hook Lighthouse was named Ireland’s number 1 ‘Hidden Gem’ in the Irish Travel Awards and having also just achieved it’s fifth annual Certificate of Excellence in a row from Trip Advisor, it’s really no surprise that Hook Lighthouse is extending its summer opening hours in order to facilitate visitor demand.

In early 2017 the lighthouse announced an online booking facility in order to cope with the growth in visitor numbers and ensure that those wishing to tour the facility could do so at a time suitable to them. The 800-year-old protected medieval structure is of limited size; the maximum capacity for each tour is 30 persons, therefore the ability for visitors to book online in advance of arriving at the lighthouse with the added evening tours is now of huge benefit. The historic visitor attraction drew around 250,000 visitors last year - including almost 40,000 in August alone - making 2017 its busiest year on record to date. Ann Waters, Manager at Hook Lighthouse says, “We are delighted to announce late opening hours for the summer season 2018. Visitor numbers have been on a steady incline over the last number of years at Hook Lighthouse. We also want to facilitate the space in the market for later evening activities too; we are quite aware of the demand from visitors for ‘things to do’ later into the evening particularly as this is the norm internationally.”

Also a first for the Lighthouse team in 2018 was their attendance at Ireland’s largest international tourism sales fair, ‘Meitheal’ where tour operators from all over the world meet the people behind Ireland’s top attractions. Hook Lighthouse was hugely popular at the event, with every sales meeting slot booked by an international operator. Ann says, “We have been working very hard on our tour offering and visitor experience at Hook Lighthouse over the last number of years and we are really reaping the rewards. All of the meeting slots at Meitheal were booked by international tour organisers who were keen to have Hook Lighthouse on their books, we already have a number of bookings from the event and we look forward to building this side of the business, attracting more international visitors to Wexford into the future.” Guided tours at Hook Lighthouse are on offer 7 days a week, sharing with visitors one of the greatest stories on Ireland’s Ancient East. The opening hours are from 9.30am to 5.30pm until July 20th and from July 21st to August 26th, Hook Lighthouse and Visitor Centre will open from 9.30 am closing after the last tour at 8 pm daily. For further details or to book a tour call 051 397055 or see www.hookheritage.ie

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