|Location of Hook Peninsula|
I have a feeling not too many visitors to Ireland actually know about Hook Peninsula. I wanted to stay near Wexford and while planning I found an open campground within walking distance of the town of Wexford. But as I researched the campground I decided that probably wasn't the best place so I found another one that was closer to the Peninsula. This turned out to be quite the find!
Roches Campervan and Campsite is located right on Bannow Bay, which is where the Normans landed in 1169 AD. In fact, you can see where they landed from the campsite.
|I think I have the arrow pointing to the correct place|
The campground is a working dairy farm complete with farm dogs. There was only 1 other person staying there so we had the campground almost to ourselves. During warmer months they have live music in the common area, but the owner had traditional Irish music playing for us that we were able to enjoy during trips to the bathroom.
|View from the top of the hill as we drove into the campground|
|More like a restaurant than a pub, but the food was really good.|
Enough about the campground. For more details visit the post on our Flyin' the Coop blog.
Thanks to a lady I spoke with at our first campsite, our first stop on the peninsula was Tintern Abbey. If it wasn't for her, we probably would have missed this gem!
|The Abbey as we drove down the lane toward it|
|The church is believed to have been used by the villagers|
|You can tell there used to be another floor|
|A glimpse inside...mid-March was definitely not the time to visit!|
|The lighthouse dates back to the 12th century|
|The ceiling looks very much like the ruins of the abbeys that we visited|
|The fireplace dates back to the 13th century and spans 3 floors|
|The chapel was one of the first things we saw as we came in the door of the lighthouse|
Luckily, we didn't have to climb all 115 stairs at one time; we stopped on each floor to hear the history. When we finally got to the top of the tower, the views were breathtaking.
Somewhere out there is the Graveyard of a Thousand Ships. The most recent ships lost were in 2007. There is a memorial close by; however, the guide didn't tell us about it and we didn't see it. Too bad; I like to visit memorials and pay my respects to those who lost their lives.
There is whale-watching and seal-watching on the Peninsula but we weren't there at the right time of the year for that. There are the ruins of a church that is near the lighthouse. St. Dubhán was a Welsh monk who came to the Hook Peninsula in the 5th century. The ruins of the church are believed to be from the 13th or 14th century. It is the monks from the monastery that he founded who were the first caretakers of the lighthouse. Dubhán means "hook", so the peninsula took its name from this monk.
We didn't stop because we were on the way to find a place for the night and we weren't sure how long it would take. I took these pictures as drove by:
If you know who Hozier is, Newcastle is where he is from. I'm not sure if he still lives there, but Sinead O'Connor does. CH went into the pub and the manager gave us permission to stay in the parking lot overnight. We had an amazing dinner, complete with dessert (and a pint...or 2 of Guinness), and a good night's sleep. The manager even gave us 1/2 of a loaf of brown bread, butter, and homemade jam before we left for the night.
I was happy to see a mama sheep and her lambs in the field next to the parking lot the next morning:
To find out more about our camping adventure in Ireland, visit Flyin' the Coop.