World’s Oldest Lighthouse gets Tech Savvy with new Online Tour Booking
The oldest operational lighthouse in the world ‘Hook Lighthouse’ launches online ticketing for the first time from today (June 19).
Following the busiest year to date, the team at the lighthouse on the tip of the Hook Peninsula in county Wexford aim to alleviate queues for visitors by making advance booking of guided tours for Hook Lighthouse available online.
Commenting on the launch of the new Hook Lighthouse website (www.hookheritage.ie) and online booking system, Manager of Hook Lighthouse Ann Waters said, “In 2016 we saw year on year growth of 10% with visitor numbers of 250,000 and in the month of August alone we welcomed 38,617 visitors. Some of those who visited particularly during the peak summer period waited for over two hours to avail of a tour of the 800 year old lighthouse, so we very much wanted to alleviate that inconvenience for our visitors and allow them to book a specific tour date and time online in advance of their arrival.”
Earlier this month Failte Ireland published the annual list of Ireland’s top tourist sights, with most attractions registering strong growth in the last year and Hook Lighthouse is also seeing year on year double digit growth on par with Ireland’s top attractions. “We are delighted to have enjoyed double digit growth at the lighthouse for the last couple of years. We work very hard every day to ensure our visitors enjoy a great experience and this helps us to reap rewards with top Tripadvisor scores and online reviews. However, as an 800 year old protected medieval structure 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 will provide huge benefits not only to our visitors but also for our team.” Ann said
Hook Lighthouse is presently the most popular tourism attraction in Wexford and the third most popular in the South East region, coming in third after the Rock of Cashel and Kilkenny Castle respectively.
In 2016 Hook Lighthouse launched an all new Ireland’s Ancient East tour during which visitors can climb the 115 well worn steps of the medieval tower while they step back in time and meet life-size figure of St Dubhan, telling the tale of monks who kept a beacon alight in the fifth century; William Marshal – the first Earl of Pembroke, who built the tower and married the daughter of Strongbow appears next, followed by stories of lighthouse life before automation. Visitors can also enjoy the vistas of the South East coast from the tower balcony and explore the previously private Lightkeeper’s Watchroom.
Tours of the ancient lighthouse are available from 9.30am daily all year round and tour tickets are sold for fifty-minute tours of the lighthouse tower. Tickets can now be booked online in advance or purchased at the Lighthouse reception desk and advance group bookings are also organised. See www.hookheritage.ie