Winter wonders: Connacht & Leinster lighthouses

From unforgettable luxury and starlit skies to enveloping shorelines, Garden of Ireland getaways and the world’s oldest operational lighthouse – it’s all waiting for you this summer!

These four Leinster and Connacht sentinels across Counties Mayo, Wexford and Wicklow are ideal for a visit or overnight stay.

Starlit Shores | Clare Island Lighthouse

The only lighthouse in Ireland that provides B&B accommodation and dinner, this Mayo outpost is a real marvel. Leave the car, and your cares, at Roonagh Pier as you ferry over to Clare Island.

19th-century lighthouse on the edge of the Atlantic, this is the place to let the hustle and bustle of modern life drift away. Fan of legend and lore? The island was once home to famed Irish pirate queen, Grace O’Malley, the ruins of her family’s castle are still visible.

Clare Island

Unwind as those Clew Bay views unfold, enjoy dinner in the lighthouse’s elegant library or play board games by the drawing room fire. Boasting six guest rooms, each feature charming period fixtures and fittings, original artwork, wood-burning stoves and comfy cast-iron beds. The skies in this part of Ireland enjoy very little light pollution, so once you’ve seen the sun set you can embrace the starlight from your coastal perch. About an hour’s drive from this area you’ll even find Ireland’s first international dark sky park, perfect for proper star-gazers.

If you can manage to tear yourself away from this delightful lighthouse, you’ll find your pick of ways to explore the island itself. From walking and cycling to fishing fun, prepare to fall in love with this west coast idyll.


Bayside Beauty | Blacksod Lighthouse

This 150-year old lighthouse is the guardian of beautiful Blacksod Bay, Co. Mayo.

Although closed for tours during the winter season, you can still admire the unique architecture of this charming granite sentinel at the end of Blacksod Pier.

A marvel of engineering and a front-row seat to some of the county’s most incredible scenery, Blacksod was responsible for the delaying of D-day due to a crucial weather forecast from the lighthouse.


By Hook or by Crook | Hook Lighthouse

An 800-year-old lighthouse standing firm on Wexford’s stunning Hook Peninsula, a visit to Hook sees you trawl through the centuries. The world’s oldest operational lighthouse, it’s hard to miss with its fat black and white bands. Take a guided tour and meet the hologram monk St Dubhán, who’ll tell you all of the lighthouse’s fascinating stories and secrets. It’s no surprise that the lighthouse is brimming with tales, its walls are a hefty four-metres thick!

Looking for a really special experience? Push the boat out and indulge in a sunset or sunrise tour, culminating on the beautiful balcony. The seascape from the tower’s blustery height is a sight to behold.

After a trip up and down the tower’s 115 steps, enjoy some refreshment at the on-site cafe and bakery – all housed within what were once the lightkeepers’ houses.

Sweet dreams in Wicklow

109 steps above the Garden of Ireland | Wicklow Head Lighthouse

Wicklow Head Lighthouse in Leinster never fails to impress with its octagonal stone tower and stunning views of the Irish Sea on three sides.

It also offers a memorably athletic experience, thanks to the 109 steps from the entrance hall up to the kitchen – pretty breathtaking alright! Standing on this scenic coastline since 1781, this charming spot is the ideal couples getaway.

Feeling inspired? Discover more Great Lighthouses all over the island of Ireland.

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