roads to remember

My Favourite Drive: Ray Furlong travels to an ancient lighthouse to scuba dive

‘You’re fully immersed, there’s no talking, there’s just peace’

shutterstock_668764684 Shutterstock / Michal Wlodarczyk Shutterstock / Michal Wlodarczyk / Michal Wlodarczyk

Journeys, even everyday ones, can mean a lot. Ray Furlong is Sales Manager at Boland Carlow. As someone with a passion for motoring, Ray told about the drive that means the most to him.

First up, describe the drive.

I love the drive to Hook Head in Wexford. During the last part of it you come along to Booley Bay and get a glimpse of the water across Dollar Bay out to Craven Head. It’s then that you know when the conditions are going to be nice for the day.

Dollar Bay is where the sailors of the Earl of Sandwich ship supposedly crashed and abandoned 250 sacks of gold. Then you see the old graveyard – you’re looking across to Dunmore East. As you come across the road you can see Hook Lighthouse and the whole peninsula in the distance.

Is there a view along the way that sums it all up for you?

At the end of the drive you can see outside the whole bay and you’re in the presence of one of the oldest lighthouses in the world. It’s a narrow peninsula so you can see the sea on both sides, Dunmore East on one side and all the way out towards the Saltee Islands on the other.

shutterstock_410334817 Colonies of gannets on the Saltee Islands Shutterstock / inalex Shutterstock / inalex / inalex

Then you can see Loftus Hall, the old estate house on the peninsula where the devil supposedly appeared as a dark stranger looking for shelter one night. There’s still a crack in the ceiling from where he ‘disappeared through the roof’ and you can do tours of the house.

What makes the drive so special?

Sometimes I do the trip on my own but my partner Claire and I do a lot of scuba diving and often we would be heading to Hook to go diving in the harbour where our club operates from. We dive up around the lighthouse and see all sorts of conger eels and lobsters.

When you see those views and you know that you are going scuba diving and at the end there’s this reward of a fantastic drive and time away from it all. There are no work calls, no mobile phones – you’re fully immersed, there’s no talking, there’s just peace.

More: My Favourite Drive: David Roome joins a fleet of Jaguars headed to Blessington Lakes

More: My Favourite Drive: Leo Nulty on a father-and-son road trip to the Aran Islands

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