Find the nearest Lighthouses
Lighthouses may now be automated but they still provide a critically important service to shipping. Our Lighthouse category brings all Coast Radar’s listings related to lighthouses together, where most are positioned also in stunning and often rugged coastal landscapes.
Finding the best things to see and do on a day out with your family or friends is easy – simply explore the lighthouse links below, hit the jump to my location button or use the search bar to plan your next UK and Ireland activity.
- For over 200 years the Smalls Lighthouse has been acting as a guide and hazard warning to passing ships. John Phillips, a Welshman, first conceived the idea of setting a lighthouse on the Smalls, one of two tiny clusters of rocks lying close together in the Irish Sea, 21 miles off St. David’s Head in Wales, the highest peak of which projects only 3.5 metres above the highest tides. Although the lighthouse was described in 1801 as a “raft of timber rudely put together” it survived for 80 years. Whiteside’s design of raising a super-structure on piles so that the sea could pass through them with “but little obstruction” has been adopted since for hundreds of sea structures. The present lighthouse was built under the supervision of Trinity House Chief Engineer, James Douglass. Its design was based on Smeaton’s Eddystone tower and it took just two years to build being completed in 1861.
- Needles Lighthouse is set in the western approaches to the Isle of Wight, the Needles form a narrow chalky peninsula which rises from jagged rocks to 120m cliffs. These rocks have always been a hazard to ships making their way up the Solent to Portsmouth and Southampton Water.
- Blacknore Point lighthouse was built by Trinity House to assist shipping moving into and out to the docks at Avonmouth. Blacknore Point Lighthouse was built by Trinity House to assist shipping moving into and out to the docks at Avonmouth on the river Severn north-west of Bristol. The Lighthouse was built in 1894 and converted to automatic electric operation in 1941.
- The Island of Flatholm lies centrally in the busy shipping lanes where the Bristol Channel meets the Severn estuary. The need for a lighthouse on the island had been discussed for many years by leading shipmasters and by members of the Society of Merchant Venturers of Bristol when, in 1733, John Elbridge, a senior member of the Society, forwarded a petition to Trinity House setting out the dangers to navigation and the general desire for a light on the island. However, Trinity House informed Elbridge that no application had been made to the Crown for a light and at the same time the Corporation took steps to ensure that no light was erected other than in their name.
- The Point of Ayr Lighthouse, also known as the Talacre Lighthouse, is a grade II listed building situated on Talcre beach on the north coast of Wales, on the Point of Ayr, near the village of Talacre. The lighthouse is around 60 ft (18m) tall, 18ft in diameter and has oak pile foundations, was built in 1776 by a Trust of the Major, Recorder and Aldermen of Chester to warn ships entering between the Dee and the Mersey Estuary. Originally it had two lights, one was directed at shipping out to the Irish Sea whilst the second beam directed towards the mouth of the River Dee. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1883 after being replaced by an ocean-based metal-pile lighthouse. It is thought to be haunted, one incident reported sighting of a person dressed in old fashioned lighthouse keeper clothes standing on the balcony of the lighthouse itself.
- Milford Haven has long been recognised by merchants and shipowners as one of Britain’s finest deep water harbours – it was from here that Henry II led his army into Ireland in 1172. Now large fleets of trawlers and oil tankers gather in the anchorage. At the approach to this famous port lie dangerous reefs just below the surface, almost in mid channel and in two groups through which shipping must pass. One of the greatest dangers lies some 7 miles south-east of St. Ann’s Head, this being the dreaded Crow Rock and Toes lying off Linney Head which have claimed many more vessels than the reefs within the harbour. Today, two usable channels are marked clearly by sets of leading lights, all vital to safe navigation.
- Situated on Longstone Rock, one of the Outer Staple Islands. One of the essential lighthouses around the Farne islands. Lighthouse has a visitor centre, although you will need to take the official tour that includes a boat trip around the Farne islands and a 30 minute tour of the lighthouse.
- The first lighthouse was built in 1202 on the cliffs to the west side of the harbour. This beacon was discontinued in about 1542. The current granite lighthouse was designed by George Halpin and construction began in 1848 and it became operational in February 1852. The lantern is 78 feet (24 m) above sea level.
- Trevose Head lighthouse’s light is situated on the north-west extremity of the head, with gigantic cliffs of grey granite rising sheer from the sea to a height of 150 feet or more. The headland is managed by the National Trust and offers large car parks and some nice walks with spectacular coastal scenery.
- Round Island, the most northerly outpost of the Scillies is a 40m mass of granite, the top forming a platform on which Trinity House built a lighthouse and dwellings in 1887 under conditions of extreme difficulty. The sheer rock face made the unloading of building materials almost impossible. Today the only access, apart from by helicopter, is by a flight of steps out into the solid rock.
- The most famous lighthouse in the British Isles is probably the Eddystone, built on a small and very dangerous rock 13 miles south west of Plymouth. There have been four separate lighthouses built here. The original tower, completed in 1698, was the first lighthouse to be built on a small rock in the open sea. The history is as follows:Winstanley’s Tower 1698 – 1703 Rudyerd’s Tower 1709 – 1755 Smeaton’s Tower 1759 – 1882 Douglass’s Tower – 1882 Onwards
- Situated near the north west tip of Wales, the tiny islet known as South Stack Rock lies separated from Holyhead Island by 30 metres of turbulent sea, surging to and fro in continuous motion. The coastline from the breakwater and around the south western shore is made of large granite cliffs rising sheer from the sea to 60 metres. Lighthouse has a visitor centre.