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.
- Whitby Lighthouse protected the busy Whitby harbour. The harbour at Whitby is still the base for the town’s fishing fleet and it was from here that Captain Cook set out in the ENDEAVOUR on his voyage of discovery to Australia in 1768. With high cliffs and fine beaches extend to Ravenscar around Robin Hood’s Bay from Whitby and the area is popular with holiday-makers.
- A lighthouse was first established at Flamborough by Sir John Clayton in 1669, but was never kindled. The name Flamborough was first thought to be derived from it being the place of the flame, but in the domesday book the word is spelt “Flaneberg”, possibly from the Saxon “Flaen” meaning a dart, which the shape of the headland resembles/ The present lighthouse, designed by architect Samuel Wyatt, was built by John Matson of Bridlington in 1806 at a cost of £8,000. It was first lit on 1st December of that year. The original lighting apparatus was designed by George Robinson and consisted of a rotating vertical shaft to which was fixed twenty one parabolic reflectors, seven on each of the three sides of the frame. Red glass covered reflectors on each side, giving for the first time in lighthouse characteristics two white flashes followed by one red flash. This was an innovation quickly adopted elsewhere. The lighthouse was oil-burning, with an equivalent candle power of 13,860. Lighthouse has a visitor centre although opening times are restricted.
- The Maughold Head Lighthouse was built in 1914 and sits on a headland at the southern end of Ramsey Bay. The 23m high lighthouse tower, with the lighthouse keepers accommodation built on the headland above the tower at the same level as the lantern. A set of 127 steps links the tower to the keeper’s cottage. Maughold Head Lighthouse image: cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Neil Theasby – geograph.org.uk/p/4872136
- Head Lighthouse is located on Hook Head at the tip of the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford, and it marks the eastern entrance to Waterford Harbour. This is thought to be one of the oldest lighthouses in the world with the current structure has stood for almost 800 years.
- Kinnaird Head Lighthouse was the very first lighthouse on mainland Scotland and Kinnaird Head now has two lighthouses:The first lighthouse was built in 1787 within the existing 16th-century castle tower. In 1824 a new stone tower was constructed within the castle. The current is a fibreglass automated light that stands beside the original. The original lighthouse is now The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses and has guided tours with displays that tell the story of the Northern Lighthouse Board, the engineers who built the lights and the keepers who looked after them.
- Now just an empty shell not used since it was closed down October 1986. Spurn Head has had many lighthouses over the years with the first around 1427. The present abandoned lighthouse was built from 1893 TO 1895. It had the light removed and it was used as a store for explosives and later as a water tower. You can see the round perimeter wall surrounding the old keepers cottages and the base of the old lighthouse which had to be demolished.
- For over 80 years the small unmanned lighthouse at Bamburgh has given a guide to shipping in passage along the coast as well as to vessels in the waters around the Farne Islands. Bamburgh Lighthouse was built in 1910 and extensively modernized in 1975. The dangers of the North East coast have long since been noted, although no warnings or safety precautions were apparently employed until the late 18th century. The turbulence of the waters, however, can be matched by the turbulence of the area’s history. The Bamburgh area, and Bamburgh Castle, in particular, has played an important role in English history since the occupation of the site by the Romans. Only 20 miles from the border Bamburgh Castle was once captured by the Scots and has also been fought over by the Danes and the Kings of Mercia and Northumbria.
- Alderney Lighthouse was built in 1912 in order to act as a guide to passing shipping and to warn vessels of the treacherous waters around the Isle. It is sited on Quénard Point, to the north-east of the Island. The Alderney Race, a notorious strait of water between Alderney and Cap de la Hague in France includes the strongest tidal streams in Europe. These are caused by the tidal surge from the Atlantic building up in the cul de sac of the gulf of St Malo with the only escape in the north east corner between Alderney and Cap de la Hague. Water flows through at speed at high tide and is sucked back down through as the tide recedes. An uneven sea bed adds to the turbulance with a number of hazardous rocks located within a few miles of the lighthouse. Alderney has a visitor centre but opening is restricted.
- 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
- North Ronaldsay Lighthouse was built in 1852 just 43 years after the Old Beacon was decommissioned. The lighthouse lies at the north of the island at Point of Sinsoss and is Britain’s tallest land-based lighthouse tower at 43 metres (141 ft). The lighthouse is a brick cylindrical tower that is unpainted with two white stripes. The lighthouse visitor centre includes a cafe, gift shop, bike hire, lighthouse exhibition, island life exhibition and the wool mill.