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.
- Lizard Lighthouse is a landfall and coastal mark giving a guide to vessels in passage along the English Channel and warning of the hazardous waters off Lizard Point. Many stories are told of the activities of wreckers around our coasts, most of which are grossly exaggerated, but small communities occasionally and sometimes officially benefited from the spoils of shipwrecks, and petitions for lighthouses were, in certain cases, rejected on the strength of local opinion; this was particularly true in the South West of England. The distinctive twin towers of the Lizard Lighthouse mark the most southerly point of mainland Britain. The coastline is particularly hazardous, and from early times the need for a beacon was obvious. Lighthouse has a visitor centre although opening times are restricted.
- There is a cliff top walk to the foreland along the path leading from the old inn near Countisbury. It is a very long and impressive route along the headland and thence skirting round the cliffs to the lighthouse. Here the rugged track stands some 150 metres above sea level and magnificent views can be had all round. Grass gives way to a well worn footpath along the very side of the sloping cliff itself, and after a walk of about two miles one has to start descending down these tracks to the lighthouse on the point, well below the crest of the headland. At times this walk is very hazardous but never really dangerous provided care is taken. The hardest part is the return journey back up the cliff and along the path – there is in fact a lighthouse service road a little further along the A39 which makes it an easy, but not quite so spectacular visit. Lynmouth Foreland Lighthouse was established by Trinity House in 1900 as a further aid to navigation in the Bristol Channel, 20 miles east of Bull Point. The station was electrified in 1975. The round white tower is 15 metres in height, set on the extremity of the headland 2 miles E.N.E. of Lynmouth. This lighthouse is NOT open to the public.
- Dungeness lies at the southernmost point of Kent and is an enormous flat of sand and shingle which has been a hazard to shipping for hundreds of years. Dungeness Lighthouse marks the end of the peninsula and is also an important way mark and reference for vessels navigating the Dover Straits.
- For over 200 years the Mumbles Lighthouse has guided vessels along the coast and into Swansea Bay, past the hazards of the Mixon Shoal ½ mile to the South. This unmanned lighthouse is built on the outer of two islands, known as Mumbles Head, lying about 500 yards to the E.S.E. of the mainland known as Mumbles, Swansea. The station is accessible by foot at certain states of the tide or by boat at high water.
- 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.
- Godrevy Island is situated 3½ miles across St.Ives Bay, where rugged cliffs rise from the sea. Gulls, oyster-catchers and pipits make their homes on the island, which is partly covered with grass, as it slopes down to the sea. In springtime, carpets of brightly coloured primroses, sea thrift and heather bring beauty to the scene, for although the island is close to the mainland, it is open to the full force of Atlantic gales. A dangerous reef extends outwards towards St.Ives, called the Stones and on this many vessels have come to grief.
- New Brighton Lighthouse is also known as Perch Rock Lighthouse due to the name of the outcrop. The lighthouse, decommissioned in 1973, sits at the confluence of the River Mersey and Liverpool Bay. A light has been at this location since the late 1600’s but the construction of the lighthouse began in 1827 At low tide, it is possible to walk with care to the base of the tower.
- 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.
- About 1722, the owners of ships passing certain dangerous “Rocks called the Casketts” off Alderney in the Channel Islands, applied to Thomas Le Cocq, the proprietor of the Rocks, to build a lighthouse and offered him ½d. per ton when vessels passed the light. Le Cocq approached Trinity House and a patent was obtained on 3rd June, 1723. Trinity House decided that a light of particular character to distinguish it from those on the opposite shores of England and France was needed. Three separate lights in the form of a horizontal triangle were proposed, and three towers containing closed fires, i.e. coal fires burning in glazed lanterns were erected. These three lights called, St Peter, St Thomas and Dungeon were first exhibited on 30th October, 1724. The lease granted to Le Cocq by Trinity House lasted for 61 years at a rent of £50 per annum. The three Casquets lights reverted to Trinity House (in 1785) and were converted to metal reflectors and Argand lamps on 25th November, 1790; a revolving apparatus was fitted to each tower at the Casquets in 1818, and the three towers were raised by 30ft in 1854. The Casquets Lighthouse and rocks have been the scene of many shipping disasters, among them the SS STELLA in 1899 with a loss of 112 lives and the British Man O’War VICTORY in 1744 with a complement of 1,100. The three original towers at the Casquets are still in use, although only the North West Tower still exhibits a light. The East Tower contains fog-signal equipment and a helideck is mounted on the third tower.
- St. Bees Lighthouse, south of the harbours of Maryport, Workington and Whitehaven, sandy beaches and grassy foreshores give way to cliffs around St. Bees Head, a high promontory, which was a danger to small coastal vessels trading between the ports of Wales and the Solway Firth. In 1822, St. Bees’ tower was destroyed by fire and Trinity House decided to substitute the coal light for oil. St. Bees was the last coal-fired lighthouse in Britain.