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.
- 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.
- Portland Bill and Chesil Beach are the graveyards of many vessels that failed to reach Weymouth or Portland Roads. The Portland Race is caused by the meeting of the tides between the Bill and the Shambles sandbank about 3 miles SE. Strong currents break the sea so fiercely that from the shore a continuous disturbance can be seen. Portland Bill Lighthouse guides vessels heading for Portland and Weymouth through these hazardous waters as well as acting as a waymark for ships navigating the English Channel. The Shambles sandbank is marked by a red sector light. Lighthouse has a visitor centre.
- Point Lynas Lighthouse is situated on the north coast of Anglesey in North Wales. As early as 1766 the need was felt for a station on Anglesey where ships making for Liverpool could pick up pilots. The Liverpool Pilotage Service, after examining several sites, eventually chose Point Lynas. Point Lynas lighthouse has an automatic fog detector which starts the fog signal should the visibility drop to less than two and a half miles.
- 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.
- The Point of Ayre Lighthouse is an active 19th-century lighthouse that was first lit in 1818, making it the oldest operational lighthouse on the island. The lighthouse is located at the Point of Ayre at the north-eastern end of the Isle of Man and was designed and built by Robert Stevenson, grandfather of prolific writer and novelist Robert Louis Stevenson. The point has shingle and gravel deposited by the strong currents, this changing landscape forced a smaller light commonly referred to as a ‘winkie’ had to be built 750 feet (230 m) to the seaward side of the main tower in 1899. This was then repositioned a further 250 feet (76 m) in the same direction and for the same reasons in 1950. The ‘winkie’ light was discontinued on 7 April 2010.
- 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.
- Before the erection of a lighthouse at Cromer lights for the guidance of vessels were shown from the tower of the parish church, these were small, but served a useful purpose for many years. A number of ecclesiastical lights such as this were exhibited around the coast in medieval times. During the first twenty years following Charles II’s restoration in 1660 many proposals were put forward for lighthouses on all parts of the coast. One of the petitioners, Sir John Clayton, suggested no less than five lighthouses on four different sites – at the Farne Islands off Northumberland, Flamborough Head in Yorkshire, Foulness at Cromer and Corton near Lowestoft. Despite opposition to his schemes Sir John, together with a George Blake obtained a comprehensive patent in 1669 and at a cost of £3,000 erected towers at each of the four sites. The patent would last for 60 years and specified rates of dues to to be paid (voluntarily) by the owners of passing vessels. The present lighthouse, a white octagonal tower standing about ½ mile from the cliff edge, was built in 1833 and converted to electric operation in 1958. In June 1990 the station was converted to automatic operation and is now monitored from the Trinity House Operations Control Centre at Harwich.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- At the mouth of the Bristol Channel lies the Island of Lundy. It is a rugged mass of dark granite, surrounded by reefs of sharp rocks that make an approach to the island difficult to the unknowing sailor. Measuring about 3½ miles in length by ¾ mile in width the island has some 20 miles of dangerous coastline. The North Lighthouse is set on a narrow plateau, on the cliffs large colonies of guillemots, razor bills and herring gulls make their nests whilst on the rocks below Atlantic seals take refuge.
- 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.