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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Monkstone Lighthouse is located in the Bristol Channel, near Lavernock Point, Glamorgan. It was established in 1839 and remained largely unaltered until its conversion to solar powered operation in 1993. The lighthouse consists of a masonry tower strengthened by vertical and horizontal wrought iron bands surmounted by a prefabricated red GRP tower which replaced the original iron structure in 1993.
- 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 nearly 100 years Pendeen Lighthouse has been guiding passing vessels and warning of the dangerous waters around Pendeen Watch. From Cape Cornwall the coast runs NE by E towards the Wra, or Three Stone Oar, off Pendeen. From here the inhospitable shore continues for a further eight miles or so to the Western entrance of St. Ives Bay, the principal feature here being the Gurnards Head, on which many ships have come to grief.
- Hilbre Island Lighthouse provides a port land mark for the Hilbre swash in the River Dee estuary. This small automatic lighthouse came under the full jurisdiction of Trinity House in 1973, before this it was operated by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board Authority.
- Southwold Lighthouse is a coastal mark for passing shipping and guides vessels into Southwold Harbour. The lighthouse is situated near the centre of the seaside resort of Southwold, midway between Lowestoft and Orford, the round white tower stands amongst rows of small houses. Lighthouse has a visitor centre.
- Crow Point Lighthouse gives a guide to vessels navigating the Taw and Torridge estuary in North Devon. It is a small tubular steel structure with the light just 7.6 metres above Mean High Water. Originally powered by acetylene gas Crow Point was converted to solar power in 1987. specified rates of dues to to be paid (voluntarily) by the owners of passing vessels.
- Bardsey Lighthouse stands on the southerly tip of the island and gives a guide to vessels in passage through St George’s Channel and the Irish Sea. The lighthouse tower is unusual in being square in plan. It is striped in red and white horizontal bands. The building was erected by Trinity House in 1821 at a cost of £5,470 12s 6d plus a further £2,950 16s 7d for the lantern. Leaving Strumble Head behind, vessels enter Cardigan Bay, where in the 1890s a lightship was stationed which is no longer in use. The next headland encountered is the Lleyn Peninsula of Caernavonshire with the small island of Bardsey separated from the mainland by the Bardsey Sound. The island, some 2 miles long by ½ mile wide, is surrounded by outcrops of sharp rocks. In the sixth century Bardsey was a refuge for the Celts who sought sanctuary from the bloodthirsty Saxons. Only the ruins of the Abbey of St. Mary remain, but the sanctity of its patron, St Dolmers, who died there in 612 made the Abbey famous all over Britain. The remains of many venerable monks were conveyed to the island to be buried, and acres of graves record tales of pious and laborious lives.