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.
- Orfordness Lighthouse, in Suffolk, is situated at the end of a 13 mile spit which runs parallel to the coast. The dangers of this area (swift tides, banks and shoals) although not immediately apparent have long been notorious. On one night alone, in 1627, thirty-two ships were cast up on Orfordness with scarcely a survivor amongst their crews.
- Start Point is one of the most exposed peninsulas on the English Coast, running sharply almost a mile into the sea on the South side of Start Bay near Dartmouth. The Lighthouse, sited at the very end of the headland, has guided vessels in passage along the English Channel for over 150 years. Lighthouse has a visitor centre.
- St Catherine’s Lighthouse is situated at Niton Undercliffe, 5 miles from Ventnor on the Isle of Wight and comprises a white octagonal tower with 94 steps up to the lantern. The main light, visible for up to 30 nautical miles in clear weather is the third most powerful light in the Trinity House Service giving a guide to shipping in the Channel as well as vessels approaching the Solent. Lighthouse has a visitor centre.
- The rocks upon which the Skerries Lighthouse stands are at the end of a low tract of submerged land North-East of Holyhead which lies directly in the path of many of the major shipping lines from Liverpool and Ireland. The lighthouse gives a guide to passing shipping and a warning of the dangerous rocks.
- The Langness Lighthouse was established in 1880 at Dreswick Point on the eastern side. The lighthouse has a white tower 19 metres high and incorporates 77 steps to the top of the tower. Langness Lighthouse image: cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Phil Catterall – geograph.org.uk/p/490651
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.