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.
- 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.
- Peninnis Lighthouse on St Mary’s Island in the Scilly Isles is a small automatic lighthouse consisting of a metal tower, the upper part painted white and the lower part and cupola painted black. This lighthouse was established in 1911 when it superseded the lighthouse on St Agnes which had been in operation since 1680.
- At the end of Berry Head, beyond the coastguard station, is the lighthouse, which forms part of the chain of south coast beacons. The lighthouse, which was built in 1906, was converted to unwatched acetylene operation in 1921 and modernised and converted to mains electricity in 1994. It came to be known as the smallest, highest and deepest light in the British Isles – the tower is diminutive, requiring no further elevation than that given by the headland itself, and the optic was originally turned by the action of a weight falling down a 45m deep shaft, now made redundant by a small motor.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Smeaton’s Tower is the third and most notable Eddystone Lighthouse built in 1759. It marked a major step forward in the design of lighthouses. The lighthouse was in use until 1877, whern it was dismantled and rebuilt on Plymouth Hoe in the city of Plymouth, where it now stands as a memorial to its designer, John Smeaton, the celebrated civil engineer.
- 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.
- The Calf of Man and its offshore rocks have four lighthouses. The original (1816/1818) two lights consisted of two circular stone towers with light keepers accommodation with the two towers, 560 feet apart, aligned to indicate a safe course past the dangerous Chicken Rock. The lights were discontinued in 1875 when the Chicken Rock light was established.
- 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.