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.
- South Bishop Lighthouse (also known as Emsger) is situated on a outcrop of rock in St George’s Channel 4¾ miles south west of St David’s Head, Pembrokeshire. The lighthouse was built in 1839 and acts primarily as a waymark for vessels navigating offshore and secondly to assist vessels navigating around the Bishops and Clerks.
- Blacknore Point lighthouse was built by Trinity House to assist shipping moving into and out to the docks at Avonmouth. Blacknore Point Lighthouse was built by Trinity House to assist shipping moving into and out to the docks at Avonmouth on the river Severn north-west of Bristol. The Lighthouse was built in 1894 and converted to automatic electric operation in 1941.
- 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.
- Situated on Longstone Rock, one of the Outer Staple Islands. One of the essential lighthouses around the Farne islands. Lighthouse has a visitor centre, although you will need to take the official tour that includes a boat trip around the Farne islands and a 30 minute tour of the lighthouse.
- Hurst Point Lighthouse guides vessels through the hazardous western approaches to the Solent, indicating the line of approach through the Needles Channel. Although it is said that a light was shown on Hurst Point as early as 1733, the first Trinity House record relates to a meeting of shipmasters and merchants in 1781 to approve the terms of a formal petition to Trinity House for lights in the neighbourhood of the Isle of Wight. As a result a patent was obtained in January 1782 which stated that “ships and vessels have been lost… and the lives, ships and goods of His Majesty’s subjects as well as the King’s Royal Navy continue to be exposed to the like calamities more especially in the night time and in hard southerly gales”. The patent directed that the lights should be “kept burning in the night season whereby seafaring men and mariners might take notice of and avoid dangers….. and ships and other vessels of war might safely cruise during the night season in the British Channel”. In 1785, negotiations with Tatnell fell through and Trinity House erected to the designs of R. Jupp three lighthouses at the Needles, St. Catherine’s Point and Hurst. The Hurst Tower, sited to the south west of the old Hurst Castle, was lit for the first time on 29th September 1786. In due course, however, shipping found that this light was obscured from certain directions and the Corporation constructed in 1812 an additional and higher light, both to remedy this defect and to give a guiding line to vessels. Extensive additions were made to the castle between 1865 and 1873 necessitating the repositioning of the lights. In 1866, a new lighthouse which was called the Low Light, was built to replace the old Hurst Tower. The new lighthouse consisted of a white circular granite tower with a red lantern. This light was replaced in 1911 with a new Low Lighthouse, a red square metal structure standing on a framework of steel joists attached to the wall of Hurst Castle. The 1812 High Lighthouse was also replaced in 1867 by the 26 metre tower which is still working today. A major modernisation of Hurst Point High Lighthouse was completed in July 1997. Prompted by the growth in volume and diversity of traffic using the Needles Channel and following extensive consultation with the marine community, high intensity projectors were installed on Hurst High Lighthouse. These are exhibited day and night to mark the channel between the Needles and the Shingles Bank.
- 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.
- The Douglas Head Lighthouse marks the entrance to Douglas Bay on the east coast of the Isle of Man. The lighthouse is 32 metres (105 ft) split between the tower at 20 metres (66 ft) and its base at 12 metres (39 ft). Lighthouse at Douglas Head image: cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Richard Hoare – geograph.org.uk/p/3110907
- The small island of Skokholm, just 1¼ miles long by ½ mile wide, lies just off the Pembrokeshire coast, and the lighthouse is situated on the South West point of the island. The island has high cliffs rising sheer from the sea to well over 30 metres in many places, and a great variety of bird life is to be found here. Skokholm Lighthouse forms the landward corner of a triangle of lights, the others being South Bishop and the Smalls, guiding ships clear of this particularly treacherous stretch of coastline into Milford Haven or up the Bristol Channel.
- 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.
- Bishop Rock Lighthouse stands on a rock ledge 46m long by 16m wide, 4 miles west of the Scilly Isles. The rocks rise sheer from a depth of 45m and are exposed to the full force of the Atlantic Ocean making this one of the most hazardous and difficult sites for the building of a lighthouse. The rocks around the Scilly Isles caused the wreck of many ships over the years including the loss of Sir Cloudesley Shovel’s squadron of the British Fleet in 1707 in which 2,000 men died. The Elder Brethren of Trinity House decided that the lighting of the Scilly Isles, which at that time consisted of only the old lighthouse at St. Agnes, was inadequate, and resolved to build a lighthouse on the most westerly danger, the Bishop Rock.
- The Maughold Head Lighthouse was built in 1914 and sits on a headland at the southern end of Ramsey Bay. The 23m high lighthouse tower, with the lighthouse keepers accommodation built on the headland above the tower at the same level as the lantern. A set of 127 steps links the tower to the keeper’s cottage. Maughold Head Lighthouse image: cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Neil Theasby – geograph.org.uk/p/4872136