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.
- The Old Beacon is a lighthouse located at Dennis Head, in the northeast of North Ronaldsay in the Orkney Islands. The lighthouse was built in 1789 by Thomas Smith and he was helped by his stepson Robert Stevenson, the lighthouse is an unpainted stone cylindrical tower at a height of 21 metres (69 ft). In 1809 it was decided that the North Ronaldsay light was no longer required. The round stone tower was retained as a sea-mark, with the original beacon chamber at the top replaced by a vaulted roof, capped by a ball finial. The stone spiral staircase which once led to the beacon was demolished and the original keepers’ houses, although roofless but largely complete, survive below the tower. Just 43 years later in 1852, a new lighthouse was built just to the north.North Ronaldsay does have a current lighthouse.
- 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.
- 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 This lighthouse was established in 1911 when it superseded the lighthouse on St Agnes which had been in operation since 1680.
- 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.
- Caldey Island lies about 3 miles off the south coast of Pembrokeshire facing the town and harbour of Tenby. it is 1½ miles long and less that ¾ mile wide. In 1131 the island was donated to the Benedictine monks from the Abbey of Tiron in France. In 1536 the monks were expelled from the island and it was not until 1906 that an Anglican Benedictine brotherhood bought the island and erected the present monastery. In the early 1920’s it was sold to the Order of the Reformed Cistercians. On the summit of the island, not far from the old Priory, stands the lighthouse which was erected by Trinity House in 1829 at a cost of £3,380 11s 7d. On either side of the tower and connected to it are two dwellings which were occupied by the keepers and their families prior to the conversion of the station to automatic unmanned operation in 1927.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.