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.
- Two circular towers were built each with massive walls and a stone gallery. The eastern, or high lighthouse being 37 metres high and the western or low lighthouse 25 metres high. Placed 302 metres apart they provided leading lights to indicate safe passage past the sandbanks. The high light was painted with black and white stripes and the low light was white. In those days both towers showed a fixed light which was either red or white depending on the direction from which a vessel approached. The red sector marked the Nash Sands. The low light was abandoned early this century and the high light was modernised and painted white. In place of the fixed light a new first order catastrophic lens was installed which gives a white and red group flashing. Nash is one of those lighthouses scattered around our coast that has no claim to fame. For over 160 years its light has done its job as a sign to mariners to keep them clear of danger, its sole distinction is the discovery in 1977 of the tuberous thistle (Cirsium Tuberosum), a rare plant, which was found growing around the lighthouse. Lighthouse has a visitor centre although opening times are restricted.
- Nab Tower Lighthouse is responsible for guiding ships of all sizes and nationalities into the deep water channel for Portsmouth and Southampton. The story of its strange origin goes back half a century. In the early part of 1918 attacks by German U-boats on our merchant fleet caused the Admiralty so much anxiety that it was decided to take strong if unorthodox, counter measures and a startling plan was drawn up by “backroom” scientists. This was to sink a line of eight fort like towers (each costing £1 million) across the straits and to link them with steel boom nets, with the idea of closing the English Channel to enemy ships. About 3,000 civilian workmen were brought to a quiet backwater at Shoreham and work began almost at once on two of these towers – each 40 feet in diameter with latticed steelwork surrounding the 90-foot cylindrical steel tower and built on a hollow 80-foot thick concrete base designed to be flooded and sunk in about 20 fathoms. The vast honeycombed concrete base was shaped with pointed bows and stern for easy towing. One tower was completed when the war finished in November, and the other half finished giant was broken up for scrap. After much thought it was decided to use the solitary “white elephant” to replace the old Nab Light Vessel by sinking it at the eastern end of the Spithead approaches, also serving as an invaluable naval defence post, if required.
- 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.
- Built from local stone, Anvil Point Lighthouse was completed in 1881 and opened by Neville Chamberlain’s father, then Minister of Transport. The light is positioned to give a waypoint for vessels on passage along the English Channel coast. To the west it gives a clear line from Portland Bill and to the east guides vessels away from the Christchurch Ledge and leads them into the Solent. Lighthouse has a visitor centre.
- 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.
- Now just an empty shell not used since it was closed down October 1986. Spurn Head has had many lighthouses over the years with the first around 1427. The present abandoned lighthouse was built from 1893 TO 1895. It had the light removed and it was used as a store for explosives and later as a water tower. You can see the round perimeter wall surrounding the old keepers cottages and the base of the old lighthouse which had to be demolished.
- Owing its name to the unique howl heard when the wind filled the fissures of the rock, which is four miles south west of Lands End, or possibly too, because of the assumed shape of the rock to a wolf’s head, the station came into Trinity House history with the leasing to a Mr Henry Smith, the right to mark this marine hazard in 1791. Originally intending to build a lighthouse, Mr Smith found the task too daunting and finally constructed a wrought iron mast 6 metres high and 10 centimetres in diameter, complete with six stays and surmounted by a metal model of a wolf on the rock. This daymark, since it was not a lighted beacon, was finally erected in 1795 and was less substantial than had been specified, and although it offered little resistance to the Atlantic, the sea soon carried it away.
- Trevose Head lighthouse’s light is situated on the north-west extremity of the head, with gigantic cliffs of grey granite rising sheer from the sea to a height of 150 feet or more. The headland is managed by the National Trust and offers large car parks and some nice walks with spectacular coastal scenery.
- 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.
- The Point of Ayr Lighthouse, also known as the Talacre Lighthouse, is a grade II listed building situated on Talcre beach on the north coast of Wales, on the Point of Ayr, near the village of Talacre. The lighthouse is around 60 ft (18m) tall, 18ft in diameter and has oak pile foundations, was built in 1776 by a Trust of the Major, Recorder and Aldermen of Chester to warn ships entering between the Dee and the Mersey Estuary. Originally it had two lights, one was directed at shipping out to the Irish Sea whilst the second beam directed towards the mouth of the River Dee. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1883 after being replaced by an ocean-based metal-pile lighthouse. It is thought to be haunted, one incident reported sighting of a person dressed in old fashioned lighthouse keeper clothes standing on the balcony of the lighthouse itself.