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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Godrevy Island is situated 3½ miles across St.Ives Bay, where rugged cliffs rise from the sea. Gulls, oyster-catchers and pipits make their homes on the island, which is partly covered with grass, as it slopes down to the sea. In springtime, carpets of brightly coloured primroses, sea thrift and heather bring beauty to the scene, for although the island is close to the mainland, it is open to the full force of Atlantic gales. A dangerous reef extends outwards towards St.Ives, called the Stones and on this many vessels have come to grief.
- Longships lighthouse is situated on on Carn Bras, the highest islet in the Longships group, at the tip of Cornwall and guides vessels through the extreme storms around the cliffs of Lands End. The original tower was built in 1795 but very high seas obscured its light and the present granite tower was built between 1869 and1873 to replace it.
- A light was first exhibited at North Foreland, Broadstairs in 1499, but the first real lighthouse was built by Sir John Meldrum in 1636. The lighthouse consisted of a two storey octagonal tower made of timber, lath and plaster with an iron coal burning grate on top. This tower was destroyed by fire in 1683. A temporary measure of a single candle in a lantern hoisted on a pole proved, not surprisingly, ineffective and the present structure was built in 1691; originally the tower was 12 metres tall constructed of brick, stone and flint. In 1698 the lighthouse is recorded as using 100 tons of coal a year. North Foreland Lighthouse came into the hands of the Trustees of Greenwich Hospital in 1719, they used the surplus from the light dues for the upkeep of the hospital for the benefit of seamen. They enclosed the fire in a glazed lantern in 1719 but this was removed in 1730 after complaints from shipping. In 1793 a further two storeys were added to the tower and the coal fire was replaced by 18 oil lamps. Trinity House purchased the lighthouse in 1832. In 1890 a separate room known as the lantern house, was built on to the top of the tower to accommodate the light.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.