Shining a light on Northern Ireland’s lighthouses
Blogs, Co. Down, Co. Antrim, Accommodation
Published February 8, 2017
Guiding mariners, sailors and ships down through the centuries, Northern Ireland’s lighthouses are now shining their light on a new seafaring traveller – the maritime enthusiast. Dotted along the stunning coastline of Northern Ireland, the Great Lighthouses of Ireland are waiting for the intrepid visitor to explore.
A lighthouse on Rathlin Island, County Antrim
From the dramatic coastline of the Causeway Coast to the rugged shores of County Down, discover more about the heritage and history of these beacons of hope on a short break to Northern Ireland.
Rathlin West Light
We start our journey on the picturesque island of Rathlin where you'll find Rathlin West Light, the first of Northern Ireland's lighthouses on our trail.
Having recently undergone a major refurbishment, the RSPB NI Seabird Centre has seen a complete upgrade of the visitor centre and, for the first time, visitors will have access to the lighthouse.
Built into the cliff face between 1912 and 1917, a special pier and inclined railway had to be built to facilitate the lighthouse's construction.
Affectionately known as the 'upside down' lighthouse, be sure to take in the spectacular views of the North Antrim coastline on your way to the top.
Rathlin Island West is also home to the largest seabird colony in the United Kingdom where over 250,000 birds such as fulmars, puffins and razorbills breed on the island each year.
Discover more of this picturesque island by walking one (or more) of the island's many walking trails.
Sitting on the edge of a majestic cliff overlooking Belfast Lough, Blackhead Lighthouseis only half an hour from Belfast along the spectacular Causeway Coastal Route.
Built in 1902, the lighthouse has guided many famous vessels to safety during Belfast's golden age of shipping, including RMS Titanic.
As well as exploring the inside of the lighthouse, visitors can follow the dramatic coastline by walking the Blackhead Path which takes you past a series of sea caves and coves towards the Victorian seaside resort of Whitehead and even extend their visit with a stay at one of the Lightkeepers' Houses.
St John's Point Lighthouse
Overlooking Dundrum Bay in the gorgeous coastal town of Killough, County Down, you'll find St John's Lighthouse.
The tallest onshore lighthouse in Ireland, designed by acclaimed designer George Halpin Senior, St John's sits proud and tall in its setting with its distinctive and bold bands of yellow and black.
With so much to see and do in this area of outstanding natural beauty, why not live the life of a lightkeeper and stay the night in the lighthouse's self-catering accommodation before setting off to explore the surrounding area?
Enjoy a stay at one of the two beautifully appointed self-catering lightkeepers' cottages – JP Ketch or JP Sloop. Restored by Irish Lights and now cared for by Irish Landmark Trust, St John's Point is the perfect spot for discovering Strangford Lough.
Find out more about Northern Ireland's Lighthouses and its diverse landscapes and rugged coastlines by booking your short break now.
Posted by Mags
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