• Britain’s Best Lighthouses

    They’ve seen brave sailors to safety for hundreds of years and have provided our coasts with some seriously sweet red and white striped eye candy. So here’s our humble dedication to the best lighthouses across the British Isles.

    Image by Kris Williams

1. South Foreland Lighthouse, Dover

One of the most famous and iconic of its kind, South Foreland sits atop the White Cliffs and has long been at the forefront of lighthouse innovation.

The first structure in the world to use an electric beam, it was also instrumental in the development of radio wave technology, receiving the first international transmission from France in 1899.

Opened to the public in 1988, the tower is now owned by the National Trust – and, on a clear day, you can even make out the French coast. Ooh la la.

2. Pillar Rock, Holy Isle

If your search for ‘the light’ is both literal and spiritual, then why not pay a visit to the Holy Isle?

Just a short ferry ride from Androssan Harbour, around 10 miles north of Ayr in west Scotland, this 3km wide Arran archipelago boasts not one, but two Victorian lighthouses – both named Pillar Rock – and designed in 1877 and 1905 respectively.

To the north of the isle is a Centre for World Peace and Health, run by a Tibetan Buddhist master – making it an idyllic location to give your chakra a spring clean.

 3. Lizard Point, Cornwall

Illuminating the English channel since 1619, Lizard Lighthouse stands proud on the southernmost tip of Great Britain, and, recently renovated, now houses an interactive learning centre.

With breathtaking views and a traditional Cornish village just a coastal walk away, this remote out-post is well worth a visit – just ask the dolphins, seals and basking sharks, who regularly make an appearance in the ocean below.

4. South Stack Cliffs, Holyhead

Widely regarded as one of the most picturesque in the UK, the iconic South Stack is one of several lighthouses decorating the dramatic coastline of north Wales.

Jutting out amongst the soaring seabirds and proud puffins of Ynys Lawd, a rocky island just off the edge of Holyhead, the signal station is only accessible via 400 steps – but it’s well worth the effort.

If you’ve got any energy left, you can also make the trip up the 28m tall tower, for a guided tour, history lesson, and some spectacular views to boot.

5. Spurn Point, Yorkshire

Located upon a thin peninsula of land creeping 3.5km into the North Sea, the beautifully isolated Spurn Point lighthouse has stood empty since 1985, but has recently been awarded nearly £500,000 in lottery grants, and is set to re-open next year.

The six-storey structure, built back in 1890, was used as a military base through both World Wars, guarding against invasion – but the only influx these days comes from the wide-ranging wildlife, with a whole host of birds, reptiles and plantlife stretching across one of the most fragile and unique habitats in Britain.