ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The 10 most beautiful lighthouses in Ireland

Updated on November 13, 2014
Loop Head Lighthouse
Loop Head Lighthouse | Source

I have no idea why I love lighthouses. Since I was a child they always fascinated me. Don't ask my why. I was so lucky to live in Ireland by the Irish Sea for seven years. I saw my first ever lighthouse there too. It's a love forever. I also collect them - I know I can't help myself.

There are approximately 80 lighthouses in Ireland but of course I won't bore you with all. I tried to choose the top 10 most beautiful ones that I really like. They are really important although the lighthouse keepers gone and the GPS technology came but they are still very important. Why? I think Lisa Wingate describes them really well:

"What does a lighthouse do? I ask myself. It never moves. It cannot hike up its rocky skirt and dash into the ocean to rescue the foundering ship. It cannot calm the waters or clear the shoals. It can only cast light into the darkness. It can only point the way. Yet, through one lighthouse, you guide many ships. Show this old lighthouse the way."

So here comes my 10 favourite lighthouses in Ireland. You may have other favourites.
My absolute favourite is the last lighthouse so if you want to find out more about it then you should read my whole hub.

Baily Lighthouse
Baily Lighthouse | Source

1. Baily Lighthouse

It's a beautiful lighthouse what you can even see from Dublin. This was the last Irish lighthouse that became automatic. The last keeper left on March 24, 1997. Unfortunately it's not open to the public all the time only once a year during the Howth Peninsula Festival. It's located on Howth Head, only 13 km from Dublin City Centre.

Baily Lighthouse:
Baily Lighthouse, Baily, Howth, Co. Dublin, Ireland

get directions

Fanad Head Lighthouse Ireland
Fanad Head Lighthouse Ireland | Source

2. Fanad Head Lighthouse

It's located in County Donegal and it's a famous one too. In 2013 it's voted the second most beautiful lighthouse in the world (the first was the Lindau lighthouse in Germany). It is the most Northerly lighthouse in Ireland and I was told that is actually a bit higher than the Eiffel Tower. I don't even have to mention the view from here. It's absolutely amazing. You can see the Inishowen Peninsula and of course the wild Atlantic Ocean.

You can even take a picture of Fanad Head Lighthouse from the sea thanks to the Rathmullan Charters who organize trips.

Fastnet Lighthouse Ireland
Fastnet Lighthouse Ireland | Source

3. Fastnet Lighthouse

The Fastnet Lighthouse is located in County Cork. It's also called the 'Teardrop of Ireland' because this was the last sight that the Irish emigrants saw when they were sailing to America. The Mizen Head Fog Signal Station is also operated here plus a weather station.

Now there is a visitor centre where you can learn a lot about the life of the keepers, about the place's history. You can even spot whales and dolphins in the sea. When it's foggy and misty the lighthouse and its surroundings become really mysterious.

Fastnet is the highest lighthouse in Ireland and the most southerly point of the country. The first one was built in 1897 but they had to reconstruct it because it was too weak or the gales too strong. The second one started to operate in 1904 and in 1989 became automated. In 1985 a so called killer wave or rouge wave struck it, it was 48 m high.

Fastnet Lighthouse Ireland:
Lighthouse, Co. Cork, Ireland

get directions

Loop Head Lighthouse Ireland
Loop Head Lighthouse Ireland | Source

4. Loop Head Lighthouse

Loop Head Lighthouse is located in County Clare in Western Ireland. It has been a lighthouse since 1670 but the tower we can see today was built in 1854. It's 23 metres high and it was automated in 1991.

Fortunately they opened it to the public this year, from April to August. You can join a guided tour, visit the tower and even the balcony. The view is absolutely fantastic here. When the weather is nice you can even see the Blasket Islands in the south and the Twelve Pins in the north. Admission fee is €5 (adults) and €2 (kids). Family ticket costs €12 (2 adults and up to 3 children). If you visit it in high season there can be queue.

Loop Head Lighthouse ireland:
Loop Head lighthouse, Co. Clare, Ireland

get directions

Bull Rock Lighthouse Ireland
Bull Rock Lighthouse Ireland | Source

5. Bull Rock Lighthouse

Bull Rock Lighthouse is located in County Cork on a very small island called Dursey Island. This tiny island is connected to the mainland by a cable car which is Ireland's only one. There are no pubs, shops or anything really here.

It was established in 1866 on Calf Rock but there was a very wild storm when the cast-iron tower was destroyed and the a replacement lighthouse was built on Bull Rock. It's not open to the public but it's not really easy to get there either. It always depends on the weather whether you can travel there or not.

Peter Cox, Irish photographer, spent 2 nights there with the permission of the Commissioners of Irish Lights. He travelled there by helicopter and he also wrote a fascinating story about his stay. Beautiful pictures were also taken by him.

Bull Rock Lighthouse ireland:
Lighthouse, Co. Cork, Ireland

get directions

Cromwell Point Lighthouse Ireland
Cromwell Point Lighthouse Ireland | Source

6. Cromwell Point Lighthouse

Cromwell Point Lighthouse or they also call it Valentia Lighthouse at Cromwell Point is open to the public since 2013. It's open from May to September but the opening time always depends on the weather conditions.

The lighthouse was also the home to the Cromwell Feetwood Fort that was built in the 16th century. The first light was installed here in 1828 ann in 1947 it became automated. It was always served by a single keeper whose family also lived on site. In 1947 the keeper left and a part-time attendant worked there.

Cromwell Point Lighthouse ireland:
Lighthouse, Co. Cork, Ireland

get directions

Skelligs Lighthouse Ireland
Skelligs Lighthouse Ireland | Source

7. Skelligs Lighthouse

There were actually two lighthouses on this small island, called Skellig Michael. This is actually the most important light on the south west coast of Ireland. It's located only 12.8 km from the mainland. The upper lighthouse was discontinued because there was a new light established on the mos westerly part of the Blasket Islands in 1870. The Lower Lighthouse was modernised in the 1960s which is still in use. In 1987 it became fully automated.

skelligs lighthouse ireland:
Lighthouse, Co. Cork, Ireland

get directions

Tarbert Lighthouse
Tarbert Lighthouse | Source

8. Tarbert Lighthouse

Tarbert Lighthouse was built in 1834 and it's located in County Kerry. It's a 22-meter-high lighthouse and a footbridge connects to the mainland. If you want to take a good picture of it then you have to be on the opposite side of the River Shannon, near Killimer. You can also take the ferry between Tarbert and Killimer, the view is marvellous from the upper deck. Unfortunately the tower and the site are closed for the public.

Tarbert Lighthouse ireland:
Lighthouse, Co. Cork, Ireland

get directions

Blackhead Lighthouse
Blackhead Lighthouse | Source

9. Blackhead Lighthouse

Blackhead Lighthouse is located in Northern Ireland, in County Antrim; about 32 km from Belfast. This is my ideal place for a holiday because you can actually rent the Lightkeeper's House. Just imagine spending a couple of nights there while listening to the sound of the waves.

There are two separate houses: House number 1 can accommodate 5 people while House number 2 up to 7 people. They are pretty spacious. The price depends on the season and of course the length of the stay. In low season, mid-week it will cost you £312. During high season it can be more expensive, £973 for a week.

It's an ideal place to go for coastal walks, you can actually start it at your front door. If you are an artistic person then this place is perfect for you. It's highly inspirational - the sea and the landscape are just amazing. Be prepared it's really hard to leave this place.

The lighthouse is only a very short away from the keeper's house and it was built in the mid 19th century, it probably guided Titanic to her last trip too.

Blackhead Lighthouse antrim:
Antrim, Antrim, Antrim BT41, UK

get directions

10. Hook Head Lighthouse

Hook Head Lighthouse is my favourite one, it's located in County Wexford. It brings me back good memories of Ireland. It's a very famous too because it's the oldest intact lighthouse in the world. Me and my husband visited it on a rainy day but we didn't mind it because it was even more magical and mystical. The wild waves, the drizzling rain and the impressive lighthouse - it was a perfect day.

It was built 800 years ago and it's still operating. The building itself is from the 13th century with walls up to 4 metres thick. If you climb the 115 steps then you'll be rewarded with an amazing view of the wild Atlantic Ocean. We climbed up and it was absolutely worth is.

In the Lightkeeper's House you'll find a gift shop where I bought my small Hook Head Lighthouse. Did I tell you that I collect mini lighthouses? There's also a café where we had the best cake ever, I mean it. They also organize art workshops for kids and adults and they also have maritime displays and art exhibits.

We also went for a walk when the rain stopped. The coastal area is absolutely marvellous. For me it was an experience for lifetime. I hope I can visit it again soon. Check out our photos that we shoot there.

Our Hook Head Lighthouse trip

Me and the Hook Lighthouse in beautiful Irish weather
Me and the Hook Lighthouse in beautiful Irish weather
Hook Head signpost
Hook Head signpost
Hook Head Lighthouse
Hook Head Lighthouse
Hook Head Lighthouse - anchor
Hook Head Lighthouse - anchor
Hook Head Lighthouse Ireland
Hook Head Lighthouse Ireland
Hook Head Lighthouse - tower
Hook Head Lighthouse - tower
Hook Head Lighthouse - keeper's house
Hook Head Lighthouse - keeper's house
The wild Atlantic Ocean
The wild Atlantic Ocean
Hook Head Lighthouse ireland:
Hook Lighthouse, Hook Head, Co. Wexford

get directions

Have you ever visited any lighthouses in Ireland?

See results

Please leave a comment if you are a lighthouse lover :)

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • EsJam profile image


      3 years ago from Southern California

      Yes, I am a lighthouse fanatic! Glad to meet you. It is good to find others who adore lighthouses. Your photos are amazing. The Skelligs lighthouse is breathtaking.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)