In our opinion, Cornwall is possibly one of the hottest tourist destinations in the whole of England today.
Thanks to its variety, this southwestern county has garnered a significant reputation for itself. You will find something for almost every type of tourist here. The county has got a rich history, glamorous beaches, quaint villages, museums and a lot of other things.
One of the things worth visiting are lighthouses, which are present in large numbers in Cornwall. Frankly speaking, these light towers have a certain mystique about them. That’s the reason why people are enticed to visit these seemingly normal structures.
But now you may ask – what are some of the best lighthouses to visit in Cornwall? Well, that is just what we have discussed in this guide. So, if you are curious, then jump right in!
10 Best Lighthouses In Cornwall That You Must Visit
1. Lizard Lighthouse
Situated in the picturesque Lizard Peninsula in southern Cornwall, the Lizard Lighthouse is one the first places that you should visit. This particular lighthouse has a long history which makes it even more intriguing. In fact, it was one of the first lighthouses built in Cornwall, which makes it a perfect place for history enthusiasts.
The current lighthouse was built over a much older lighthouse that was constructed sometime around 1619. After its construction, the locals believed that it would help ward off storms from hitting the south coast, which were a problem for people back then.
Unfortunately, this original building fell into disrepair and neglect and was eventually demolished due to a lack of funds. But in the year 1752, it was renovated entirely into the structure that you see today. At present, it is operated by Trinity House, and its functions have been automated in the year 1998.
The lighthouse is at the most southerly point of the British mainland, which makes it a geographically significant place too. In fact, it can be seen clearly from Lizard Point, which is a popular tourist destination in this region. The lighthouse is situated on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Atlantic, meaning that you can get beautiful panoramic views of the ocean from the top.
2. Godrevy Lighthouse
This is one of the most iconic Cornish lighthouses that you can visit. Situated on Godrevy Island on the eastern side of St. Ives Bay, this lighthouse is possibly one of the most photographed lighthouses in Britain. It is featured in numerous images and old artworks from the 19th and 20th centuries, which has turned it into a highly popular tourist destination today.
The rocky island on which it was built caused a number of shipwrecks in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the most notable one among them was the sinking of the SS Nile in 1854. It prompted Trinity House to build a lighthouse on the island. Hence, Godrevy Lighthouse was inaugurated in the year 1859 with the purpose of providing a safe passage to seafaring vessels in the region.
If you happen to have an artistic side, then you will find this lighthouse to be quite fascinating. And even if you don’t have any such affinities, this place is well worth the visit for its spectacular ambience.
3. Wolf Rock Lighthouse
Built on a single rocky outcrop, the Wolf Rock Lighthouse is one of the most remote lighthouses in Cornwall. It is situated roughly eight miles southwest of Land’s End, which is the westernmost point in Cornwall. The rock generates howling noises when the wind blows through its fissures, which is where the inspiration for its name came from.
This 41-metre-tall lighthouse was built in the year 1869 by Trinity House, which operates the lighthouse even today. In fact, the plans to build it were envisioned as early as 1791. That’s because the profile of the rocky outcrop posed significant dangers to seafaring vessels. But given the remoteness of the location, the actual construction of the lighthouse could not be started until the mid-19th century.
In 1972, a helipad was built on top of it, which made it the only lighthouse in England to have such a feature. And today, it is one of the most attractive destinations for tourists who come here to enjoy peace and tranquillity.
4. Longships Lighthouse
This one is another popular lighthouse that is situated near Land’s End in west Cornwall. However, unlike Wolf Rock, it is a lot more accessible and can be easily observed from the coast.
The 35-metre-tall lighthouse was erected in the year 1869 by Trinity House. It was built over an earlier lighthouse that was constructed in the year 1795. This one was relatively shorter at 24 metres, due to which it became easily obscured by storms and rough seas. That’s why the new lighthouse was planned to overcome this drawback.
Today, it is one of the most popular destinations in Cornwall, mainly because of its proximity to Land’s End. Moreover, it offers an excellent view of the ocean that attracts visitors. It also has a helipad on top, like Wolf Rock Lighthouse, which was built in 1974.
5. St. Anthony’s Lighthouse
Situated at St. Anthony’s head, this particular lighthouse was built in the year 1835. It is located to the east of Falmouth Harbour, which is one of the largest natural harbours in the world.
The history of At. Anthony Lighthouse is not nearly as dramatic as some of the other Cornwall Lighthouses. However, it was featured on the children’s television program Fraggle Rock, which was pretty popular back in the 80s. Because of this reason, it has a special place in the hearts of many people who were born around that time.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that other people won’t find this place enjoyable. In fact, it’s quite the opposite since St. Anthony Lighthouse has different types of attractions for visitors. There is a museum alongside the lighthouse where you can learn about its history in greater detail.
Besides, if you walk 300 metres from the lighthouse, you will come across the Sally Port Cottage, which offers spectacular views of the ocean and the surrounding areas.
6. Trevose Head Lighthouse
Trevose Head Lighthouse is another distinctive lighthouse on the Cornish coast, which is located in Padstow. Before it was constructed, there was no lighthouse on the stretch of the Cornish coastline between Land’s End and Lundy. This caused problems for seafaring vessels, which is why it was erected in the year 1847 to provide safe guidance to passing ships.
The lighthouse is situated close to the south west coast path, which is the longest hiking trail in England. Thus, if you are a hiker and wish to travel down this stretch of the trail, you can easily check out this lighthouse. Also, the nearby keeper’s cottages have been made available for self-catering holidays, which means that you can stay here for a couple of days if you wish.
7. Tater Du Lighthouse
Constructed in the year 1965, Tater Du is the newest among all of Cornwall’s lighthouses. The plans for this lighthouse were drawn as a response to the sinking of the Spanish coaster ship Juan Ferrer in 1963.
This lighthouse is located on the south coast between Lamorna and St. Loy. Therefore, you can visit these nearby beaches and coves after you are done at the lighthouse. What’s more, it is adjacent to the south west coastal path, which makes it accessible for hikers as well.
The lighthouse was automated right from the beginning and features a fairly simple (yet modern) design. In this regard, the view of the ocean from the top is pretty breathtaking! That’s why you need to take a trip to this lighthouse when you visit Cornwall.
8. Bishop Rock Lighthouse
All the lighthouses we have mentioned so far are present along or near the coast of mainland Britain. However, the remaining three lighthouses, including this one, are present on the Isles of Scilly, which is a small archipelago located a few miles southwest of the Cornish coast.
On that note, the Bishop Rock Lighthouse is located near the westernmost edge of the Isles of Scilly. It is around 49 metres tall and was built in the 19th century.
That said, the lighthouse you will see today is not the first one to be erected here, though. The original lighthouse was built in 1847. Unfortunately, that structure was significantly damaged by a storm that took place in 1850. That is when the second version of the lighthouse was envisioned.
This version was 35 metres tall and was completed in the year 1858. But it was strengthened further in 1887 when it showed signs of structural weaknesses. At the same time, its height was increased to provide better protection against the strong waves.
Today it is one of the most important tourist spots on the isles of Scilly. Visitors travel by boat to the lighthouse, which offers an excellent view of the majestic Atlantic from the top.
9. St. Agnes Lighthouse
The St. Agnes Lighthouse is another popular visitor attraction that is situated on the Isles of Scilly. Much of its popularity stems from the fact that it was the second lighthouse to be built in Cornwall, after Lizard Lighthouse. To be more precise, the 22-metre-tall structure was completed in the year 1680 by Trinity House, which, at that time, was the second lighthouse they built in the UK.
However, after the construction and renovation of the Bishop Rock Lighthouse was completed in the late 19th century, the usefulness of this lighthouse was reduced considerably. Because of this reason, it was ultimately decommissioned in the year 1911. At present, the tower acts as a daymark for passing vessels.
Despite that, its popularity did not wane, and it still attracts a large number of tourists annually. Besides, its location at a high point on St. Agnes Island gives it a distinctive appeal. So, if you are planning to travel to the Isles Of Scilly, do not forget to give it a visit.
10. Round Island Lighthouse
The final spot that we will be discussing here is the Round Island Lighthouse, which is situated to the north of the Isles Of Scilly archipelago. This lighthouse tower was built in 1887 – the same year when the Bishop Rock lighthouse was renovated and strengthened.
Building this lighthouse was a significant challenge due to the presence of rugged cliffs all around the site. That’s why it is a relatively small lighthouse, which stands at a height of only 19 metres. However, due to the steep height of the island on which it is present, the lighthouse is clearly visible from great distances.
The lighthouse was modernised in 1966 and was automated in the year 1987. Subsequently, the island was designated as a “Site of Special Scientific Interest” in 1995, which is its most notable feature.
Naturally, getting to the lighthouse can be quite challenging for most tourists. But if you are a bit adventurous, then you can take on the challenge of getting to the lighthouse. Believe us – the view that you’ll get once you reach the top is worth the effort.
That was our list of the best lighthouses to visit in Cornwall. So, the next time you plan a visit to this coastal county, you can use the information we have provided to make a great travel itinerary.
There are many other lighthouses in Cornwall, all of which have their own charm and appeal. However, the ones mentioned above are some of the most popular options you should not miss.
Of course, we understand that you might not have enough time to visit all of the lighthouses mentioned on this list in one go. Therefore, you should plan your trip in such a manner that will allow you to visit most of them.
Alternatively, you can visit half of them on one trip and the other half on your next trip to Cornwall. That will allow you to cover all the spots above in the most efficient manner possible.
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