“Rule, Britain, by the seas” – an old patriotic song reminds the world of the times when Great Britain was a great naval power with an impressive fleet.
The serious development of shipping required safe navigation, especially in the conditions of foggy climate and rocky coasts. Throughout the country, lighthouses were actively being built, built on shipping lanes, on islands and even in English colonies.
In the 16th century, a special organization was created by royal decree, responsible for the lighthouses of England and Wales. Nowadays it is called Trinity House, 70 lighthouses work under its control.
Flaming Heart Towers
A high tower, erected on a cliff or on a hill, and a fiery heart – this is the basis of any lighthouse. Modern lighthouses in the UK have many functions. In addition to the main one – assistance to navigation, signaling to captains of ships, lighthouse facilities have become tour sites, and some of them work as hotels for tourists.
UK Lighthouses – Bishop Rock
The miniature rock island Bishop Rock has only one structure – the lighthouse, built in 1858 under the auspices of Trinity House after a terrible shipwreck that claimed 2,000 lives. The Bishop Rock Lighthouse is a granite tower 49 meters high, with an internal skeleton of iron supports.
The light of a ten-story lighthouse is visible at a distance of 24 miles. At the top of the tower there is a helipad, only 4 people can go down. The small lighthouse does not have a caretaker, and since 1992 it has been fully transferred to automatic control.
UK Lighthouses – Berry Head
Traveling towards Brixham, you can see the Berry Head lighthouse. The five-meter turret with a technical extension is considered the lowest among the English lighthouses. Through the glass you can see the entire filling of the lighthouse, giving a light signal to the ships.
A large weather vane rises above the turret. However, this lighthouse is also considered the highest in all of England. This happened due to the fact that the turret stands on a cape 58 meters high.
Lighthouses of Great Britain – Needles Lighthouse
Located on the edge of the white cliffs, the Needles Lighthouse was another Trinity House project. The lighthouse appeared in 1859 on the Needles rock. It was built on the site of a high lighthouse that turned out to be ineffective. A bright tower is clearly visible against the backdrop of a white cliff, and a beam makes its way through the entire Gulf of Solent. The lighthouse is equipped with a helipad; since the mid-nineties it has been working automatically.
Modern life of old lighthouses
Going on a trip around the UK in order to inspect the lighthouses and the coast, you can kill two birds with one stone in one fell swoop: see the old navigation towers and get shelter. Tourists themselves are rarely accommodated in the towers themselves; more often, the caretakers’ cottages and technical buildings located in the adjacent territories are converted into rooms. For the most part, old lighthouses that have worked out their terms are sold for hotels.
United Kingdom Lighthouse Hotels – West Ask
The South Wales lighthouse West Ask ended his career in the early 20th century and was sold to private individuals. For almost a century, the building was idle, but there were people who turned a low snow-white building, located next to the Bristol Bay, into a luxury hotel.
In the lower round part there are rooms for vacationers, characterized by an interesting design and spaciousness. And at the top of the lighthouse is a hotel feature – a hot tub with hot water. Enjoying the bath, you can watch the busy traffic of the ships.
United Kingdom Lighthouses – Scottish Lighthouse Corsevol
The Scottish lighthouse of Corsevol still serves faithfully for the benefit of navigation. The north bay of Loch Rian acquired a lighthouse at the beginning of the 19th century, its bright rays show the ships the way, and tourists can watch the ships through the transparent walls of the hotel. Guests are accommodated in pavilions adjacent to the lighthouse, and the lighthouse keeper himself provides hospitality.
You can live in a lighthouse located in the museum in Spitback. This is an old fort built in the 19th century with a two-story lighthouse. In addition to the usual amenities, guests will find an observation deck and a place for sunbathing.
United Kingdom Lighthouses – Cape Wicklow, Irish Lighthouse
The Irish Lighthouse Hotel, built on Cape Wicklow, has only two rooms. A distinctive feature is six vertically lined rooms and one hundred and nine steps leading to the kitchen. You will have to overcome the same amount to go down to the first floor to the only bathroom. But there are beautiful views of the Irish Sea.
I must say that hotel lighthouses are found not only in the UK, such a practical attitude to old lighthouses is common throughout Europe.