In celebration of World Lighthouse Day on August 7, there seems no better time to highlight some of Ireland’s most breathtaking lighthouses. The great lighthouse has been a saviour of the seas for centuries, with many lighthouses located across Ireland existing for hundreds of years. Whilst exploring Ireland, make sure to take a moment to appreciate these significant structures. Below is a list of some of the best ones, some of which you might like to visit as part of a Drive Ireland experience.

Ireland’s Most Spectacular Lighthouses

Fanad Head, County Donegal


Voted one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world, Fanad Head Lighthouse is a wonderful sight along Ireland’s northwest coast. The lighthouse sits between Lough Swilly and Mulroy Bay and is based along the Wild Atlantic Way. From the lighthouse look out for whale, dolphins or porpoises, which are often seen in the waters beyond the lighthouse from time to time. Fanad Head Lighthouse was built after HMS Saldanha was left shipwrecked along Lough Swilly in 1812. Today, visitors can find out more about the lighthouse and its history at its visitor centre located within the lighthouse.

Check out the latest hotel deals in Donegal.

Ballycotton, County Cork


Image via Flickr

Only one of two black lighthouses in Ireland, Ballycotton certainly stands out. The lighthouse sits on an island off the shores of County Cork and is accessible by boat. It is well worth a visit, if not for the spectacular views then at least for the satisfaction of making it to one of Ireland’s most distinctive lighthouses. A not-for-profit organisation organisations runs a tour of the lighthouse, giving an overview of its origins and significance along Ireland’s south coast.

Planning a trip to County Cork? Find out the latest hotel deals today.

Clare Island, County Mayo


Image via Flickr (Image is of lighthouse before being renovated into a guesthouse)

Now a luxury guesthouse, the lighthouse on Clare Island makes for a very unique stay along Ireland’s west coast. It is possible to reach the lighthouse by taking a boat from Roonagh Pier in County Mayo. Built around 1818, the lighthouse has been around for hundreds of years and was operated manually until 1965.

Find out the latest hotels deals as part of a wider trip to County Mayo.

Wicklow Head, County Wicklow


Image via Flickr

The remarkable Wicklow Head lighthouse is a must-see site along Ireland’s Ancient East. The lighthouse has been protecting the coastline since 1781 and is now operating as accommodation for travellers to this part of Ireland. If anything, a stay at Wicklow Head will certainly be unforgettable with its 360-degree views of the ocean and surrounding countryside.

Find the best hotel deals today for a trip to County Wicklow.

St John’s Point, County Down


Image via Flickr

A striking lighthouse along County Down’s coast and surrounded by some of Ireland’s most stunning scenery, St John’s Point is possible one of Ireland’s – if not the world’s – most photogenic lighthouses. Built in and around 1844, the lighthouse has undergone many changes over the years, including its black and yellow stripes, which were only painted in 1950. The lighthouse is now owned by the Irish Landmark Trust and is automated. Two original fishermen cottages lie below the lighthouse and are open to the public to stay overnight in.

Check out the latest hotels deals for County Down.

Valentia Island, County Kerry


Image via Flickr

Valentia Island Lighthouse was built in 1842 on the settlement of a 17th-Century fort and was designed by George Halpin Senior, supposedly one of the most renowned civil engineers at the time. The lighthouse has been keeping Ireland and any nearby vessels protected for hundreds of years. It was occupied by a family until 1841 when it became automated.

Check out the area’s latest hotels deals in County Kerry.

Have you Come Across any Special Lighthouses in Ireland?

Share any of your favourite lighthouses across Ireland in the comment section below.


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