I love walking. I also love the ocean, the coastline, and beaches. And I love lighthouses. Put all three together for me and you have one happy camper. Such was the case for me as I walked with my husband for 100 miles along the South West Coast Path. From Carbis Bay to Falmouth, our travels included walking, the coast, and in that 100 mile stretch, we experienced no less than nine lighthouses on the South West Coast Path. Whether seeing the lighthouses up close, from a distance, through the fog, or by taking a tour.
St. Anthony’s Lighthouse, as depicted in the pictures with the sail boats and a fishing boat, was actually seen on our last day, our 16th day of walking on the path, just before walking our last mile and three quarters into Falmouth Town. We were sitting eating a snack at Pendennis Point looking across the Falmouth Harbor at this lighthouse near St. Mawes. It was a beautiful scene, and a great way to end our walk.
We saw the Pendeen Watch Lighthouse twice. Once at the end of our second day as the sun was setting. We visited again the next morning with the bright blue sky, white clouds, and turquoise waters of a new day. Although we didn’t stay in them, the keepers’ cottages of this lighthouse are available for holiday rental.
Lizard Lighthouse was the only lighthouse we were able to take a tour of inside, and even climb the tower. Shining its light for over 260 years, it is located at the most southerly point in England, Lizard Point. The Lizard Lighthouse Heritage Center has an interactive learning center as well, interesting to people of all ages.
A relatively new lighthouse, The Tater Du Lighthouse, was built in 1965. It is not accessible as there is a fence surrounding it, but it can be seen from a variety of angles as we walked by it on the path. Some lighthouses, including this one, are actually visible for sometimes miles ahead as you approach them, and as you leave them, if you look back, you can also see them for miles behind.
There are a few lighthouses, such as the St. Ives Harbour, Penzance Harbour, and Newlyn South Pier, that I consider as “harbour” lights because they help fishing and other boats guide their way past stone walls, breakwaters, into the entrance of a harbour, rather than being directly on the coast as most other lighthouses.
When we arrived at Land’s End, the most westerly point in England, it was all foggy and could not see either of the two lighthouses on the rocks miles beyond. At least the next morning, still through a bit of clearing of the fog, we were able to catch a glimpse of Longships Lighthouse, but never did see Wolf Rock Lighthouse.
Going back to our first day, from a view from our window from our bed-and-breakfast, we were able to just barely see Godrevy Lighthouse out on a rock.
I believe that there are no less than 15 lighthouses along the entire 630-mile South West Coast Path, and perhaps even more.
For more scenic pictures and stories of our trip on 100 miles of the South West Coast Path, here are a few more posts:
The Ups and Downs of the South West Coast Path
Fishing Villages of the South West Coast Path
A Walking Meditation on the South West Coast Path