Visitors to Wales are spoiled for choice when it comes to deserted coastlines – the Welsh Coastal Path is 870 miles (1,400 km) long. Some of these rocky coastlines were extremely perilous and many ships met their fate in the wild, stormy weather. Between 1797 and 1996, over 36 lighthouses were built – here’s our guide to the most beautiful ones in Wales.
West Usk Lighthouse
Located in South Wales, the West Usk Lighthouse was built in 1821 and overlooks the Severn and Usk Estuaries, a little outside the city of Newport. The lighthouse was the first to be built by renowned Scottish civil engineer James Walker. Decommissioned in 1922, it is now a hotel.
The Mumbles Lighthouse
Completed in 1794, The Mumbles Lighthouse is one of the most photographed in the country. It is clearly visible from right across Swansea Bay. Still in use today, the light is now solar energy. It is surrounded by a fort which was built by the War Department – thanks to its industry and thriving docks, Swansea was a major target in the war.
Nash Point Lighthouse
This pretty lighthouse overlooks the headland and beach known as Monknash in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. Part of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, it is within a site of special scientific interest – the limestone cliffs are full of fossils, with rare flora and fauna growing on the site itself.
Burry Port Lighthouse
Built in 1842 and one of the smaller lighthouses in Wales, Burry Port stands at only 24ft (7.32 metres). Following its restoration, it re-opened in 1996 and the current light can be seen flashing for over 15 miles (24.14kms). It now acts as a guide to members of the Bury Port Yacht Club.
Located on the south of Caldey Island, famous for its monastery, this lighthouse watches over Carmarthen Bay. Commissioned in 1827, the light was lit for the first time in 1829. It was the last lighthouse to still be operated by gas and was only converted in 1997. Popular with tourists who take boat-trips from the Mainland, Caldey Island is a haven for bird watchers and nature lovers.
St Tudwal’s Lighthouse
An exceptionally pretty little lighthouse, St Tudwal’s overlooks the northern extremes of Cardigan Bay. Completed in 1876, it was electrified in 1995. The building has a Grade II heritage listing and the keepers cottages have now been converted into holiday homes. With its pretty criss-cross of metalwork protecting the light, St Tudwal’s is picture perfect.
On the small Welsh island of Skokholm, in the South West of the country, sits Skokholm Lighthouse. The island is owned by Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Completed in 1916, this pretty lighthouse protected shipping moving in and out of the Bristol Channel.