Lighthouses – the ideal getaway

Lighthouses have always been a rich mine for storytellers.

I remember being captivated by the poem Flannan Isle by WW Gibson.

About three lighthouse keepers in the Outer Hebrides who disappeared without trace.

It was probably because I had to learn it by rote.

Rather than put me off though it merely infused my enthusiasm to stay in a lighthouse one day.

That day has still to come. But to get you in the mood you can always visit Hook Lighthouse in Co. Wexford.

Hook. the world’s oldest operational lighthouse, at 800 years, is taking part in the National Culture Night Celebrations on Friday.

Beacon: Hook, the world’s oldest intact operational lghthouse

There will be free 45-minute guided tours of the medieval tower, all 115 steps, at 5.30, 6pm, 6.30 and 7pm.

Complete with historical characters.

Each of the free places must be booked in advance on www.hookheritage.ie.

And one I prepared earlier

My first morning in the Eastern Cape in South Africa was a surprise, spent doing a tour of the Port Elizabeth lighthouse where I scaled the winding steps.

And built up a thirst… they had laid out a lovely picnic and wine on the ground floor.

For a Cape Recife, Lighthouse and Grysbok Nature Reserve 4 x 4 Tour then it’s http://www.alantours.co.za. And for another tour of the Eastern Cape, read my thoughts https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/home/whats-new-pussycat/.

And one for the Donald and the Angela

Now unless you’d been stranded out on a lighthouse then you’d have known that the G7 met in Biarritz last weekend.

Which means the Donald, the Angela, the Boris and the Emmanuel.

They would, of course, have stopped to look out at the frame-setting lighthouse.

And I don’t know for sure that they didn’t visit.

The lighthouse which was built in 1834 has 248 steps.

And it is worth it when you get to the top as it provides spectacular views of Biarritz and the Basque hinterland.

You want more spectacular impressions on the French Basque Country… you’ll want to read my review of Lourdes and the Pyrenees https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-lourdes-prayer-pyrenees/

And visit the site

And one with spider history

Rathlin in Northern Ireland

I think my kids would be resilient enough for the lighthouse life.

They passed the first test when they bounced back quickly from a choppy passage across to Rathlin Island from the North coast of Antrim.

Did we tell them to lay off the fizzy drinks and the chocolate yes.

Did they listen. They’re kids, so of course not.

But by the time we got on the island and picked up our bicycles they were back on track.

You’ve got to keep it tidy. Picture Bernie Brown/Tourism Ireland

We cycled up to the West Light http://www.visitorthernireland.com which shines 23 nautical miles out to sea from a quirky upside down lighthouse built into the cliff face.

And the spider bit. Well, Robert the Bruce is said to have taken inspiration from a spider weaving a web in a cave nearby.

Whether he said ‘if at first you don’t succeed then try, try, try again’ is questionable but it is writ into Scottish legend.

What is a matter of history though is that he pushed the English out of Scotland and reasserted Scottish independence.

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