Ever since we went to Lizard Lighthouse in Cornwall I have had an urge to visit more lighthouses around the country and frequently find myself on the Trinity House website investigating where lighthouses are and if I’ll be near one at any point.
So, when I ended up in Wales for a week I realised I wouldn’t be too far from the South Stack Lighthouse. It’s unusual as, unlike other lighthouses I’ve seen, it’s not on the mainland – and isn’t on a beach either. Instead it’s on it’s own little island, accessed by 400 steps and a little bridge. It looked so perfect that I just had to visit.
The drive there was over an hour but as soon as I parked up I was blown away by the view. It felt like I’d reached the end of the earth – and it was beautiful.
Parking was free at the RSPB visitor centre – which also had a really lovely cafe, shop and toilets. It’s worth noting that is the only place with a toilet though and to get onto the South Stack Lighthouse island you need to pay – £5 per adult, £3.50 for children and it’s cash only. Also, children have to be over 1.1 metres tall to climb the lighthouse. I didn’t have any cash but I didn’t want to go up to the lighthouse anyway – seeing it and taking photos was enough for me as once you’ve been up one lighthouse you have pretty much been up them all.
The lighthouse is accessed by an uneven path and plenty of steps – it’s not accessible and would be horrendous for wheelchairs/pushchairs and, in all honesty, I think most young children would struggle with the climb.
It’s a fairly steep but steady descent – and the climb back up is pretty tough. But, the first lot of steps take you to Elin’s Tower where you can get a pretty amazing view of the lighthouse below.
From Elin’s Tower you can then walk up some steps to the start of the real descent to the South Stack Lighthouse. As you go down the steps the path twists and turns, giving new views at every point.
South Stack Lighthouse is an incredible sight. It’s also a RSPB nature reserve and a great spot to watch guillemots, razorbills and puffins on the cliffs. The visitor centre hires out binoculars for the day and the noise the birds make is pretty impressive – you can hear them everywhere at South Stack.
I loved visiting South Stack Lighthouse and it was a real highlight of my trip to Wales. If you’re ever in the area it’s definitely worth venturing to.