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Southwold Lighthouse, Southwold

4.6
#4 of 23 in Things to do in Southwold
Lighthouse Tourist Spot
Southwold lighthouse is a lighthouse operated by Trinity House in the centre of Southwold in Suffolk, England. It stands on the North Sea coast, acting as a warning light for shipping passing along the east coast and as a guide for vessels navigating to Southwold harbour.The lighthouse, which is a prominent local landmark, was commissioned in 1890, and was automated and electrified in 1938. It survived a fire in its original oil-fired lamp just six days after commissioning and today operates a 150-watt lamp. The main navigation lamp has a range of 24nmi.HistoryConstruction of the lighthouse began in 1887, led by Sir James Douglass, Engineer in Chief of Trinity House. A light was lit on a temporary structure in February 1889 and the lighthouse itself began operating on 3 September 1890. It replaced three lighthouses that had been condemned as a result of serious coastal erosion. The lantern itself was previously used at the Happisburgh low lighthouse but became available when the latter light was demolished.The original light was powered by a six-wick Argand oil burner. Just six days after the light was commissioned there was a fire in the lighthouse with the burner being destroyed. The inexperience of the new lighthouse keepers was blamed for the fire. The burner was replaced with an oil-fired light in 1906 and a petroleum burner in 1923. The light was electrified and automated in 1938. It was converted to battery operation, with the batteries charged using mains electricity, in 2001.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
316 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The lighthouse is well worth a visit if you're in Southwold . The views are spectacular and the guides were really knowledgeable and friendly. There are quite a few stairs to climb, but it's definitel...  more »
  • Unpretentious but charming tour with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide. Splendid views and much to learn about a lighthouse mysteriously plonked in the middle of town.  more »
  • Tim, our guide, made our visit enjoyable as well as fascinating, he was a mine of information and enthusiasm! Would highly reccommend a visit.  more »
Google
  • How beautiful. Perfect example of a lighthouse
  • Very interesting lighthouse and vert friendly helpful staff
  • Staff very kind and encouraging when climbing the tower, very informative.
  • Grade II listed building nestling cozily amidst local dwellings with a beer named in its honour by the local brewery. 31meters high and beaming with pride.
  • Perched on the east coast of England, the small town of Southwold offers typical seaside merriment with its sandy beach, traditional pier and candy-coloured beach huts. A working lighthouse (open to visitors) stands sentinel, surveying the bay, and the Adnams Brewery, which still operates on the same site after 670 years, wafts early morning hops into the sea air. Plenty of excellent eating and accommodation options range from the smart Swan Hotel, situated on the picturesque market square, to a nearby campsite – all a pebble’s throw from the sea.

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