South Stack Lighthouse, Anglesey


The things I will do to get a photograph….like climb down and then climb up again around 400 stone steps down a very windy cliff-side path to South Stack Lighthouse. The island of South Stack (Welsh: Ynys Lawd) is an island situated just off Holy Island on the North West coast of Anglesey. It is famous as the location of one of Wales‘ most spectacular lighthouses.

South Stack Lighthouse was completed in 1809 and has been warning passing ships of the treacherous rocks below since. The 28 m (91 ft) lighthouse was designed by Daniel Alexander and the main light is visible to passing vessels for 28 miles. The lighthouse was erected to warn of danger to shipping on the treacherous Dublin – Holyhead – Liverpool sea route. South Stack provides the first beacon along the northern coast of Anglesey for shipping heading east-bound. Further along the coast there are more lighthouses, fog horns and other markers at such places as North Stack, Holyhead breakwater, The Skerries, the Mice and at the north-east tip of the island Trwyn-Du. The lighthouse is operated remotely by Trinity House.

After climbing down the 400 odd steps visitors cross a metal bridge to gain access to the island where the lighthouse is located. Visitors can then climb to the top of the lighthouse and tour the engine room and exhibition area. The lighthouse is open seasonally and there is a fee to cross the bridge and enter the lighthouse. However you can use the steps down and back up again for free.

During the descent and ascent, and trust me you will stop occasionally during the ascent, you will have an opportunity to see some of the 4,000 nesting birds that line the cliffs during the breeding season. The cliffs are part of the RSPB South Stack Cliffs bird reserve, based at Ellin’s Tower.

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2 thoughts on “South Stack Lighthouse, Anglesey

  1. newd7000user July 22, 2011 / 09:36

    Very nice photo Mike, as a landlocked photographer I always love to see shots of lighthouses and the ocean. I feel for you having to walk those steps but at least it was worth it.

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    • Mike Hardisty July 22, 2011 / 10:04

      Thank You. I didn’t mention in the post but I slipped on the wet steps and nearly lost my camera. Not only that I jarred my knee and it was a bit painful climbing back up but in the end I thought it was worth it

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