Irish lighthouses lead the way in new tourism campaign

Ireland is to light up a number of key coastal areas in a fresh tourism initiative due to come on stream this month.

Hook Lighthouse is being used as a tourist attraction

Hook Lighthouse,  the oldest working lighthouse in the world. Image by David Bergin / CC BY 2.0

The project, named The 'Great Lighthouses of Ireland,’ features 12 famous lighthouses which will offer visitors an array of options – from guided tours to visitor centres to overnight accommodation in a number of renovated buildings.

Valencia Island's lighthouse is one of a dozen being used as tourist attractions following renovation work

Valencia Island's lighthouse is one of a dozen being used as tourist attractions.Image by Larry Lamb / CC BY 2.0

The Irish Independent reports that this reinvention of iconic coastal edifices, while aimed at those visiting Ireland, will also help in no small measure to conserve the country’s lighthouse and maritime heritage.

The 12 Great Irish Lighthouses are located in different parts of the country, ranging from Valentia Island in Kerry to Rathlin West Light in Co Antrim to Hook Head in Co Wexford.

The undertaking has been backed by the EU’s cross-border programme and includes a self-catering accommodation at Blackhead in Co Antrim, Fanad in Co Donegal and St John’s Point in Co Down.

The visitor centres in Rathlin Island and Fanad Head are due to be open later this month.

Irish Lights operate a further 70 lighthouses around the country which are vital for the safety of sea travellers, but they are electronically longer manned and have no personnel on site.

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