All-Island Lighthouse Tourism Trail – exciting project under way
We are spearheading the development of the All-Island Lighthouse Tourism Trail around the coast of Ireland – for the benefit of local communities, visitors, tourism and national identity.
We operate over 70 lighthouses around the coast of Ireland. They play a vital role in marine safety but are now automated and unmanned. Some lighthouses have accommodation attached, that can be offered to tourists or developed to provide tourism attractions.
It is planned to provide:
- Tourist accommodation
- On-site interpretation to inform and engage the visitor and present the unique stories and history of each location
- An online educational learning zone
Some lighthouses already offer visitor accommodation and tourist attractions. This initiative will increase the number of locations so as to create a new lighthouse tourism sector.
“This EU-funded project has huge potential because, in addition to maritime safety services, it allows Irish Lights to capitalise on the spectacular locations of our lighthouses, harness their huge heritage value and work with local communities in an exciting and innovative way to deliver economic and tourism benefits north and south." - Yvonne Shields, Chief Executive of the Commissioners of Irish Lights
The lighthouses not only serve a crucial purpose in coastal navigation, but many are historic buildings that stand as soaring reminders of Ireland’s proud maritime history. They are a precious asset that will now help to develop our tourism industry, create new jobs (both short- and long-term), and provide unique attractions to visitors from home and abroad.
While helping to preserve part of our cultural heritage, the project will also create a lasting legacy that will draw visitors for many years to come.
Trail to feature up to 20 lighthouses
Phase 1 of the All-Island Lighthouse Tourism Trail project involves five sites around the northern coast - two in Co. Antrim, two in Co. Donegal and one in Co Down. These will be added to the six sites that are already operating and it is planned to have between 15 and 20 lighthouses on the trail all around the Irish coast.
The project is supported by Fáilte Ireland, the Northern Ireland Tourism Board and Tourism Ireland and is supported by funding under the EU INTERREG IVA programme.
First phase – development at five lighthouse stations in Cos. Antrim, Donegal and Down
St. John’s Point Lighthouse, Co. Donegal
|2 visitor self-catering accommodation units|
Fanad Head Lighthouse, Co. Donegal
|3 visitor self-catering accommodation units
Visitor centre facilities
Rathlin West Lighthouse, Rathlin Island, Co. Antrim
|Enhancement of existing visitor facilities|
Blackhead Lighthouse, Co. Antrim
|1 visitor self-catering accommodation unit
Visitor access facilities
St. John’s Point Lighthouse, Co. Down
|2 visitor self-catering accommodation units
Visitor access facilities
For further information please contact us:
Phone: +353 1 271 5400