The coast of North West England takes in the lights of Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside and Cheshire.
Please note that some of these lighthouses offer holiday accommodation, or may be privately owned, so please take care not to trespass or drive on private property. Please refer to the Lighthouse Directory page for more information.
Lighthouses of North West England
From the Solway Firth down through Cumbria, you can pass St Bees Lighthouse on a lovely walk. St Bees marks the start of the Coast to Coast trail from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay in the East. Originally a coal-fired beacon, established in 1718, it was the last of the coal-fired light in Britain when replaced by the current lighthouse in 1822.
The Isle of Walney, near Barrow in Furness, was the last lighthouse in England to be automated, as Trinity House does not operate it. One of the few female Principal Keepers, Peggy Braithewaite, grew up on the island and looked after the lighthouse for years, a tradition that ran in her family.
Further down the coast, the Fylde and Wyre’s estuary, with its wide expanse of sands exposed at low water, tell of dangerous shipping hazards, and relics of old lighthouses are littered around here.
Heading to Merseyside and the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board once managed the Wirral lights, the lighthouses of this area, and the North Wales coast, later to become the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, now the Port of Liverpool. Just near their impressive iconic building, visit the Maritime Museum, which tells of the importance of Liverpool as a port, replacing Bristol and London as the slave-trading capital by 1740.
Cheshire and Wirral
Along the Wirral are various lights, which are now mostly disused. Now 2 miles inland, Bidston was also once an important signal station, forming one of a chain of signals heading from Anglesey. Leasowe and Bidston Lighthouses are open to the public on certain days.
If you have the time you can walk out to Hillbre Island. Although a modern lighthouse, you can find one of the former telegraph signal stations. You must check the tides though as access is only available at low water, and you have to walk out across the water, so do leave enough time to get back!