Lighthouses of South Central England

The lighthouses of South Central England are listed in geographical order. Also included are lightvessels and other associated places of interest.  The map will provide more photos and information.

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.

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The lights of South Central England

The South Central region of England takes in the Jurassic coast of Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex and the Isle of Wight.

Portland has three lighthouses at the Bill (only one is still operational and is also a visitor centre). There is a fourth lighthouse is on Portland breakwater, best viewed by a boat trip around the harbour. 

Visit the Association of Lighthouse Keepers Museum Rooms at Hurst Castle, which are accessible by ferry.  There are lots of interesting exhibits for the lighthouse enthusiast, and from here the Isle of Wight is tantalisingly close.

The Isle of Wight is easy to access via ferry from Portsmouth, Southampton or Lymington.  It takes less than an hour, so you can visit the island for the day quite easily, though it’s worth staying for longer as there are lots of things to see and do.

Southampton and Portsmouth both have plenty of maritime history, and if you get the chance to visit the Historic Dockyard at Portsmouth it is well worth a visit.  If you don’t get to see it all in a day, and you probably won’t, your ticket will last for a year.

Visit Beachy Head and the rolling downs with spectacular views and walks, just don’t go too close to the edge!  Belle Tout Lighthouse was moved back from the edge in 1999.  The lighthouse at the base of the cliffs is sometimes accessible at low water from Eastbourne, but do take care not to get cut off by the tides.

Dorset

South Central England lighthouses
Portland Bill Lighthouse
Portland Old Low Lighthouse
Portland Old Higher Lighthouse
accommodation Branscombe Lodge sleeps 4, Stopes Cottage sleeps 4
Portland Breakwater Lighthouse
Anvil Point Lighthouse
accommodation Rowena sleeps 5, Veronica sleeps 6
Skerryvore Garden, Westbourne
Robert Louis Stevenson moved with his family to Bournemouth in 1884, and the following year they moved into ‘Seaview’, a house in Westbourne, which was renamed ‘Skerryvore’ after the lighthouse that his uncle Alan had built in 1844. It was whilst he was living in Westbourne that he wrote the ‘Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, published in 1886, with the character Mr Poole named after the neighbouring town.  After years of ill health, he left Bournemouth in 1887.
‘Skerryvore’ was destroyed in November 1940 by a German air raid, the only building to be hit.

In the 1950s a memorial garden was created with a stone model of Skerryvore Lighthouse.
Hurst Point Lighthouse
Hurst Point Old Low Lighthouse
Discontinued 1911
Hurst Point Old Lighthouse
Discontinued: 1997
Association of Lighthouse Keepers Lighthouse Museum, Hurst Castle
Located at Hurst Castle, with an impressive collection of lighthouse artefacts, including the former Egypt Point lantern.

Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight lighthouses
Needles Lighthouse
Visible from the Needles Battery, or by boat
St Catherines’ Oratory
Also known as the Pepperpot. Built in 1328 by a local landowner as punishment for stealing wine from a shipwreck nearby. Owned by English Heritage, it is possible to walk up to the tower.
St Catherine’s Lighthouse
accommodation Gurnard sleeps 5, Penda sleeps 5, Landward sleeps 4
St Catherines’ Keepers Memorial
Located in Niton Church graveyard, a memorial to the keepers killed at St Catherine’s Lighthouse during an air raid in World War 2
St Boniface Old Church, Bonchurch
Memorial to Sir James Douglass, Lighthouse Engineer
Nab Tower
Visible from Bembridge, or by boat
St Helen’s Fort
One of the former Solent forts, owned by the National Trust. Used as a navigation aid in more recent times. Ethel Langton, one of the lighthouse keepers’ daughters, aged 15, was stranded for 3 days and nights when her parents had rowed ashore for provisions, and could not return due to bad weather. She was awarded the Lloyds Bronze Medal for Meritorious Services. An unofficial walk talks place to the fort each year.
Egypt Point Lighthouse, Cowes

Hampshire

Hampshire lighthouses
LV78 Calshot Spit Lightvessel
Former LV78, established in 1914, discontinued in 1987.
Station history: 1914-1978: Mouse, Mid Barrow and Calshot Spit.
She was moved to Ocean Village Marina, Southampton in 1988, then to Trafalgar Dry Dock in 2010, and moved to the Solent Sky Museum in 2020.
LV1 Mary Mouse Lightvessel
Former LV1, established in 1946, discontinued in 1993.
Station history: 1946-1993: Royal Sovereign, Tongue, Outer Gabbard, Smiths Knoll, Shambles, Sevenstones, Shipwash, Humber, Galloper, Owers, Varne, Cross Sand, Dudgeon, East Goodwin, Dowsing
She was sold in October 1993 to Dean & Reddyhoff, Gosport for conversion into a bar and restaurant in Haslar Marina and painted green and renamed Mary Mouse II after the director’s wives Mary Reddyhoff and Joanna (Mouse) Dean.
Southsea Castle
Discontinued 2017
Spitbank Fort, Solent
One of the Solent (or Palmerston) Forts built between 1865 and 1880 to protect Portsmouth. Now a luxury hotel and venue.
Horse Sand Fort, Solent
No Man’s Land Fort, Solent

Sussex

Sussex Lighthouses
Shoreham Harbour Lighthouse
Newhaven Harbour Lighthouse
Belle Tout Lighthouse
Beachy Head Lighthouse
Royal Sovereign Lighthouse
Greenwich Lightvessel

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