Find the best lighthouse restaurants, bars, cafes and tea rooms to visit on your lighthouse holiday.
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Whether you’re on holiday or just out for the day, finding somewhere special for an enjoyable meal is always a pleasure, especially when it’s near a lighthouse!
Of course, there’s nothing better than having your own lighthouse to stay in and enjoy a cup of tea or a lovely meal. But I also love to find places to eat on holiday and have had fun trying out most of the following places. For the few I haven’t tried, they’re definitely on my list to try the next time I visit the area.
Whether you prefer morning coffee, afternoon tea, lunch or dinner, I’ve put together a guide to the best lighthouse restaurants, bar and tearooms, all with a lighthouse theme. Enjoy your Lighthouse Menu!
There is a great circular walk around the island, and you can walk to the daymark of St Martin’s. Stop in for a refreshing glass or lunch at the Sevenstones Inn, St Martins, named after the Sevenstones Lightvessel.
Did you know that Fraggles live in lighthouses? The real Fraggle Rock Lighthouse is based on St Anthony’s Lighthouse in Cornwall. The Fraggle Rock Bar isn’t a lighthouse, and there isn’t even a lighthouse on the island, but there are views of Bishop Rock and Round Island Lighthouse!
There are no cars on Bryher, but it’s a lovely walk around the island.
Trinity’s Lightship was the former LV1 Lightvessel, established in 1946. She was decommissioned in 1993.
Following new management, the lightvessel offers luxury dining within Haslar Marina.
The Beachy Head is a great place to visit for lunch or a drink after a good stroll along the Downs. You can see across the rolling downs to Belle Tout Lighthouse perched on the cliff edge from the window. Below the cliffs is the iconic Beachy Head Lighthouse. You can find the Beachy Head Visitor Centre next door to the restaurant.
Who wouldn’t want a nice glass of something refreshing by a lighthouse? Folkestone Lighthouse on the end of the pier at Folkestone is now transformed into a champagne bar. Check opening times before you visit, as it can be weather dependent!
The pub sign used to have a lighthouse picture by day and by night on alternate sides.
You can also stay at the Courtyard Marriott at Baxter’s Place.
Fingal is the former lighthouse vessel to the Northern Lighthouse Board. She is now a luxury floating hotel. The aptly named Lighthouse Bar serves meals and cocktails, or you can stop for a luxury afternoon tea or morning coffee.
At the northern end of the Rhins of Galloway is Corsewall Lighthouse. The Lighthouse Hotel is open to non-residents for evening meals and afternoon tea, and the lighthouse restaurant has a delicious menu! There are spectacular views across the water to Ireland and up to Ailsa Craig.
Famed by the band Keane’s song of the same name, the Sovereign Light Cafe is named after the Royal Sovereign Lighthouse, which stood out to sea several miles beyond. The lighthouse has now been decommissioned. The Sovereign Light Cafe is mentioned in the Keane Trail.
The video doesn’t actually show the lighthouse, but I love the song anyway!
The decommissioned lighthouse is open to the public, and in one of the former cottages, Mrs Knotts Tea Room is well worth a visit. The tea room is named after one of the keepers’ families living at South Foreland Lighthouse.
The former training lighthouse and depot for Trinity House, Trinity Buoy Wharf is now an arts centre and has a riverside cafe. It also featured recently as the venue for the Great British Sewing Bee on BBC1.
Close to Happisburgh Lighthouse is the lighthouse-themed Sarnies by the Sea. Run by two lovely ladies who serve up delicious homemade cakes, quiches and sausage rolls. Always a good place to visit if you’re visiting the lighthouse on an open day. Check their Facebook page for the latest opening times.
Withernsea Lighthouse is located in the centre of the town. It was decommissioned and is now open as a visitor centre with a museum dedicated to the actress Kay Kendall.
There is a lovely cafe and garden, and the resident lighthouse cat may also join you!
Aberdeen Maritime Museum has on display the former optic from Rattray Head Lighthouse. The optic is visible through several floors, and the clockwork mechanism at the bottom is visible in the Museum Cafe.
Be prepared to spend several hours at the museum, or in our case, all day! Apart from the largest collection of lighthouse optics in Europe, the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses also holds numerous lighthouse artefacts and displays; you can also take a tour of Kinnaird Head Lighthouse.
The Museum Tea Room provides magnificent views out to sea, as well as to the foghorn and lighthouses.
Located at the southern end of mainland Shetland, run by the Shetland Amenity Trust, Sumburgh Head Lighthouse is well worth visiting. The Cafe has stunning panoramic views and is a great place to watch the wildlife.
It’s quite an adventure to reach Cape Wrath. Its lighthouse marks the turning point on the northwest tip of mainland Scotland.
The best way to visit is by arranging a minibus ride, which links with a ferry crossing from the Kyle of Durness. You need to plan your visit as the bus crosses an MOD firing range, so do check and book in advance. Drinks and snacks are available at the Ozone Cafe.
Located on the clifftop at Scotland’s most southerly point, the Gallie Craig Coffee House blends in beautifully with the stunning scenery, with its Tellytubby-style rooftop. Adjacent to Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, the area is popular with walkers and wildlife watchers.
The panoramic views from the cafe are amazing, and the cakes are delicious!
Hook Head Lighthouse is the oldest intact operational lighthouse in the world and has an excellent visitor centre, shop and cafe, so be prepared to spend a few hours there. If the weather’s fine, you can also sit outside and enjoy a picnic with the backdrop of an impressive lighthouse behind you!
I’d be pleased to hear from you if you know of any other lighthouse bars or restaurants.
For further ideas on places to stay, check out the Lighthouse Directory.