Loop Head Lighthouse is perched right at the end of Loop Head Peninsula in stunning West Clare.
Uncover the fascinating history of Loop Head lighthouse on a guided tour of interactive exhibits in the Lightkeeper’s Cottage and upstairs to the crow’s nest for breathtaking sights. Tour the remarkable lighthouse tower too. As you learn more about this ancient landmark and its surroundings, you’ll enjoy spectacular 360-degree panoramas from the 23-metre-high balcony.
On a clear day, you’ll enjoy fantastic views south as far as the Blasket Islands and north to the Twelve Pins in Connemara, along the Wild Atlantic Way. It’s also the perfect place to spot whales, dolphins and seals from, while the rock ledges and caves of the dramatic cliffs are home to many (noisy) seabirds.
- The nature of the lighthouse tour means it is not suitable for wheelchair users, visitors with reduced mobility or vision impairment, a fear of heights, or service animals.
- Children must be aged 6 or over, be over 1.2 metres in height and be capable of ascending and descending the staircases unaided.
- The Crow’s Nest includes 33 steps and the Lighthouse Tower features 74 steps (with three landings). The exhibition on the ground floor of the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage, the toilets and refreshment facilities are wheelchair accessible.
If you fancy a longer stay here to enjoy life on the edge, one of the lightkeeper’s cottages has been restored by Irish Landmark Trust and offers very comfortable self-catering accommodation, imbued with all the character of its maritime past.
A quick history
- Loop Head has been home to a lighthouse since 1670. It was originally a coal-burning brazier on a platform on the cottage roof.
- The first ‘tower’ lighthouse was built in 1802 and was replaced with a new tower in 1854.
- In 1869 its light changed from being fixed to flashing.
- Its ‘character’ is a white light flashing four times every 20 seconds.
- The lighthouse converted to electric operation in 1971 and was automated in 1991.
- It’s a free-standing, circular plan single bay, four-stage lighthouse, surrounded by a metal-framed blazed lantern with a metal walkway and cut limestone walls. It is 23m-high with a current range of 23 nautical miles (42km or over 26 miles).
Did you know?
- Loop Head Peninsula was recently voted as the best place to holiday in Ireland in a national competition.
- The area attracts geologists from all over the world.
- Loop Head Lighthouse is part of the wide entry to the Shannon Estuary. It’s also a significant passing light for North/South bound traffic.
- Loop Head is one of three locations in Ireland that broadcast a DGPS signal, which improves the accuracy and integrity of the GPS navigation and position-fixing systems used by mariners. (The other 2 DGPS locations are Mizen Head and Tory Island).
- It is one of 65 lighthouses operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights around the coast of Ireland and continues to provide a vital role in maritime safety today.
Kilbaha South, Co. Clare, V15 T292
Loop Head Lighthouse reopens for tours on Saturday 16th March, 2024
From 16th March - 14th June, tours are on weekends and bank holidays only.
From 15th June - 29th September, tours take place daily on the hour and half hour every hour from 10am-5pm.
Includes access to the lighthouse grounds and the exhibition rooms, with information boards about the local area, the history of the lighthouse and peninsula, and an audiovisual experience explaining the way of life of the lighthouse keepers and their families. Access to the coffee shop and toilets and a large picnic area is also included.
General admission fees:
Child (under 18): Free
Access to the lighthouse is by guided tour only. It includes the tower itself and, weather permitting, the views from the balcony.
Guided tour fees:
Child (under 18) : €5
Over 65: €3
Student (over 18 with identification): €3
To book online and for further information, visit www.loopheadlighthouse.ie