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 with interactive exhibits in the Lightkeeper’s Cottage, or take a guided tour up the lighthouse tower and onto the balcony. Weather permitting, 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.
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
- There has been a lighthouse at Loop Head since 1670. Originally, it was a coal burning brazier on a platform on the roof of the cottage lighthouse where the lightkeeper lived. You can still see part of the old cottage on the site.
- The first ‘tower’ lighthouse was built in 1802 and replaced with a new tower in 1854.
- In 1869 its light changed from being fixed to flashing.
- Its ‘character’ is a white light flashing 4 times every 20 seconds.
- The lighthouse converted to electric operation in 1971 and was automated in 1991.
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.