Step inside a Lighthouse for Heritage Week 2023
To celebrate Heritage Week 2023, open days will take place at all Republic of Ireland Irish Landmark Trust properties on Sunday 20 August – including four beautiful lighthouses!
National Heritage Week celebrates Ireland’s cultural, built and natural heritage every August.
With ‘Living Heritage’ the 2023 theme – that’s “practices, knowledge and skills that have been passed from one generation to the next, and are still in use today” – everyone is invited to come and explore the many traditions, skills, past-times, crafts and more, that are culturally unique to Ireland and its communities.
And what better way to explore these cultural, built and natural facets of our heritage than with a look inside the Irish Landmark Trust’s four lovingly-maintained Republic of Ireland lighthouse properties – St John’s Point, Co. Donegal; Wicklow Head, Co. Wicklow; Galley Head, Co. Cork; and Loop Head, Co. Clare.
Saving, sharing and sustaining built heritage
Actively committed to preserving Ireland’s unique built heritage since 1992, the Irish Landmark Trust’s ability to restore heritage buildings and keep them in good repair depends on the survival of traditional craft skills and the use of traditional materials and craftspeople.
That means using only the best artisans, builders and craftspeople, like traditional thatchers and lime plasterers, to restore these special structures. Seeking out such artisans gives them vital scope to revive traditional skills that might otherwise be lost or forgotten.
In addition to using sustainable materials such as wood, lime plaster and clay-based paints in the restoration process, the inside of the properties enjoy just as much care and attention to detail.
Vintage and sustainable furnishings are carefully sought to give the property the most accurate restoration possible, and also to give the visitor a faithful depiction of the property during its heyday, combined with all mod cons.
Making tourism a force for good #CoastalKeepers
Committed to promoting sustainable, responsible, and regenerative tourism practices that benefit the properties, guests, communities and local environments, the Irish Landmark Trust approaches tourism as a force for good – or what Great Lighthouses of Ireland like to call a #CoastalKeeper mindset.
As we welcome visitors to our lighthouse sites/attractions over the summer, we encourage everyone to embrace the stunning beauty of the lighthouses and explore the vibrant nearby villages, towns and communities brimming with local businesses and attractions too.
Irish Landmark Trust does this by informing guests about locally-owned artisan and craft businesses in the area and encouraging them to seek out unique local experiences in these coastal environments and be a patron of their thriving communities.
As lightkeepers kept a good light for mariners over the centuries, Great Lighthouses of Ireland and Irish Lights firmly believe that now it’s our turn to tend to our coastal environment and be true guardians for it as we travel, explore and enjoy it.
Make sure to visit one of these exceptional lighthouses on Sunday 20 August to discover just what makes them so important to Ireland’s built heritage, tradition and culture. All properties will be open 10am-4pm for a self-guided tour.
Entry is free but booking is required, book your place via heritageweek.ie.
And if you can’t make it to a lighthouse during National Heritage Week, as part of Northern Ireland's contribution to European Heritage Days, this September will see over 200 of Northern Ireland's historic buildings, monuments and landmarks open their doors to the public for free.
Taking place on Sunday 10 September from 10am-4pm it’s the perfect opportunity to visit St John’s Point Lighthouse, Co. Down or Blackhead Lighthouse, Co. Antrim.
Find out more europeanheritagedays.com