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Get up close and personal with the lighthouses

Radar at the Baily

The Kish (high powered lens needed)
St. Johns
St. Johns Down
Angus Rock
Strangford Loch
Irish Lights
CIL Emblem
'John, thank you for all your hard work and perseverance to make our trip a success. You have overcome the many obstacles put in your way by the weather to make our trip an outstanding success. We really appreciate all you have done. This has been a memorable trip' Phil and Mary Borkowski 2009 tour
St Johns
St. Johns Donegal
Inside a lantern
John Eagle
John Eagle on the balcony of The Baily
Baily Lantern
Baily lantern
Meet those who worked at the lighthouses
The Baily
Chaine Tower
Chaine Tower
St. Johns
St. Johns Down
Seeing the lens flash out the bedroom window at Blackhead was wonderful.  The buildings are so well cared for.  Self catering with new friends is another highlight of the trip Nancy Ohlson
South Rock
South Rock
Rathlin West
Rathlin West
See pictures taken on the 2012 tour

Northern Irish Coastal and Lighthouse Tour of Ireland 2015

LH tour map

2015 tour sold out, but if you would like to do the tour in 2016 please let me know

Blackhead lantern

August 30th to September 6th

Lighthouses of Ireland we will see: Inisheer (at a distance) Straw Island, Inishmore, Eeragh, Broadhaven, Eagle Island, Blacksod, Blackrock Mayo (at a distance), Blackrock Sligo (at a distance) The Metal Man, Oyster Island, St Johns Donegal, Rotten Island, Fanad, Rathlin West, Rathlin East, Rue Point, Blackhead lighthouse Antrim (where we stay for 2 nights) Donaghadee, Ardglass, St Johns Down, Howth, and The Baily (we get a guided tour inside this one)

Birds you are likely to see during the tour: Puffin, Storm Petrel, Blackheaded Gull, Gannet, Kittiwake, Aortic Tern, Black Guillemot, Guillemot, Gulls, Fulmar, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, and Greater Black-backed Gull.

We will almost certainly see dolphins, (they are often to be seen at Doolin where we get the Aran Island boat) porpoises and seals at Rathlin Island, maybe basking sharks


We meet at Fortfield B&B for the evening of August 30th. We will be picking up in the Limerick, Ennis and Shannon areas so if you would like us to pick you up in these areas we can then take you to Fortfield. Fortfield is in a lovely location on the Shannon Estuary. We have stayed there many times and always made to feel really comfortable

Itinerary is as follows

Day 1 August 31st: We go for a cruise through the Aran Islands passing Inisheer which has a lighthouse

Aran Islands

we will not be landing on the island on this tour, we do that on the Southern Tour in June, however we will be landing on Inishmore


We will also see Straw Island lighthouse and after landing on Inishmore where a minibus awaits us for a drive round the island. We will go to the far end of the island to view Eeragh and walk up the hill to see the old lighthouse of Inishmore. There is an optional visit to the ancient semi circular fort at Dun Aengus

The old lighthouse with signal tower beside it

Straw Island

Straw Island



Eeragh Dun Aengus
Eeragh The cliffs at Dun Aengus on Inishmore

After our tour we go to Leenaun on the Galway/Mayo border for a bite to eat, then we go to Blacksod for the next 2 nights where there are 4 lighthouses for us to enjoy.

Day 2 September 1st: We are on the Belmullet Peninsula for the day near Blacksod lighthouse. This area is windswept, friendly people, lots of sandy beaches and four lighthouses. We will visit the lighthouse at Blacksod after dark, which is very exciting! We spend the night at Josephine Geraghty's superb B&B Brú Chlann Lir near Blacksod. I love staying there. Eagle Island and Broadhaven lighthouses are on our viewing list and you will catch the distant light of Blackrock

Eagle Island
Eagle Island, wild and exciting
Eagle Island Blackrock
Eagle Island Blackrock
Blacksod Broadhaven
Blacksod Broadhaven

We spend a second night at Brú Clann Lir near Blacksod

We will call in at the Ceide Fields Neolithic Site where an ancient civilization was unearthed from under the bog, and you will also see some fantastic cliffs. There is a path down to a viewing platform where you can safely take pictures

Ceide Fields Mayo cliffs

Day 3 September 2nd : We then make our way up to Sligo for lunch at the Waterfront cafe which serves delicious food. We can see the lighthouse of Oyster Island, Blackrock and the famous Metal Man before heading north for our bed at the Railway Lodge in Donegal Town which will give us a fabulous starting off point to explore Co. Donegal the following dayl

The Metal Man Oyster Island
The Metal Man Oyster Island
Rotten Island
St. Johns

Rotten Island

At the entrance to Killybegs, a major Irish fishing port

We are exploring Co. Donegal today, to see as many lighthouses as we can. High on the hit list is Fanad
Killybegs Fanad




Fanad lighthouse

Fanad lighthouse, one of the major lighthouses on the northern coast, very impressive and not to be missed

and finish the day on the Inishowen Peninsula at Redcastle
Buncrana Inishowen
Buncrana Inishowen

Day 4 September 3rd

Day 5 September 4th: We take the ferry from Greencastle to Northern Ireland, then go to Ballycastle where a specially arranged high speed boat operated by Aquaholics will take us on a tour of Rathlin Island. We hope to see lots of wildlife and seals on the rocks on our way round the island, and look up at the lighthouses of Rathlin West, Altacarry and Rue Point. I have been out on the water with Aquaholics before and they certainly know their stuff

Rathlin West

Rathlin Island Altacarry
The western shore of Rathlin Island near the lighthouse Altacarry, the Eastern lighthouse on Rathlin Island

We will land on the island for a spot of lunch and then return to Ballycastle for our drive to Blackhead

We spend the next two nights at Blackhead lighthouse where I have rented out the Keeper's Cottages, north east Antrim

Blackhead lantern

Blackhead lantern

Chaine Tower Chaine Tower
Chaine Tower Chaine Tower with Ferris Point in distance

Close by are the lighthouses of Chaine Tower and Ferris Point






Day 6 September 5th: We take a tour of County Down, Donaghadee lighthouse is first then there is Ardglass where we will stop for a bite to eat on the pier close to the harbour light. Then we will be calling in to visit St Johns Point lighthouse, the only yellow and black lighthouse in Ireland. Watch out for lots of small lighthouses along the way before and after St. Johns. There is a ferry crossing at Strangford passing a water turbine



Water turbine

Strangford Lough water turbine machine

Mountains of Mourne Ardglass
Mountains of Mourne Ardglass
St Johns St Johns Down
After our tour of County Down we return to Blackhead lighthouse for our second night there
Baily Baily lantern
The Baily and the lantern
Day 7 September 6th : After breakfast we head south to Howth for a tour of the The Baily. Then its time to go our separate ways and we hope you have enjoyed your tour of the Northern lights of Ireland


Tour price is €1195 pp sharing (€1275 for single people due to single room supplement If you are prepared to share a room, ie in a twin, then you can come for the lower rate)

Price includes visits to all lighthouses, places to stay with breakfast, boat trips, bus and driver


What's included

Tour price includes all lighthouse entry fees, all accommodations (hotel 1st night, top quality B&Bs and 2 nights at Blackhead lighthouse), all breakfasts and first night supper, all transportation costs except air fare to/from the start/end of  the tour and your guide, author and photographer John Eagle. Highlights of the tour will include boat trips, a lighthouse slides show and meeting people who have worked and continue to work for Irish Lights. The tour is limited to 8 people due to beds available at Blackhead Keeper's Cottage. Please advise if you are prepared to share or would prefer a single room. Unlike other countries WiFi is for the most part free in Ireland, or comes free with your accommodation.


What's not included

Evening meals (apart from first night) are not included. I have considered including all meals, but realise that some people like to go off and do their own thing in the evenings. I also feel that set meals for people tend to be of lower quality. I will do my best to take you to places that offer the best value for the money.


I have my own Public Liability Insurance (with LeisureInsure Certificate) It covers me for showing people around lighthouses and out on location for workshops in Ireland. Tour participants should consider their own travel insurance covering any unexpected medical needs, and travel expenses.


Special Notes

Cancellations and Refunds

A 75% refund will be given up to 3 months ahead of the start date of the tour, ie 25% will be kept to cover administration costs and fees incurred by banks and PayPal. The start of the tour is August 30th so May 30th is the deadline for this 75% refund. After that date no refunds will be given

I make reservations, numerous phone calls and emails with my hotels and ferry operators. I need to know 3 months in advance what I am doing. In the final 3 months leading up to the start date of the tour I will keep all monies paid for the tour

I will do my level best to help you plan your trip, with staying in places beforehand and afterwards


Photographing lighthouses takes us to challenging locations, including cliffs and rough seas. For this reason I strongly suggest taking out travel insurance to cover unexpected medical needs during the tour, as accidents can happen. I will always advise you when conditions are dangerous, and when extra care is required. I have photographed all the lighthouses many times over and know the dangerous places to avoid. When on the water waterproofs are advisable, as well as non slip footwear. Cliffs might look tempting for dramatic shots, but a gust of wind could spell danger. You need to be alert at all times.  Boat trips are weather permitting. I will do my level best to get you out on the water but in some cases the seas might be too rough. I will never put you in any kind of danger, and will always judge a scene before allowing you into it for your and my own safety


Also see the Southern Extreme Irish Lighthouse Tour
The Lighthouse Digest Calendar The United States Lighthouse Society
Association of Lighthouse Keepers
All photographs © John Eagle Photography



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John Eagle Photography,

Eyeries, Beara, Co. Cork. Ireland

tel: 027 74275

cell: 087 9693745