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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 2016

LH tour map

Possibly last week in August or first week in September. Not sure yet. If you would like to do the tour in 2016 please let me know

Only 6 places are available for this tour due to beds available at Blackhead

Blackhead lantern

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: 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. 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: 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 Westport for supper, then we go to Blacksod for the night. We spend the night at Josephine Geraghty's superb B&B Brú Chlann Lir near Blacksod. I love staying there.There are 3 lighthouses for us to view, although I hasten to add Eagle Island has been squashed down and resembles a castle. A pity I feel. A 4th lighthouse, Blackrock, can be seen at a distance way off the coast.

Eagle Island
Eagle Island
Eagle Island Blackrock
Eagle Island Blackrock
Blacksod Broadhaven
Blacksod Broadhaven

Day 2 : We wake on the Belmullet Peninsula to view the lighthouses before making our way north to Donegal town via Sligo to see the Metal Man and Oyster Island.  Eagle Island and Broadhaven lighthouses are on our viewing list and you will catch the distant light of Blackrock

We will call in at the Ceide Fields Neolithic Site for a cup of tea, and for anyone who wants to see the unearthed stones you can go on a tour. Personally I think one needs a good imagination to believe the unearthed stones resemble an ancient civilization. There is a path down to a viewing platform where you can safely take pictures

Ceide Fields Mayo cliffs

Downpatrick Head

We then make our way to Downpatrick Head is a beautiful location ten minutes from Ceide Fields before going to Rosses Point near Sligo to see The Metal Man and Oyster Island

The Metal Man Oyster Island
The Metal Man Oyster Island
We spend the night in Donegal town at the fabulous Railway Lodge, which is a short distance from a pub called the Reel Inn where there is live traditional music
Traditional Irish music

Day 3:
We go for a tour of County Donegal's lighthouses and amazing coastline
Rotten Island
St. Johns

Rotten Island

At the entrance to Killybegs, a major Irish fishing port

Slieve League
The Slieve League, Ireland's highest cliffs with Rathlin O'Birne lighthouse in the distance
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: We take the ferry from Greencastle to Northern Ireland,visiting the Bushmills Distillery and Giant's Causeway on our way to Ballycastle for the ferry over to Rathlin Island where we spend the afternoon

Rathlin West

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

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: 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: 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 €1295 pp sharing (€1395 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 (top quality B&Bs and 2 nights at Blackhead lighthouse), all breakfasts except the two spent at Blackhead lighthouse which is self catering, all transportation costs and your guide, author and photographer John Eagle. Highlights of the tour will include boat trips, a lighthouse 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 and lunches 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. 

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