Shine a Light on Summer at Ireland’s Greatest Lighthouses this May Bank Holiday

Explore some of Ireland’s greatest lighthouses with the Shine a Light on Summer Festival. The festival runs over the May bank holiday weekend, 29th April – 1st May, and will take place at six of Ireland’s most spectacular lighthouses in some of the most jaw dropping coastal locations that the country has to offer.

Shine a light on summer festival lighthouses

Valentia Island Lighthouse battling the elements

Meet the story keepers and guides who will take you through the amazing history of these structures that have helped seafarers find their way for centuries. Immerse yourself in maritime history, discover world of shipwrecks beneath the waves and marvel at the maritime, craft and technology demonstrations. Each location will offer immersive storytelling telling, the best locals crafts, music and fun!

This is a great opportunity to get the best behind the scenes look at how these lighthouse operate with experts from the Commissioners of Irish Lights, who operate many of the lighthouses on our coastlines. Scale the heights of these towers to get some of most impressive coastal views.

shine a light on summer festival lighthouses

Hook Head – oldest lighthouse in Ireland

Hook Head

Visit one of the oldest operating lighthouses in the world. Learn more about the history of the lighthouse and the exciting maritime history of Ireland’s Ancient East. Relax with a tour of the 800 year old lighthouse and enjoy some fun and games on the lawn. 

Shine a light on summer festival lighthouses

Loop head Lighthouse Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Loop Head

Learn the exciting history of the Loop Head lighthouse that goes all the way back to 1670 with family friendly events, tours and storytelling. Discover the majesty of the award-winning peninsula with unrivaled views from the top of the iconic lighthouse.

shine a light on summer festival lighthouses

Rathlin West Lighthouse

Rathlin West 

Take the Rathlin Island ferry and go to the West Light ‘upside-down’ lighthouse in Co. Antrim to meet the 125 resident seabirds. Welcome back the puffins and the tens of thousands of visiting birds like kittiwakes and razorbills nesting around the cliffs. With lots of family fun activities planned, an unforgettable trip is on the cards.

Valentia Island

Discover the beauty of Valentia Island and learn all about the 17th Century Cromwell Fort, the site on which the lighthouse is built. Listen to tales of war and conquest and the history of the lighthouse. 

Shine a light on summer festival lighthouses

Fanad – celebrating 200 years as a shining light for Donegal

Fanad Lighthouse

Join Fanad Lighthouse to celebrate its 200th anniversary! Capture the best memories on lighthouse photography tours at Fanad Lighthouse Donegal, voted one of the most beautiful lighthouses in world.

ballycotton lighthouse

Beautiful Ballycotton Island. Credit Ballycotton Lighthouse Tours


Enjoy East Cork and listen to the tales and stories of Lighthouse Keeping on Ballycotton Island.

Coastal partners and organisations such as Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) Coastguard and others will be onsite for demonstrations and talks in many of the locations Get tips on being safe and enjoying our coast this summer, explore our towers, discover their hidden secrets and much more.

For more information visit: Great Lighthouses of Ireland

About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22