With no deliberate disrespect to the words of God in Genesis 1, I choose a title which is the heartfelt plea of many a mariner. On dark, stormy nights, the glow of the beacon of light either welcoming them to a haven, or warning them of the shoals is a welcome sight.
To make these life-giving signal greater visibility, they have long been placed in towers. These light tours and light houses are not only cherished “friends” to seamen, but they provide picturesque landmarks for travellers and tourists as well.
The lighthouse at Happisburgh in Norfolk is a red and white striped tower which stands 26 metres above the coastline. It was opened in 1790, and today is operated by volunteers. It is oldest working light on the Norfolk Coast and the only independently operated lighthouse in the UK. It is open to the public for tours on bank holidays and weekends in the summer and visitors can climb the 112 steps to the lantern.
Flamborough Head Lighthouse in Yorkshire is a white tower of 26.5 metres, and was opened in 1806. It is now automated, but it provides some wonderful photo ops.
Also at Flamborough is the chalk tower opened in 1674, making it the oldest extant lighthouse in England. It was this tower that John Paul Jones would have seen in his 1779 battle with HMS SERAPIS.
Lights also mark the entrance to safe havens, such as the one at the harbour entrance at Arrecife, Lanzorate.
The Europa Point Lighthouse, or Victoria Tower, in the British Territory of Gibraltar marks the entrance to the Mediterranean. It opened in 1841 and is run by the British lighthouse authority, Trinity House. It is 20 metres tall and is white with a single central red band.
Another red and white beacon is the Beachy Head Lighthouse in East Sussex. It is 43 metres tall and is positioned at the base of the cliffs not at their summit.
These beautiful (and important) historical buildings make for great pictures, and enhance the experience of visits to the seaside.