Fanad Lighthouse in County Donegal is one of those locations where you would like to stay for a couple of days, and nowadays you can in one of the lighthouse it's unique self catering accommodation.
But on this occasion , we were just here to visit one of Donegal's three signature points, Fanad lighthouse. We will return and try one of the accommodations at a later stage.
After having parked the car in the carpark, we walked towards the new ticket office where we bought our tickets for the lighthouse tour.
Walking towards the lighthouse, it is not hard to see why Fanad Lighthouse is just stunning , from the Inishowen and Fanad coastline to the crystal clear waters beneath the rocks, we fell in love with this fabulous gem along the Wild Atlantic Way
At the green door we waited patiently until our tour departed, and while admiring the waters beneath our feet, we were welcomed by one of the local guides. After being shown the living quarters, we watched some introduction videos about the Irish lighthouses.
After the videos, we moved towards the actual lighthouse tower where we learned about the lights, the tower's stairwell and the different types of flags used for signalling the boats. And it also became apparent why kids have to be taller than 1.20 meter , this as the stairwell is steep and the last part to reach the lighthouse top floor is a ladder.
The stairwell is a floating stairwell where the stone is built into the actual lighthouse wall, it is strong and steep. Nowadays, the light is automated, but in the early days, the lighthouse keeper had to go to the top of the lighthouse and pull up some chains and weights every couple of hours which kept the light turning. We can only imagine how many times he had to run up and down the stairwell.
When the lighthouses were manned, lighthouse keepers were moved around Ireland's lighthouses every three years. This was done to stop them from being totally isolated, especially when they were stationed off the coast.
Having reached the top of the lighthouse, we admired the fabulous views along the Donegal coastline.
Another thing we learned about the lighthouse is that it can be a dangerous location in bad weather. One of the lighthouse keepers disappeared on a rough evening never to be seen again.
Fanad lighthouse is a must visit location, one where you can discover life as a lighthouse keeper, the history of Ireland's lighthouses and learn about the modern technology which nowadays goes into these lighthouses.