Where in Cornwall can you find the most picturesque lighthouses for photography?

Cornwall, located in South West England, is known for its breathtaking coastal scenery and rich maritime history. This is a region where land meets the sea in a dramatic fashion, with towering cliffs, sweeping bays, and rugged landscapes. Among these natural landmarks, stand the iconic lighthouses of Cornwall. These towering structures, perched on the edge of cliffs, or nestled on tiny rock islands, have been guiding seafarers for centuries. For those of you who love to capture stunning images, Cornwall's lighthouses offer unique photographic opportunities. Let's explore the most picturesque lighthouses in Cornwall that are a must-visit for every photography enthusiast.

The Lizard Lighthouse

The Lizard Lighthouse, located on the Lizard Point, the southernmost tip of mainland Great Britain, has been a beacon of light for mariners since 1619. This is a place where the Atlantic Ocean meets the English Channel, a notoriously treacherous stretch of sea. The lighthouse, with its distinctive twin towers, provides a stunning contrast to the surrounding rugged landscape.

The Lizard Lighthouse is a great destination for photographers due to its unique construction and dramatic setting. The intact tower stands at 19 meters high, offering panoramic views of the ocean and the Lizard Peninsula. Photographing the lighthouse during sunset is particularly captivating, as the warm light brings out the rich colours of the surrounding land and sea.

St. Anthony's Lighthouse

Situated at the entrance to Falmouth harbour, St. Anthony's Lighthouse was first lit in 1835. This lighthouse, built on the eastern side of the Roseland Peninsula, overlooks the Carrick Roads, one of the world's largest natural harbours. St. Anthony's Lighthouse has become an iconic sight on the South Cornish coast.

With its unique position, the lighthouse offers fantastic photographic opportunities. From its towering height, you can capture stunning shots of the harbour, the bustling boat traffic, and the coastline of West Cornwall. The lighthouse itself, a stark white tower against the green coastal landscape, also makes for a great subject in your frames.

Godrevy Lighthouse

Godrevy Lighthouse, built on a small island in St Ives Bay, offers some of the most breathtaking views on the Cornwall coast. This site inspired the famous novel "To the Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf. Constructed in 1858-1859, the lighthouse has been guiding vessels away from the perilous Stones Reef.

One of the best times to photograph the Godrevy Lighthouse is at high tide or during a storm when the waves crash against the island. The contrast of the white lighthouse against the turbulent sea makes for a dramatic capture. This lighthouse also offers a perfect backdrop for wildlife photography, as the surrounding area is home to various bird species.

Pendeen Lighthouse

Located on the West Cornwall coast, Pendeen Lighthouse, also known as Pendeen Watch, stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This lighthouse was built in 1900 in response to the increasing number of shipwrecks in the region. With the rough sea on one side and the verdant cliffs on the other, Pendeen offers some of the most dramatic coastal views in Cornwall.

For photographers, Pendeen Lighthouse can be particularly interesting during the golden hour, when the early morning or late evening light bathes the white tower and the surrounding coast in a warm glow. The lighthouse's remote location also means that it's a great spot for astrophotography, with minimal light pollution to interfere with your night sky shots.

Trevose Head Lighthouse

Trevose Head Lighthouse, located on the North Cornwall coast, stands majestically on a headland that extends into the Atlantic Ocean. This lighthouse, built in 1847, continues to guide shipping traffic and provide a landmark for those on land.

One of the main draws for photographers at Trevose Head Lighthouse is the panoramic views of the surrounding seascape. The lighthouse's elevated position lets you capture sweeping views of the ocean meeting the sky. This location is also perfect for capturing long exposure shots of the lighthouse with the motion blur of the ocean waves in the background.

Longships Lighthouse

Located off the westernmost point of Cornwall, Land's End, the iconic Longships Lighthouse stands sentinel against the mighty Atlantic Ocean. This lighthouse, built in 1873 by the Trinity House, plays a vital role in guiding vessels away from the treacherous Longships Rocks.

Its white tower rising from the grey, rocky island presents a striking contrast, offering a breathtaking scene for photographers. You can capture the power and grandeur of the ocean as it crashes against the lighthouse's sturdy base, a testament to the enduring resilience of these maritime structures. Capturing the Longships Lighthouse in the changing light of dawn or dusk can create a spectacular range of images, from ethereal silhouettes to imposing, detailed structures. The surrounding waters are also frequented by seals, adding an element of wildlife to your coastal photography.

Round Island Lighthouse

The Round Island Lighthouse, perched atop the highest point of Round Island, is one of the most distinctive lighthouses in Cornwall. This island lighthouse, built in 1887, is the only structure on this otherwise uninhabited island, making it a truly unique spot for photographers.

Its position offers an expansive view of the South West coast path, extending all the way to Portland Bill. The lighthouse's grey granite tower against the lush greenery of the island presents a pleasing colour contrast, offering a rich scope for creative composition. Capturing the lighthouse against the backdrop of the setting sun, with the sea reflecting the warm hues, can produce truly enchanting images.


Cornwall's lighthouses are not just essential navigational aids for seafarers, but they are also an intrinsic part of the region's heritage. These timeless structures, such as the Lizard Lighthouse, St. Anthony's Lighthouse, Godrevy Lighthouse, Pendeen Lighthouse, Trevose Head Lighthouse, Longships Lighthouse, and Round Island Lighthouse, tell stories of the maritime history and the lighthouse keepers who have tirelessly maintained them over centuries.

Photographing these lighthouses offers a unique opportunity to capture the raw beauty and changing moods of the Cornish coast, from the treacherous Wolf Rock to the tranquil visitor centre at the Lizard Lighthouse. Let the picturesque lighthouses of Cornwall be your guide, leading you on an exploration of this captivating coastal region. Each photograph you take will be a testament to the blend of nature's majesty and human endeavour encapsulated in these iconic structures. So, pack your camera and embark on your Cornish lighthouse adventure today!

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