Baltimore Beacon – Cork, Ireland - Atlas Obscura

Cork, Ireland

Baltimore Beacon

An oddly conical beacon perched atop beautiful Irish cliffs. 

This oddly cone-shaped beacon is perched atop a breathtaking stretch of Irish cliffs. Strangely, the “lighthouse” isn’t actually lit. Its white paint is meant to be enough of a warning to any ships approaching too close to the craggy coast.

The beacon was constructed after the Irish Rebellion of 1798 at the orders of the British government. It was part of a whole system of lighthouses that peppered Ireland’s shores to form a coastal warning system.

The original lighthouse eventually fell into disrepair, so this current, conical version replaced it in the late 1840s. It’s become a beloved symbol of Baltimore, a small fishing village in County Cork. Locals call the weirdly shaped tower “Lot’s Wife,” after the Biblical woman who was turned into a pillar of salt. Walking around the beacon rewards visitors with stunning views of both the green landscape and rolling sea.

Know Before You Go

There is parking for five vehicles at the end of the road toward the beacon. It's a short, steep walk though a field to get to the lighthouse, which can be slippy/muddy at times. The beacon is located on a tall cliff with no barriers.