Burnham-on-Sea Low Lighthouse – Burnham-on-Sea, England - Atlas Obscura

Burnham-on-Sea, England

Burnham-on-Sea Low Lighthouse

The unusual stilted beacon is the town's only active lighthouse. 

This leggy wooden lighthouse is the only active lighthouse in Burnham-on-Sea, England. As such, the unusual stilted structure is both a beloved local landmark and a much-needed beacon.

The Burnham-on-Sea Low Lighthouse was constructed in 1832 by Joseph Nelson to guide ships through the Bristol Channel. The waterway, with its rapidly shifting sands, mudflats, and large tidal range, was notoriously tricky for sailors to navigate.

The stilted lighthouse was built to replace an earlier version, which was found to have too low of a vantage point. It remained in service up until 1969, when the council opted to use the nearby High Lighthouse instead. But after three decades of inactivity, the Low Lighthouse was once again put to use in 1993, after the High Lighthouse was sold and discontinued.

Now, the lighthouse does more than guide ships through the channel’s wayward waters. It’s also a beacon for beach walkers, too. At low tide, locals and tourists alike like to stretch their legs and walk across the sand to visit the charming structure up close.

Know Before You Go

The lighthouse is right on the town's main beach. From the pier, it's about a 10-15-minute walk to the lighthouse. The lighthouse looks especially picturesque at sunset.

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