To The Lighthouse: why lighthouse hotel stays are the perfect post-Covid staycations


Beacons of hope across the UK and Ireland’s most breathtaking coastlines

Harper’s Bazaar

Always wanted to stay in a lighthouse?

There’s a certain fortitude in lighthouses. Their stark staying power against the fiercest elements makes them destinations that are at once welcoming and inaccessible. Unlike other structures that rise and fall with a change in the wind, lighthouses hold a quiet dignity, standing fast amid the surrounding chaos. With their remote locations, serene surroundings and promise of glorious views, they make the perfect post-Covid destinations.

Here’s a list of a few of my favourite lighthouse hotel stays…

Want to know more about lighthouse hotel stays?

The best lighthouse hotel stays across the UK and Ireland

Republic of Ireland

Clare Island Lighthouse, Co. Mayo, Republic of Ireland

Clare Island was the home of Ireland’s legendary pirate queen, Grace O’Malley, a contemporary of Elizabeth I, and according to her biographer, the “most notorious woman in all the coasts of Ireland”.

Wicklow Head, Co. Wicklow, Republic of Ireland

Wicklow Head (from the Viking word ‘Wykylo’, meaning ‘Viking’s Loch’) was one of two lighthouses built on the headland in 1781 to prevent sailors’ confusion with neighbouring beacons. Before electric light and the automation of lighthouses, its octagonal tower was lit with 20 tallow candles reflected against an enormous, silvered mirror.

Scotland

Rua Reidh, Gairloch, Scotland

The great Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson hailed from a family of lighthouse engineers. The ‘Lighthouse Stevensons’ (as the dynasty came to be known) spent 15o years changing the shape of the Scottish coastline, leaving behind them a fleet of architectural and engineering magnificence. Robert’s father and uncle designed Muckle Flugga on Unst, whose theatrical remoteness inspired the Treasure Island map. And it was Robert’s cousin, David Alan Stephenson, who built Rua Reidh in 1912.

Eilean Sionnach, Isleornsay, Scotland

The idea of being marooned on some remote island fills most people with dread; but retreating into tranquillity at Eilean Sionnach is an experience worth relishing.

Wales

West Usk Lighthouse, Newport, Wales

Rumour has it, it was from this very lighthouse that the first glimpse of WWII action was caught in Britain while West Usk was being used as a look-out post.

Llandudno Lighthouse, Llandudno, Wales

The Llandudno Lighthouse was erected within the grounds of the Great Orme Country Park by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company in 1862. The original wood-panelled hallway that still exists was built to give the keepers’ families some space and privacy from one another; now, it provides the same for its guests, as a charming Victorian-style hotel.

England

Belle Tout, Sussex

After almost two centuries of petitioning for a lighthouse along this particularly perilous stretch of coastline, Belle Tout was constructed in 1832. By 1902, however, it had been decommissioned, and a new lighthouse was built at the base of the cliffs. Between 1902 and 2008, the lighthouse passed into different ownerships, used as target shelling practice during WWII by Canadian troops, and moved back 17 metres due to the impending threat of erosion.

Whitby Lighthouse, Yorkshire

It was from Whitby’s harbour that Captain Cook embarked upon his voyage of discovery to Australia aboard HMS Endeavour in 1768. Ninety years later, the architect behind the West Usk Lighthouse also designed Whitby’s white octagonal tower.


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To The Lighthouse: why lighthouse hotel stays are the perfect post-Covid staycations


Lighthouse hotel stays
Courtesy of Clare Island Lighthouse

Beacons of hope across the UK and Ireland’s most breathtaking coastlines

Town & Country Magazine

Always wanted to stay in a lighthouse?

There’s a certain fortitude in lighthouses. Their stark staying power against the fiercest elements makes them destinations that are at once welcoming and inaccessible. Unlike other structures that rise and fall with a change in the wind, lighthouses hold a quiet dignity, standing fast amid the surrounding chaos. With their remote locations, serene surroundings and promise of glorious views, they make the perfect post-Covid destinations.

Here’s a list of a few of my favourite lighthouse hotel stays…


Want to know more about lighthouse hotel stays?


The best lighthouse hotel stays across the UK and Ireland

Republic of Ireland

Clare Island Lighthouse, Co. Mayo, Republic of Ireland

Clare Island was the home of Ireland’s legendary pirate queen, Grace O’Malley, a contemporary of Elizabeth I, and according to her biographer, the “most notorious woman in all the coasts of Ireland”.

Wicklow Head, Co. Wicklow, Republic of Ireland

Wicklow Head (from the Viking word ‘Wykylo’, meaning ‘Viking’s Loch’) was one of two lighthouses built on the headland in 1781 to prevent sailors’ confusion with neighbouring beacons. Before electric light and the automation of lighthouses, its octagonal tower was lit with 20 tallow candles reflected against an enormous, silvered mirror.

Scotland

Rua Reidh, Gairloch, Scotland

The great Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson hailed from a family of lighthouse engineers. The ‘Lighthouse Stevensons’ (as the dynasty came to be known) spent 15o years changing the shape of the Scottish coastline, leaving behind them a fleet of architectural and engineering magnificence. Robert’s father and uncle designed Muckle Flugga on Unst, whose theatrical remoteness inspired the Treasure Island map. And it was Robert’s cousin, David Alan Stephenson, who built Rua Reidh in 1912.

Eilean Sionnach, Isleornsay, Scotland

The idea of being marooned on some remote island fills most people with dread; but retreating into tranquillity at Eilean Sionnach is an experience worth relishing.

Wales

West Usk Lighthouse, Newport, Wales

Rumour has it, it was from this very lighthouse that the first glimpse of WWII action was caught in Britain while West Usk was being used as a look-out post.

Llandudno Lighthouse, Llandudno, Wales

The Llandudno Lighthouse was erected within the grounds of the Great Orme Country Park by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company in 1862. The original wood-panelled hallway that still exists was built to give the keepers’ families some space and privacy from one another; now, it provides the same for its guests, as a charming Victorian-style hotel.

England

Belle Tout, Sussex

After almost two centuries of petitioning for a lighthouse along this particularly perilous stretch of coastline, Belle Tout was constructed in 1832. By 1902, however, it had been decommissioned, and a new lighthouse was built at the base of the cliffs. Between 1902 and 2008, the lighthouse passed into different ownerships, used as target shelling practice during WWII by Canadian troops, and moved back 17 metres due to the impending threat of erosion.

Whitby Lighthouse, Yorkshire

It was from Whitby’s harbour that Captain Cook embarked upon his voyage of discovery to Australia aboard HMS Endeavour in 1768. Ninety years later, the architect behind the West Usk Lighthouse also designed Whitby’s white octagonal tower.


Want to know more about lighthouse hotel stays?


Interested in Other Unique Holidays in the UK?


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Sleep Retreats and Circadian Travel: The Reset Buttons You Should Press After Lockdown

As travel restrictions ease, we’re waving goodbye to lockdown insomnia and embracing sleep retreats for a well-earned dose of circadian recalibration.

SUITCASE Magazine
My own photo

Introduction

After months of lockdown, we’re finding that camomile tea, lavender oil and curling up with a good book just aren’t cutting it when it comes to winding down.

According to a study by King’s College London, half the population has struggled with getting to sleep during the COVID crisis. What’s more, two in five of the 2,300 participants reported that they’re sleeping for fewer hours a night on average. It’s small wonder that the hashtag #cantsleep has been trending on Twitter since the start of lockdown.

If you’re reading this and wondering what you can do to snatch back those precious hours of slumber, a circadian reboot may be in order.

What does circadian travel involve?

Circadian travel involves attending sleep-focused retreats, where sleep specialists have devised a tailored programme around resetting your circadian rhythms.

The approach each centre takes varies in both style and intensity with some adopting holistic methods; some take science-based approaches while others incorporate tailored medical plans and advice. These techniques may include analysing your sleeping habits, oxygen therapy, full-body MOTs, homoeopathic remedies, timed meals and exercise, Ayurvedic massages, mood-boosting music and sounds, as well as light-exposure therapy. You don’t have to be a chronic insomniac to go to one, but if you are, this might just be the thing for you.

Below, you’ll find a selection of hotels that offer specialised sleep retreats, each offering a different approach. You may be after new lifestyle changes, a few days’ escapism, or a detailed plan to help you work through your disturbed lockdown sleep. Wherever you go, rest and relaxation are guaranteed.

Sleep Retreats Recommended

Hotel Café Royal

Soho, London

West Usk Lighthouse

Newport, Wales

Lisnavagh House

Carlow, Ireland

Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa

Bath, United Kingdom

The Sleep Mastery Programme by The Sleep Guru

Italy

Grand Resort Bad Ragaz

Bad Ragaz, Switzerland

Lanserhof Tegernsee

Bavaria, Germany

Equinox Hotel

New York, US

Six Senses Thimphu

Thimphu, Bhutan

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