Fanad Head Lighthouse is situated on the northern coast of the Fanad Peninsula in North Donegal. The Lighthouse is a signature discovery point on the Wild Atlantic Way. The light is 39 metres above sea level and there are 79 steps in the tower.Fanad Lighthouse now offers guests the opportunity to stay in our newly refurbished self catering cottages. There are three cottages available at the Lighthouse for a truly unique holiday experience.
The Tower is 22 metres high from foundation to the top of the tower not including the lantern. This light is classified as a sea light as distinct from a harbour light although it does mark the entrance to Lough Swilly which is a natural harbour of refuge.
The original building was commissioned following the Saldanha wreck. Building commenced in 1815 and was completed in 2 years by the Commissioners of the Ballast Board. It is of granite and was sent from the North hall , Dublin, ready prepared. The building was designed by the corporation’s inspector Mr George Halpin and the building work was overseen by a Mr.Carpenter of Dublin and cost £2,000. The light was first lit on St. Patrick’s day 17th March 1817. The building consisted of two separate dwellings for Light-keepers connected to the central tower.
By 1978 only a Principal Keeper was retained in Fanad, and when he retired in 1983 the lighthouse was reclassified as an Attendant station and the retired Principal Keeper remained on as part time Attendant. In more recent years the lighthouse has only required a caretaker.