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South Foreland Lighthouse

See the views from the top of this iconic lighthouse, the site of numerous scientific discoveries over the centuries. 

The Victorian South Foreland Lighthouse is set on the White Cliffs of Dover. It’s known as the site of the first international radio transmissions, as well as the first lighthouse powered by electricity. Learn about the life of a typical lighthouse keeper, enjoy a snack in the tearoom in the keeper’s cottage or simply admire the surrounding scenery.

The lighthouse was built in 1843 to help guide sailors through the Strait of Dover. Guglielmo Marconi later conducted wireless experiments here, receiving the first international radio transmission in 1899. The lighthouse later became the first in the world to use electric light. Look for two keepers’ cottages at the foot of the lighthouse, built to allow families to live on site.

The second keeper’s cottage has been converted into a traditional tearoom. Stop here for cakes and cream teas in this 1950s-style tearoom, decorated with patterned wallpaper and bone china cups.

Inside the lighthouse, see what life was like for a typical lighthouse keeper. Climb 76 steps to reach the top of the tower, where you’ll have stunning views over the English Channel toward France. Bring a picnic to eat on the lawn while watching ships pass through the Strait of Dover. Rent kites or games from the visitor reception.

It’s possible to reach the lighthouse from a footpath from St. Margaret's Bay village, but the walk from the National Trust White Cliffs visitor center is far more rewarding. Follow this route along the edge of the North Downs, around Langdon Hole and past Fan Point. This area of the cliff played a role in England’s defense system during World War II. You may spot the remains of gun emplacements and other wartime structures.

South Foreland Lighthouse is located on the western outskirts of St. Margaret's Bay village, on the White Cliffs of Dover. The nearest parking is available 2 miles (3 kilometers) away at White Cliffs of Dover Visitor Center. Plan your visit for the lighthouse’s open season, which lasts from mid-March to October. There is an admission fee.


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See all 177 properties near South Foreland Lighthouse
The White Cliffs Hotel £100
The White Cliffs Hotel

The White Cliffs Hotel

High Street, St. Margaret's-at-Cliffe, Dover, England
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated near the beach, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of St Margaret's Bay Beach and White Cliffs of Dover. Dover Western Docks Ferry Terminal is 3.1 mi (5 km) away.

    Sauna Stay in of Bay With Sea and White Cliffs Views, Moments From Beach
    Sauna Stay in of Bay With Sea and White Cliffs Views, Moments From Beach

    Sauna Stay in of Bay With Sea and White Cliffs Views, Moments From Beach

    Bay Hill, Dover, ENG
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated by the ocean, this historic apartment building is within 1 mile (2 km) of St Margaret's Bay Beach and White Cliffs of Dover. South Foreland Lighthouse and Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club are also within 3 miles (5 km).

      Luxury Self Catering Holiday Accommodation Overlooking St Margaret's Bay
      Luxury Self Catering Holiday Accommodation Overlooking St Margaret's Bay

      Luxury Self Catering Holiday Accommodation Overlooking St Margaret's Bay

         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated on the waterfront, this historic apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of St Margaret's Bay Beach and White Cliffs of Dover. South Foreland Lighthouse and Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club are also within 3 miles (5 km).

        Saxon Way Cottage
        Saxon Way Cottage

        Saxon Way Cottage

           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Dover, this golf cottage is within 1 mile (2 km) of St Margaret's Bay Beach and White Cliffs of Dover. South Foreland Lighthouse and Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club are also within 3 miles (5 km).

          Hope Cottage
          Hope Cottage

          Hope Cottage

             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Dover, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of St Margaret's Bay Beach and White Cliffs of Dover. South Foreland Lighthouse and Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club are also within 3 miles (5 km). Dover Martin Mill Station is 30 minutes by foot.

            Dappledown £293
            Dappledown

            Dappledown

               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated near the beach, this cottage is within 1 mi (2 km) of St Margaret's Bay Beach and White Cliffs of Dover. South Foreland Lighthouse and Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club are also within 3 miles (5 km). Dover Martin Mill Station is 28 minutes by foot.

              Best Western Plus Dover Marina Hotel & Spa £79
              Best Western Plus Dover Marina Hotel & Spa

              Best Western Plus Dover Marina Hotel & Spa

                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Offering direct access to the beach, this Dover hotel is in the historical district and within a 5-minute walk of Dover Beach and Dover Museum. Dover Western Docks Ferry Terminal and Dover Castle are also within 1 mile (2 km). Dover Priory Station is 12 minutes by foot and DOVER EASTERN DOCKS (Station) is 13 minutes.

                Loddington House Hotel £74
                Loddington House Hotel

                Loddington House Hotel

                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Dover, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of Dover Western Docks Ferry Terminal and Dover Museum. White Cliffs of Dover and Dover Castle are also within 1 mile (2 km). Dover Priory Station is 20 minutes by foot and DOVER EASTERN DOCKS (Station) is 20 minutes.