The Old Lighthouse

The Old  Lighthouse at Dungeness offers unique and perfect views over the 500 cuspate shingle ridges, created primarily by longshore drift,  that have formed the foreland, one of the largest in the world and the greatest example in the UK.

The Old Lighthouse is an Historic Grade II building, listed in 1992 by Shepway District Council, recently celebrating its centenary. Opened with great ceremony by His Royal Majesty the Prince of Wales in 1904 after a 3 year build, it survived two world wars before decommission in 1960. For 56 years it provided a welcome landlight to vessels negotiating the perils of the English Channel.

Visit the Old Lighthouse to:

  • Climb the tower for panoramic aspects over the English Channel and the surrounding countryside. Binoculars are well worth bringing.
  • Learn how a Lighthouse works, and about the men who used to operate it.
  • View the Great Lens and the Sector Light.
  • Reward yourself or your family with a certificate of a successful ascent.
  • Admire the inspired industrial Victorian architecture of the distinctive black and white Tower, the Landmark of Dungeness.

The Old Lighthouse
The Old Lighthouse

Adjacent to Lighthouse is Dungeness Station, the final stop of the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway. There is ample free car parking adjacent to the site. There is a café, a restaurant and a local public house within a few minutes walk.

About the Lighthouse

This imposing building is almost 150ft (46 metres) high to the top of the weather vane, 36 ft (11 metres) in diameter and constructed of engineering bricks with sandstone inner walls. Over three million bricks were used to build the structure. Internally there are a series of mezzanine floors made of slate and supported by steel beams and massive rivets.

Each floor is linked by circular concrete stairs which hug the walls and have decorative wrought iron banisters. There are cambered casement viewing windows on all floors. The outer gallery is closed during bad weather conditions.

The Lights

Aerial View from the Old Lighthouse
View from the top of The Old Lighthouse


Old Lighthouse White Light Prism
Old Lighthouse White Light Prism

A lighthouse light is a concentrated beam, focused by special lenses. Because of its highly increased intensity, this beam of light can travel a very long distance.

The first lighthouse optics designed combined highly polished prisms with an array of lenses that captured light and concentrated it back into a main beam. The design was concentric in arrangement, funneling the light into a beam that was many times brighter than its source. This light could be seen for more than 20 miles.

Old Lighthouse Red and Green Light Prisms
Old Lighthouse Red and Green Light Prisms

There have been seven lighthouses at Dungeness. Find out more at our Lighthouses at Dungeness page.

Opening Dates
  March / April    Easter Weekend and school holidays, plus weekends till the end of April.
  May                 Weekends only. Please enquire for further opening days.
  June                Closed Mondays and Fridays.
  July & August  Open daily.
  September       Weekends only.
  October            Open weekends and school holidays.
  November        Closing for the season.

Opening Times   
   10:30am - 4:30pm

Stairs inside the lighthouse
Stairs inside the lighthouse

Please note that 4:30pm is the last entrance into the Lighthouse. We are open all bank holidays and school holidays.
On rare occasions, the Lighthouse may close in bad weather. NB Please check opening times before visiting:      01797 321300   email 

Please Note:

  • commercial photography/filming is not permitted except by prior arrangement with the owners
  • dogs or other live animals are not permitted on the premises

Admission Charges (2017)

Adult     £4.00  
Child     £2.50
Student / Concession    £3.50
Family    £12.50 - two adults plus four children aged 5-15 yrs 
              (children under 5 years are free).                                                            
Group/School Bookings   Please contact us for information and price

Inside Old Lighthouse
One of th floors inside the lighthouse

Venue Hire

The Old Lighthouse is available for hire for weddings, film and fashion shoots, musical performances etc.           

Weddings,  just the ceremony..and a small champagne reception  ..its a three hour hire at a lost of £500, plus fess for the Registrar.

If you are interested in booking the lighthouse for your special occasion, please visit their Venue Hire web page.


The Old Lighthouse is located on Dungeness, to the south east of Lydd.
    location map

Further Information

For further information, please visit The Old Lighthouse website
      or   01797 321300  or  email