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Valentia Lighthouse Reopens with New Visitor Experience in County Kerry

25th May 2021
Valentia Island Lighthouse in County Kerry
Valentia Island Lighthouse in County Kerry

Valentia Island Lighthouse has announced the launch of a new visitor experience, ‘Leading Lights at Cromwell Point’ and the re-opening for the 2021 season.

‘Leading Lights at Cromwell Point’ will deliver a whole new experience to the visitors, a journey through time and history, featuring the bronze age standing stone, the 17th century well preserved Cromwellian fort, the Lightkeeper’s House with a 1920’s feel, and the Lighthouse Tower with fantastic 360-degree views of the area and across the Atlantic Ocean. The visitors will learn about how life was for people living on the edge of Europe and in particular what was like for a lightkeeper to live at the Lighthouse with his family. The rich history of the area is also presented at the Lighthouse from early Christianity until modern days. There is also a new Eco-room that displays information about marine life in the area and raises awareness about our seas. The new Interpretation project covers a vast spectrum of information and it is very appealing for visitors with different areas of interest.

The Lighthouse Project is managed by Valentia Island Development Company, a community group established by volunteers from Valentia Island.

The Lighthouse Project is managed by a community group established by volunteers from Valentia Island The Lighthouse Project is managed by a community group established by volunteers from Valentia Island

Speaking about the new visitor experience, Lucian Horvat, Manager at Valentia Island Lighthouse said:

“Despite these unprecedented times, the Lighthouse Committee and Management were determined to deliver the project in time for the return of domestic tourism in line with Government guidelines. I would like to take the opportunity to thank Fáilte Ireland for their vital support and guidance, the South Kerry Development Partnership who have supported us since Valentia Island Lighthouse opened to the public in 2013, the Great Lighthouses of Ireland group, an initiative of Irish Lights, and Mirador Media who worked around the clock to implement our vision for the historical site at Valentia Island Lighthouse. ‘Leading Lights at Cromwell Point’ is a great example of collaboration between agencies, stakeholders and local community groups.”

The ‘Leading Lights at Cromwell Point’ visitor experience was developed through Fáilte Ireland’s ‘New Horizons on the Wild Atlantic Way’ Grants Scheme. Wild Atlantic Way Manager at Fáilte Ireland, Josephine O’Driscoll, said: “The Visitor Experience Development Plan for the Skelligs Coast, which was developed in consultation with local stakeholders, tourism businesses and the community, identified a number of development projects to bring local experiences along the Skellig Coast to life to help drive and sustain tourism in the area. Following the launch of the plan, we invested in a number of projects including €120,000 in the development of ‘Leading Lights at Cromwell Point’ at Valentia Island Lighthouse and it is fantastic to see the project come to fruition just in time for the summer season. Innovative visitor experiences such as this are hugely important in attracting visitors and encouraging them to stay longer in the area and will be critical as we look towards the recovery of the tourism sector.”

Brian Morgan – Director VIDC and Lighthouse Committee Chairperson said: “Best wishes to Lucian and our team on the re-opening of the Lighthouse for the season 2021. Tremendous work has been done to create a new experience at the lighthouse. The visitor will see for themselves what life must have been like for the lighthouse keeper and his family, to live in such an isolated place under harsh conditions. The new and improved visitor attraction is looking forward to welcoming even more visitors this year.”

Published in Lighthouses
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