Seven Days Stay At A Lighthouse In Northern Ireland

Discover the charm of St. John’s Point Lightkeeper’s Houses, a stunning coastal lighthouse completed in the 1830s in Co. Down, and conserved and restored by Irish Landmark Trust. At the lighthouse, there are two beautifully restored lightkeeper’s houses which are perfect for couples, families, or friends seeking a unique and memorable holiday experience.

Each house sleeps four guests, providing a cosy and intimate setting with breathtaking views out across the Irish Sea. Immerse yourself in the rich maritime history of the area while enjoying modern amenities and the unique atmosphere of these historic buildings.

St. John’s Point Lighthouse has been a beacon of safety for centuries and now serves as a starting point for exploring the many activities and attractions in the area. 

To help you make the most of your visit, we’ve created a seven-day itinerary filled with our top recommendations for things to do while staying at St. John’s Point Lightkeeper’s Houses. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking to unwind, this guide will ensure that your stay is truly unforgettable.

Stay At A Lighthouse – St. John’s Point

St. John’s Point Lighthouse, designed by George Halpin Senior, has been in operation since 1835. The tower, originally 14m tall, was extended to 40m in the 1880s, making it one of the tallest onshore lighthouses in Ireland. Its appearance has evolved quite a bit since then, sporting its iconic black and yellow bands since 1954.

The lighthouse has close connections to Irish culture, including playwright Brendan Behan, who painted the lighthouse in 1950, and a mention in Van Morrison’s song “Coney Island.” Automated in 1981, St. John’s Point Lighthouse remains a vital part of Ireland’s maritime history and safety, under the care of the Commissioners of Irish Lights.

Day One: Explore The Area 

After checking in, start your holiday with a relaxing walk along the rugged coastline and take in the beautiful views of the Irish Sea. Remember to bring your camera to capture the stunning landscape and the memories you’ll make during your stay.

As you explore the area around St. John’s Point Lighthouse, you’ll discover the natural beauty of the coastline and enjoy the fresh sea air. 

After your walk, return to your comfortable accommodation and settle in for the evening. You can cook a tasty meal in the well-equipped kitchen or visit a nearby restaurant or pub for some local food and a chance to chat with the friendly people of Co. Down.

Day 2: Visit Inch Abbey

Start your day with a visit to the fascinating ruins of Inch Abbey, just a short 20-minute drive from St. John’s Point Lighthouse. As you explore the ancient monastic site, you’ll be transported back in time, imagining the lives of the monks who once called this place home. The serene surroundings and historical significance of Inch Abbey make it a must-see attraction during your stay.

After a morning of exploring Inch Abbey, head to the town of Downpatrick, approximately 30 minutes away, to visit the iconic Down Cathedral. This sacred site is the resting place of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick, making it a place of great historical and religious importance. Take your time to admire the cathedral’s stunning architecture and immerse yourself in the rich history that surrounds you. You may even want to attend a service or event at the cathedral, depending on the schedule during your visit.

As you explore these historic sites, don’t forget to take breaks and enjoy some local refreshments. You can pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on the grounds of Inch Abbey or Down Cathedral, or stop by a nearby café or restaurant to sample some delicious local cuisine.

Day 3: The Scenic Mourne Mountains

Begin your morning with a scenic 40-minute drive to the stunning Mourne Mountains, where you’ll find a variety of hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, the Mourne Mountains offer breathtaking views and an opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Northern Ireland. One particularly beautiful route is the Mourne Coastal Path from Bloody Bridge to Annalong, which offers a mix of coastal and mountain scenery.

After a morning of hiking, head to the Life Adventure Centre in Castlewellan for an afternoon packed with exciting activities. Just a short drive from the Mourne Mountains, this adventure centre offers a wide range of activities to suit every taste. Choose from mountain biking, kayaking, e-bikes, paddleboarding, and more. The experienced instructors will ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable time while pushing your limits and trying new things.

Day 4: History of County Down

Start your day with a short 25-minute drive to Downpatrick, where you’ll visit the fascinating Down County Museum. This museum is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the rich history and heritage of the region. Explore interactive exhibits and discover artefacts that span from prehistoric times to the present day. The museum’s engaging displays will provide you with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the area’s cultural roots.

After a morning of historical exploration, it’s time to indulge in a different aspect of Irish culture – whiskey! Take a scenic 35-minute drive to the renowned Echlinville Distillery, the first licensed distillery in Northern Ireland in over 125 years. Here, you can take a guided tour that will take you through the process of crafting their premium spirits. Learn about the age-old techniques and the passion that goes into every bottle. To top off the experience, you’ll have the opportunity to taste some of Echlinville’s finest whiskeys and appreciate the complex flavours and aromas that characterise these exceptional spirits.

Day 5: Strangford Village & Castle

Start your day with a short drive to the lovely village of Strangford(25-minute drive). Explore the quaint streets and visit Strangford Castle, a historic tower house from the 16th century. If you’re up for it, take a quick ferry ride across Strangford Lough to visit Castle Ward, a National Trust property.

Next, drive along the beautiful Ards Peninsula to Grey Abbey House & Gardens. This historic estate features a stunning 18th-century Georgian house and beautiful gardens. Take a guided tour of the house to discover its fascinating history and admire the elegant architecture. Then, wander through the peaceful gardens, which include a walled garden, wildflower meadow, and a lake.

Day 6: Relax & Unwind 

Start your day with a short 15-minute drive to the beautiful Tyrella Beach. Spend the morning relaxing on the sandy shore, taking a refreshing dip in the sea, or exploring the scenic coastal walks. This is also an ideal spot for a picnic, so pack some delicious local treats and enjoy a leisurely lunch with a view.

In the afternoon, treat yourself to a well-deserved pampering session at the luxurious Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, just a 40-minute drive away. Choose from their excellent range of treatments and packages, such as massages, facials, or body wraps. Take advantage of the spa’s facilities, including the swimming pool, sauna, and steam room, to unwind and rejuvenate.

Day 7: Enjoying Your Stay at St. John’s Point Lighthouse

Spend your final day at St. John’s Point Lighthouse enjoying the comfort and tranquility of your lightkeeper’s house. Take the opportunity to relax with a good book, savour the stunning views, and reflect on the wonderful memories you’ve made during your stay.

If you’re in the mood for a bit of pampering, consider visiting the nearby town of Newcastle to experience the unique Soak Seaweed Baths. This local spa harvests seaweed from the nearby shores and offers a range of treatments that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Indulge in a seaweed bath, which is known for its therapeutic properties and ability to soothe tired muscles.

In the evening, if the weather is clear, step outside and marvel at the starry night sky. The remote location of the lighthouse provides ideal conditions for stargazing, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of the cosmos without the interference of city lights.

Where to Eat in the Local Area

During your stay at St. John’s Point Lighthouse, be sure to explore the fantastic dining options in the surrounding area. Here are some recommendations:

  • The Lobster Pot in Killough Harbour (10-minute drive): This restaurant is a must-visit for seafood lovers. Enjoy fresh, locally caught seafood prepared with care and expertise.
  • Scopers in Dundrum (about 10km from the lighthouse): For a unique takeaway experience, head to Scopers, run by award-winning local chef Paul Cunningham. Everything on the menu is sustainable and locally sourced. 
  • Duffy’s in Killough (10 minutes from the Lighthouse): This well-stocked independent shop is a great place to find lovely local produce. Browse their selection and pick up some treats to enjoy during your stay. 
  • Local Artisan Markets in Downpatrick and Newcastle: If you’re looking for a more immersive food experience, plan your visit to coincide with the monthly Artisan Markets in Downpatrick and Newcastle. Discover a wide variety of local producers and sample their wares.
  • Whitewater Brewery in Castlewellan (30-minute drive): For a taste of local craft beer, make the trip to Whitewater Brewery. Sample their range of beers and learn about their brewing process. 

  • Dine In with Hara at Home. If you’re staying at St John’s Point Lightkeepers’ Houses, you can take advantage of the premium meal delivery service offered by Irish Landmark Trust in partnership with Hara at Home, a Co. Down-based food company. Visit the  Hara Home site to browse the menu and place your order for the desired date. Please note that deliveries only take place on Fridays.
  • The Houses are also fully equipped for a self-catering break so you can also choose to cook at home. 

Finally, don’t forget to ask our House Manager about where you can purchase some delicious local honey – a sweet souvenir to take home with you.

With so many excellent options nearby, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to dining during your stay at St. John’s Point Lighthouse.

Our House Manager also recommends:

When to Visit St. John’s Point Lighthouse

St. John’s Point Lighthouse is a wonderful destination year-round, with each season offering its own unique charm and experiences. Whether you’re looking for a cosy winter getaway, or a refreshing spring retreat the lighthouse and its surroundings provide the perfect setting.

To make the most of your visit, be sure to check out the Weekly What’s On guide provided by Visit Mourne Mountains. This resource will keep you informed about local events, activities, and attractions happening during your stay.

When booking your stay at St John’s Point Lighthouse or any other Irish Landmark Trust property, keep in mind that the longer you stay, the more affordable the nightly rate becomes. With so much to see and do in the area, it’s well worth considering extending your visit by an extra night or two to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of the Mourne Region. To book your stay visit the St John’s Point property page. 

Please note that these suggestions are meant to help you plan your trip and are based on information available as of Spring 2024. Always check individual websites for the most up-to-date opening times and booking details before finalising your itinerary.

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Booking Conditions


It is possible to reserve dates online at but bookings are not confirmed until a confirmation email is received from the bookings desk.     


Your booking must be for holiday purposes only.  Irish Landmark reserve the right to refuse hire for purposes other than holiday accommodation. When you make a booking, you accept full responsibility for all persons who will use or visit the property during the period booked.  When you book, you agree to indemnify us against all loss and damage arising directly or indirectly to the property and its contents from any deliberate or negligent act or omission by yourself, or any person accompanying you. 


The hiring contract shall be between the Hirer and Irish Landmark and made subject to these Booking Conditions . The Contract of Hire is not effective until Irish Landmark dispatches to the Hirer written confirmation of a booking. 


Irish Landmark reserves the right to increase or decrease the price of unsold holidays at any time. However, such amendments to price will not be applied to holidays already confirmed.   


All prices quoted are based on current prices and rates of V.A.T. at the time of going to press. Irish Landmark is unable to absorb increases in Value Added Tax or any new forms of taxation which may be introduced. Any such increases will be charged as notified and will be payable. 


All bookings can be paid for in full at time of booking. All bookings made within 12 weeks of stay must be paid in full at time of booking. Bookings made more than 12 weeks in advance of stay require a 30% non-refundable deposit with the balance due 12 weeks before arrival.  Irish Landmark shall be entitled to treat any failure to pay by the due date as a cancellation of the booking and will notify the Hirer by email.  The maximum number of payments for a booking will be limited to two – the deposit and balance payment.   A separate payment may be due where an amendment has been made to the original booking.  


Payments can be made by credit/debit card (Visa or Mastercard ONLY).    

Payments for properties in the Republic of Ireland are taken in Euros, payments for properties in Northern Ireland are taken in Great British Pounds. 


Please note that only one voucher can be used per booking.  Vouchers have a strict expiry date. 


Upon receipt of payment by our bookings office, you will receive a confirmation of your reservation.  All charges for the booking will be confirmed in this notification.  Once confirmation has been issued, the Hirer is responsible for the total advertised price of the property and any extras notified.   

AMENDMENTS TO BOOKINGS (excluding cancellations):    

Irish Landmark does not offer a transfer of dates option. A complete change of dates is treated as a cancellation 

CANCELLATION POLICY: We hope that you will not have to cancel your stay, or part of your reservation.  If for any reason this is unavoidable, cancellations must be notified by email to In the event of cancellation (this includes a reduction in number of nights) your deposit is non-refundable and the following cancellation charges will apply:  

Date of Cancellation 

Cancellation Charge 

More than 12 weeks before start date 

The deposit of 30% 

84 – 28 days before start date 

50% of total rental 

Fewer than 28 days 

100% of total rental 

Irish Landmark does not operate a cancellation insurance scheme for any reason, including Covid-19, and strongly recommends that all guests take out full holiday insurance cover.    

PARTY SIZE AND COMPOSITION:  In no circumstances may more than the number of persons listed on the booking form occupy the property overnight.   Irish Landmark reserves the right to refuse admission if this condition is not observed. Bookings can only be made by adults and cannot be accepted from anyone under the age of 21.  Irish Landmark only allows guest stays where the lead guest is aged 21 years or over.   


Upon receipt of final payment, you will receive Access Details and Important Information via email about your rental. This includes the contact information of the Local House Manager, directions to the property, arrival and departure time, etc. However, the specific arrival time must be agreed with the relevant local House Manager at least four days prior to holiday start date.  It is the responsibility of the Hirer to arrive at the property at the time agreed with the House Manager. Irish Landmark reserves the right to levy an additional charge if the property is not vacated in accordance with these terms on the day of departure.  


The number of day visitors will be limited to the capacity of the property – i.e., a 2-person property may have 2 day visitors, etc.   Prior written consent must be obtained from Irish Landmark Trust for additional numbers of day visitors. 

PERSONAL BELONGINGS: Baggage and personal belongings are always at the Hirers risk. No responsibility can be accepted for loss or damage to any car or its contents. 


Only certain Irish Landmark Trust properties accept a dog.  ALWAYS check this before you book.  Hirers who have made a reservation and are taking a dog will be required to read and agree to special terms, which details the conditions of bringing a dog to one of these properties.  Failure to comply with these conditions could result in the guest being asked to leave a property.  The rental cost is non-refundable in such cases.   


Irish Landmark respectfully request that you charge your electric vehicle at the nearest charging point and not at the property.  


The Hirer is responsible for the property and is expected to take all reasonable care of it. Our House Managers work hard to maintain and clean the buildings and aim to ensure that the property is in a satisfactory condition for your enjoyment.  We ask that you leave the property in a clean and tidy condition upon departure, including all equipment, utensils etc. If the property is left in an unsatisfactory condition and additional cleaning costs are incurred, Irish Landmark reserves the right to recover these costs from the Hirer.   All breakages and damage must be reported to the House Manager immediately so that they can be rectified. All breakages and damage are the legal responsibility of the Hirer and the cost of repair or replacement must be paid to Irish Landmark upon demand.   If there are problems relating to the functioning of the building, please let the House Manager know immediately. Please note that candles are NOT permitted at any Irish Landmark property. Smoking is not allowed inside any Irish Landmark property. 


While every effort has been made to ensure that the representations stated on our website, or any printed literature, are made in good faith, neither they nor any oral representations made by employees or representatives of Irish Landmark Trust will create liability on the part of Irish Landmark. 


There shall be no liability for any claim arising from the act, omission or neglect or default of Irish Landmark Trust, its employees or representatives unless proved to be done with intent to cause damage or recklessly and with knowledge that loss or danger would probably result. Irish Landmark’s agents, servants and employees or other representatives have no authority to waive or modify these Conditions other than in writing. 


On rare occasions Irish Landmark may need access to the property for essential maintenance work, should it be necessary, Irish Landmark will give you as much notice as is possible.   There is no need for you to stay in the property since our House Manager can accompany any such visits. 


If you have any complaint during your holiday, please contact the House Manager.  If the matter is not dealt with to your satisfaction, please email outlining details of your complaint.   


Irish Landmark reserves the right to refuse any booking and cancel any booking already made, if in its absolute discretion it considers this to be necessary. Where a booking is cancelled by Irish Landmark, every effort will be made to offer an alternative holiday at no increase in cost.  If the Hirer does not accept the alternative holiday offered, Irish Landmark will return to the Hirer the deposit paid and any other sum paid to Irish Landmark by the Hirer.  Liability for all consequential loss, damage and disappointments is accordingly limited to such return. 


It is the hirer’s responsibility to ensure they book a specific dog-friendly property if they are bringing a dog.  There are specific terms and conditions that to which the hirer must adhere: 

We allow a dog, but only when they have been booked in and paid for. The “Taking a Dog” option must be selected at time of booking.  A charge will apply.  

Our policy is strictly ONE DOG. If you arrive at the property with more than one dog the House Manger is entitled to deny you access to the property.  If it becomes known during/after your stay that more than one dog is/was with you, you may be asked to vacate the property and a charge of €100/£100 per dog will apply. 

You must bring your own crate/bed in which your dog can sleep.  Please also bring bowls, towels, and waste bags for your dog. 

Your dog must be house-trained and kept under proper control.  Dogs are STRICTLY not permitted on beds, sofas, or any furniture.  There is no exception to this rule.  

Before departure, please thoroughly clean the property, paying particular attention to removing pet hair from rugs and soft furnishings.  A vacuum cleaner is available to you.   

If there is evidence that you have not cleaned up adequately after your stay, you will be charged a flat rate of €100/£100.   

You must double-check that the outside area around the property is free of any foul. Dog fouling inside the property is completely unacceptable.  Guests will be asked to vacate the premises immediately if this is discovered.  

Your dog must not be left unsupervised in the property.  We ask that you take your dog with you when you go out.  Please be mindful of any livestock nearby. 


By accepting a confirmation of a reservation from Irish Landmark the lead guest agrees: 


I have read and agree to be bound by the Booking Conditions. 

I agree to be held responsible for the balance of hire for the property due and payable in accordance with these terms. 

I understand that most Irish Landmark properties have no television or internet access; that some have no washing machines or dishwashers; and that many have limited mobile phone coverage. 

I understand that as the Lead Person, I am responsible, before their arrival, for informing all guests of Irish Landmark’s booking conditions, and for their observance of same. 

If I am bringing a pet or having day visitors, I have particularly noted the special conditions that apply in these situations 


Hirers making a reservation over the telephone are deemed to have read all Booking Conditions and agree to be bound by them.   


Availability Calendar

Check availability for all of our properties at a glance here.

Republic of Ireland
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Important Notes

1-night stays are not permitted.

Bank Holidays & Special Dates have a set minimum number of nights.

Deposits are strictly non-refundable & non-transferable.

Cancellation Fees will apply if you cancel your reservation.

Terms and Conditions apply to all bookings.

Special Offers and Discounts are not valid against existing bookings.

There are restrictions on arrival and departure dates over the Christmas and New Year periods.
Strictly no arrivals or departures on 24th, 25th and 31st of December.