Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Bermuda
A Brief Background
This is one of the oldest cast iron lighthouses in the world. It stands on a hill in Southampton Parish. The base of the lighthouse is 245 feet above the sea level. The lighthouse itself has a height of 117-ft.
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse was designed by London based civil engineer Alexander Gordon. The construction started in England in December 1844.
The lighthouse was erected under the direction of Bermuda's Commanding Royal Engineer Lieutenant Colonel Philip Barry. The commissioning of the lighthouse was completed in April 1846 and it was lighted in May 1846.
At the top of the tower, there is a 1000-watt bulb placed inside a revolving lens. Ships can see the light beams it emits from 40 miles away. In the earlier days, there were too many ships getting wrecked by the hidden reefs around the islands of Bermuda.
So, the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse was built to help navigate the ships. Airplanes can see the lights from a distance as far as 120 miles away and from an altitude of 10,000ft.
The lamp was first lit on May 1, 1846. Originally kerosene lamp was used. It was a revolutionary milestone and reduced wrecking of ships considerably.
While shipping now uses advanced navigation methods, such as GPS systems, the Gibbs Hill lighthouse continues to offer a backup method of shoreline navigation and still appreciated by modern mariners.
For generations, lighthouse keepers ran the property. It's now operated electronically and maintained by the government’s Marine and Ports Department.
Today, this lighthouse is one of the main tourist attractions in Bermuda.
A short video of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
Touring Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
If you want to get a panoramic view of Bermuda and its shoreline, there is no better place than seeing it from the balcony at the top of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse.
But, you need to climb 185 steps to fulfill this desire. The climb however is not as difficult as it might appear. You should take it easy and move up slowly with enough pauses in between. There are resting platforms on the way to the top.
As you go up, there are eight floors with mini exhibits that describe how the tower was built, and there is information about Bermuda's history.
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse (close-up view)
Queen Elizabeth II visited the Lighthouse in 1953 shortly after her coronation. Today a bronze plate on the roadside close to the lighthouse marks where she stopped to watch the scenery of Great Sound - the place is called Queen's View.
While the view from Queen's Viewpoint is great, but the view from the circular balcony on top of the lighthouse will blow your mind off.
View from the top of lighthouse
From the circular balcony at the top you get a 360-degree view. This is a spectacular vantage point to view the south shore horizons.
You get a fantastic view of the west-end as far as the Royal Naval Dockyard
, the Great Sound water area, Hamilton harbor with the city in the distance, and the homes, swimming pools, farm fields, seascapes of Southampton and Warwick... just wonderful!
There is a small gift store at the base of the lighthouse. It sells many gift and souvenir items including picture post cards, T-shirts and clothes, small models of the lighthouse, etc.
There is also a restaurant at the base named Tamarind
that serves nice Indian cuisine.
Gift shop and Restaurant at the base of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
Admission Fee and Open Hours
$2.50 per person, under five free. Buy the ticket at the gift shop below the lighthouse. Advance booking is not required.
Gibbs Hill lighthouse is open daily from 10am - 4pm.
Closed in February for maintenance and on Christmas.
Location and Contacts
Address: 68 St. Anne’s Road (off Lighthouse Road), Southampton Parish.
Note: Same contact info will work for the gift shop as well.
Take bus route #7 operating between Dockyard and Hamilton City. It takes about 30 minutes from Dockyard to reach the bus stop for Lighthouse Road on South Road.
From there it's a few minutes walk to the lighthouse (about 220 yards along Lighthouse Road and then 100 yards along St. Anne's Road to left, and you will be at the base of the lighthouse).
Bus fare from dockyard or Hamilton to Gibbs Hill Lighthouse is $4.50 by token or $5.00 by cash. Alternatively, you can use a transport pass (the pass covers the fare) or a ticket (a 14-zone ticket, a pack of 15 tickets cost $37.50).
A small (4-passenger) taxi fare from the Dockyard to Gibbs Hill Lighthouse is approximately $44 without tips. And from Hamilton, $32.
Nearby Attractions and Eateries
From the lighthouse you can walk down to the famous Horseshoe bay beach
(about 30 minutes) or take the bus #7 from South Road to get to the bus stop in a few minutes... it's a short walk from there to the beach.
At the base of the Gibbs Hill lighthouse, in a former signaling station used by the British Army, there is a nice restaurant Tamarind
serving Indian cuisine.
The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor patio seating offers wonderful view of Great Sound water area.
Visitors' Reviews and Comments
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