The Walk to Poolbeg Lighthouse

The Stena Line ferry “Superfast X” entering Dublin Port

On both mornings of a recent two-day visit to Dublin, I walked out to the pretty little Poolbeg Lighthouse.

The lighthouse, which was first built in 1786 and reconstructed in its current form in 1820, sits out in the middle of Dublin Bay, at the end of the Great South Wall.

The walk out to the lighthouse can be bracing when the wind comes sweeping in off the Irish Sea but it is always worthwhile because of the close-up view of the squat, bright red structure and of the ferries and ships that regularly pass into and out of Dublin Port.

Poolbeg Lighthouse and Winch

The lead image shows the Stena Line ferry “Stena Superfast X”, which makes three crossings a day from Holyhead, on Anglesey, North Wales to Dublin, taking 3 hours, 15 minutes to cover the 73-mile distance.

In the second image, one can see the old, rusted winch that was once used to hoist up provisions for the lighthouse keepers from boats moored below the sea wall.

Standing out in the middle of the bay, one enjoys a panoramic view toward the town of Dun Laoghaire and the Wicklow Mountains to the south of Dublin and Howth Head to the north.

The walk out to the lighthouse has also featured in music videos that accompany songs by some of Dublin’s most famous musicians, including Phil Lynott, in the video for “Old Town” and The Script for “Breakeven”. In both videos, at the end of a song about the pain of lost love, the singer turns and sets off on the long, lonely walk out along the sea wall towards the faraway lighthouse, a journey whose distance and isolated setting serves as an evocative visual metaphor for loneliness.


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