|Point of Ayr Lighthouse|
|Thursday, 04 March 2010 19:22|
Point of Ayr lighthouse stands on a windswept stretch of North Wales beach not far from the mouth of the River Dee. Standing within the range of the incoming tide, it ably lives up to my personal preference that a lighthouse should get it's feet wet twice a day.
The lighthouse is an old one, having stood in various forms on these windswept sands since 1776. As you'd probably expect then, the lighthouse itself has become rather weathered over time. As with many old buildings however, this only adds to it's atmospheric qualities. Local folklore may also serve to lend character to the location, telling as it does of a ghostly lighthouse keeper who keeps watch from the lantern room. So entrenched in local mythology has this story become, that plans are afoot to add a 'ghost' in the form of a statue. This is one development I'll be keeping an eye on, as it could well add an extra dimension to the photographic possibilities offered by the location.
The lighthouse lies a little over a mile from the A548, so is easily reached, even via public transport. Regular buses between Rhyl and Chester stop near the roundabout on the nearby A548, and there is also a train station with services running between Chester and much of the North Wales coast. Obviously if you are to take either of these options, you'll need to factor in the time to walk down Station Road to the lighthouse itself. Regular readers may have noticed I've recently added a small Google Maps inset at the bottom of my location guides - you may find the directions useful.
As I said in my introduction, the lighthouse stands just seaward of the mean high water mark, so getting some breaking water in your foreground should be as simple as consulting the tide tables before your visit. Beware those troublesome neap tides however, as I suspect the smaller tidal range will leave the lighthouse high and dry during these periods. Get the timing right though, and it's a good idea to take a tripod as you'll likely want to take at least a couple of those ubiquitous long exposure shots. With close approach to the lighthouse so easy, it's unlikely you'll need a telephoto lens in you kit bag, unless of course the multitude of wading birds that frequent these sands float your particular photographic boat.
Though the lighthouse itself is not generally open to the public, you are free to approach it closely. You may find the going soft underfoot as you get closer to the waters edge, so be warned that this isn't a place for stiletto heels! As with many coastal locations, the wind can really whip across the sands here, so consider some appropriate protection for you camera, and probably also yourself, depending on the weather report. I've recommended it before, but this is another instance where www.thephotobuddy.com probably saved me a few days of clearing sand out of my camera.
Suggest a Location
I am on a constant lookout for new and interesting locations. If you know of a potentially photogenic location you'd like to see included in the guide, please let me know.