The Iconic Gibbs Hill Lighthouse

Towering over Bermuda’s Southampton Parish near world-famous Horseshoe Bay Beach, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse offers panoramic views and a fascinating window into the island’s maritime history. See why the world’s oldest cast iron lighthouse draws visitors worldwide.

  • Adventure
Aerial view of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse and Riddle's Bay

Iconic Landmark, Instagrammable Views

Gibbs Hill Lighthouse offers one of the best views of the island and the open ocean that surrounds it. With these Instagrammable views, you’ll want to snap some selfies and capture landscape shots of the island archipelago.

To reach the top, plan to ascend the 185-step spiral staircase to the observation deck of the 117-foot-tall lighthouse. You’ll get breathtaking 360-degree views of the South Shore and the Great Sound, with the City of Hamilton and Royal Naval Dockyard in the distance. The jewel-toned ocean and stellar panoramic views will make the perfect backdrop for your next Instagram post or reel. You can even spot wildlife and marine life as you savour this incredible bird' s-eye view.

Check out the small gift shop at the lighthouse's base for keepsakes or souvenirs to take home – think postcards, art prints, mugs, magnets, and more.

Gibbs Hill Lighthouse

The Story Behind the Beacon

Gibbs Hill Lighthouse began flashing its light beam to warn seafarers on May 1, 1846. A decade before, 39 vessels had been shipwrecked off the island's Western end where the coral reefs extend out 16 miles or more. The lighthouse remains essential for ship safety in Bermuda to this day.

Steel was not available during its construction in 1844, so cast iron was used, making Gibbs Hill one of the few cast-iron lighthouses in the world. The structure is the oldest – one of only two cast-iron lighthouses still in existence – and is still operational.

Ships 40 miles away can see the bright light beam as it runs 362 feet above sea level. Even planes flying 10,000 feet and 120 miles away can see it from above. In 1846, a concentrated burner of four circular wicks produced the light. Today, it’s powered by a 1,000-watt electric bulb at the center of a massive lens, whose concentric prisms direct the light into a powerful beam. The lens weighs nearly 3 tons and makes a complete revolution every 60 seconds.

This impressive lighthouse has drawn some notable visitors, including the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. A plaque at the foot of the lighthouse commemorates the Queen’s time admiring the views.

Aerial view of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse with calm waters and blue skies.

Planning Tips: Know Before You Go

Explore the lighthouse Monday through Saturday between 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM and Sunday from 10 AM to 4:30 PM. The ticket may only be $2.50, but the views at the top are priceless. You can visit year-round except during February when it’s closed. Visit between March and May; if you’re lucky, you might spot migrating whales from the top of the lighthouse. (Hours of operation and pricing are subject to change, so we recommend confirming these details before you visit.)

The bus routes 7 and 8 offer nearby stops that bring you a short 10-15 minute walk away. You may be within walking distance if you stay close by at the Fairmont Southampton (temporarily closed), The Reefs Resort & Club, or in one of the many guesthouses. Ask your concierge for the best way to get to the lighthouse.

The climb to the top is appropriate for kids, but smaller or younger children may need assistance. There are resting platforms on the way to the top. Due to its spiral staircase, the lighthouse isn’t wheelchair or stroller accessible.

Wear comfortable shoes and bring some water; climbing the 185 steps can be a workout. Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses, or a hat to block the sun at the top.

Gibbs Hill Lighthouse

Nearby & Sky-High

While near the lighthouse, make some time for fun in the sun. Spend a day at Bermuda’s most famous stretch of sand, Horseshoe Bay Beach, or go snorkelling at Warwick Long Bay. On your way to or from the Royal Naval Dockyard, pack a picnic at Scaur Hill Fort or enjoy lunch prepared at Henry VIII Restaurant, Sushi Bar & Pub, or Gulfstream.

Then check out the island’s other great vantage points. On the East End, take in the views at the 55-foot-tall St. David’s Lighthouse or explore the island’s largest fort, Fort St. Catherine, with its sweeping ocean views.

It only goes up from here! In Hamilton, start your day with beautiful views paired with breakfast on the charming rooftop of The Cloud. Or end your day at the rooftop of The Birdcage, sipping cocktails like the Birdcage Swizzle and listening to live music. 

For the ultimate thrill, take to the sky for an aerial view of Bermuda. Book a sightseeing tour with Blue Sky Flights to see incredible island landscapes and seascapes from up to 10,000 feet!



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