South Stack from North Stack


Coastal walk with amazing views

You can drive to South Stack and park adjacent to the lighthouse entrance. But why would you do that when you could enjoy a wonderful walk over the headland with incredible views? This walk begins in the Holyhead Breakwater Country Park, 2 miles from the centre of Holyhead. It takes you across the cliffs and through beautiful countryside and there are gorgeous views across the Irish Sea. The going is relatively easy but there are a couple of steep sections of path to tackle.

Duration: 2 hours from the car park to the lighthouse and back.

Terrain: Gravel paths and rocky paths

South Stack

Starting Out

The walk begins at the Holyhead Breakwater Country Park car park. Unfortunately, as is often the case in North Wales, the route is poorly signposted and there are no waymarkers. However, it isn’t too difficult to navigate your way to the South Stack Lighthouse. Start by walking behind the information centre in the car park and towards a gap in the hedge. Continue on past the small lake. You will see another gap in a hedge beyond the lake which you should walk through and then turn left onto the path. You will enjoy the colourful display of heather and wildflowers in the summer months.

After a short but steep climb up the rocky path you will see a smaller path leading off to the left. There is a sign here with a white arrow but it is easy to miss. Take this path which is also relatively steep and a uneven.

Footpath to South Stack

The South Stack Lighthouse

The path takes you upwards across gorgeous coastal moorland. There are stunning views of the Breakwater Country Park and Irish Sea. As you approach South Stack, there are several different paths which head towards the lighthouse. Simply walk in the opposite direction to the mainland and you will find your way there!

The lighthouse is situated on a small island off the headland and is reached via 400 steps. It is a waymark for coastal traffic and an orientation light for vessels crossing the Irish Sea to and from the ports of Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire. It’s light is visible from a distance of 28 nautical miles The impressive structure was completed in 1809 and is 28m tall. You can tour the lighthouse and climb to the top but access can be restricted in severe weather conditions.

The Return

From the lighthouse, retrace your steps to the road and then climb up the rocky path in front of you. This is a fabulous place for a picnic or a short rest before walking back to the Breakwater Country Park. You will see a signpost directing you towards the park and Holyhead. Follow the path back, ignoring the signs for the summit of Holyhead Mountain (unless you fancy a detour). As you begin to descend towards the car park, look out for a path to your left which is easy to miss. There is a wooden post with a white arrow here for the benefit of those coming up. Turn left onto the path and follow this back to the small lake, information centre and car park.

If you have the time, take a stroll around the old brick factory. You can’t miss it as it is the building with the large chimney. The internal walls now feature a display of historic photographs and guides to the local wildlife.

Path from South Stack
South Stack path


From the Woollen Mill, Take the A487 towards Caernarfon and then Bangor. Then, follow the signs for the A55 to Holyhead. Cross the Britannia Bridge and continue on the A55 until you reach Holyhead. Stay on this road which becomes the A5154 and then Beach Road. As you exit the town again, look out for the left turn towards the Breakwater Country Park. The signage here is poor!