A Walkers Lighthouse


The West Usk Lighthouse

I recently visited the West Usk Lighthouse in Newport. The landmark has been on my bucket list for a while. I must admit its not easiest place to get to. Its located on the Severn Estuary at the mouth of the River Usk and Ebbw.

It lies on the Welsh Coastal Path just outside the city of Newport and stands in sight of the entrance to Newport Docks. Opposite it across the waters of the estuary is the East Usk Lighthouse which stands at the edge of the Newport Wetlands Nature Reserve at Uskmouth.

To get to the West Usk Lighthouse was quite a challenge if I am honest. The St Brides and Peterstone Wentlooge area is rather unfriendly to parking the car anywhere close to it. There are lots of private lanes, that have warning signs displayed against trespassing, parking fine penalties and fly tipping. There are a few car parking locations around but these are very restricted. Theres is a carpark at the end of Beach Road next to an old pub ( that is now closed - The Lighthouse Inn) but even here its for permit owners only.

The only other place I know to park near the seawall and coastal path is even further at Peterstone Golfclub. You can park your car near the club house and walk up a short path to Peterstone Wentlooge which is a nature reserve. However from here its quite a walk to get to the lighthouse especially when its waterlogged because of all this rain we have been experiencing.

Peterstone Wentlooge

Looking down the estuary towards St Brides and Uskmouth

A couple of weeks previously I visited Peterstone Wentlooge with my friend Paul Joy and we had to give up in the end going to the lighthouse as it was too much of a walk with all the kit we were carrying.

So on this occasion I managed to find somewhere to leave my car safely, close to a location called Outflow Lane. This narrow lane is about half a mile long and if you walk along it you can finally get on the coastal path. From here its about a thirty minute brisk walk to the lighthouse.

The end of Outflow Lane

The coastal path

I set out along the path with the lighthouse almost in my sight. Dawn was breaking and the sun was coming up behind thick clouds on the Eastern horizon. The tide was on the turn and had begun its inevitable return to the seawall.

Flying up the estuary with its distinctive call, I saw a solitary Whimbrel - my first of the year. The hedgerows and reeds that border the coastal path and seawall were alive with the sounds of birds. Marsh Warblers, Chiff Chaffs and Ceti's blasted out there songs to greet the coming of the dawn.

I put my drone up for a short flight to try and capture the moment of day break.

A birds eye view of my walk to the lighthouse along the coastal path.

The view of Goldcliff over the estuary.

Then I continued on trudging along the muddy path, with a fresh breeze in my face but the further I walked and closer I got to the lighthouse, the better the light got and even some blue sky could be seen as the clouds began to part.

I walked past the Lighthouse Park and the old pub. The car park has a statue of a Roman Soldier. The Romans had a huge impact on the landscape being credited for creating the first reens and reclaiming land from the sea.

Statue of a Roman Legionary 

Eventually at long last I made it to the West Coast Lighthouse. I felt quite triumphant at the time and was glad I had made the effort. It is a beautiful piece of architecture and in a very impressive location with Newport Docks, the Uskmouth Power station and mouth of the Usk in the foreground. In the background there is a panoramic view of the City of Newport and you can see the iconic Newport Transport Bridge in the distance.

The West Usk Lighthouse

I have done some reading about the lighthouse and its quite fascinating. The lighthouse was built by a famous Scottish civil  engineer James Walker. The West Coast Lighthouse was the first of 21 that he would build in his lifetime. Walker would go on to have a very distinguished career and involved in many engineering projects around the UK , many involved the building of docks, bridges, harbours and viaducts (Reference)

The weather was brightening up and the breeze was quite light meaning it was great for flying the drone. I put the drone up at a respectful distance to the lighthouse and took some pictures of a what I think is a wonderfully iconic scenic spot.


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