About the Hotel
The accommodation becomes more than just a place to crash in for the night. This holiday season chuck the five-star resorts and crowded commercial lodgings for a taste of the tranquil life at the West Usk Lighthouse at Newport Wales, UK.
Located on the River Severn Estuary, the lighthouse is a lot more spacious and intimidating than most lighthouses you’d generally come across. The rooms are all set inside the stone and mortar structure, designed around the spiral staircase. The West Usk also has an interesting history but more on that later. For now, let us concentrate on getting a basic idea of the place and reasons why it should be on your bucket list.
The West Usk Lighthouse started out as an ordinary functional lighthouse meant to guide ships to safety. It was only much later that the place was renovated into a bed and breakfast accommodation and then marketed as a romantic holiday spot for families, couples and solo travelers. Set in the scenic countryside of Newport, on the River Severn Estuary, the lighthouse gives you a glimpse of the Bristol Channel. Unlike most lighthouses, however, the West Usk was shorter, stockier and had a wider circumference. This helped in the refurbishment and allows architects to later add wedge-shaped suites with relative ease.
There’s a spiral staircase that runs right through the middle of the lighthouse at the bottom of which is a rain-collecting wishing well. There’s also a Dalek waiting for you at the bottom of the stairs, and a TARDIS on the roof which serves as a changing room for the hot tubs placed above.
The West Usk Lighthouse wasn’t always such a welcoming and leisurely place. In fact, initially, the structure was built by the legendary Scottish architect James Walker, sometime in 1821, at the junction of the Esk and Severn estuaries, overlooking the Bristol Channel, and was meant to be used as a regular lighthouse- i.e. for guiding ships and spying. It was one of his first architectural ventures; he went on to design 20 more such lighthouses across the country.
The West Usk Lighthouse was situated on a solitary island until 1856 when the land was reclaimed and eventually developed. A road was built, transportation was set up and soon communities were relocated to the area. The West Usk served as a real lighthouse up until 1922, and then it was decommissioned. It then became a private home for an anonymous family but was unfortunately neglected and fell into a derelict.
In the 1960s the place was again used as a home and then later in 1982 again had to be demolished. It wasn’t until 1987 that the lighthouse was refurbished, and it took two years to completely repair and transform the place into what it is today. The lighthouse now is a grade II listed architectural structure and is over 190 years old.
From a distance, the West Usk Lighthouse looks like any other lighthouse you’d find along the beach. It paints a very picturesque image, standing tall and proud along the sandy beaches, under the bright azure skies. The closer look reveals a completely different picture. Up close, you can see the architectural differences that set the West Usk apart from other generic lighthouses. Unlike other lighthouses, the West Usk doesn’t have a tall cylindrical tower-like structure. On the contrary, it is on the shorter and wider side and hence adequate for accommodating luxury suites inside. It looks more like a quirky church with a bell tower and less like a lighthouse. A cobbled pathway leads to the tank-shaped structure made of brick and mortar, which is flanked by trees and the rolling English countryside.
On the outside, the lighthouse looks very simple and sturdy. It looks especially pretty in winters when the area is covered in a blanket of snow and everything looks pristine white and Christmasy. What better place to celebrate Christmas and welcome the New Year than in a quiet, peaceful lighthouse in the middle of nowhere right? The blue doors and glass windows stand in sharp contrast to the otherwise massive structure. The spying watch tower with railings offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the coastline.
If you think the West Usk looks impressive on the outside, wait till you see the interiors of it. Once you walk in through the blue doors the interiors look a lot larger, spacious and accommodating. It is larger on the inside, kind of like the TARDIS, in fact, there’s a small replica of the small blue police box up on the terrace that would give you some serious Doctor Who vibes. The walls are curved, and the furnishings are custom made to fit inside the roundish structure. The inside stands in sharp contrast with the simplicity of the exterior architecture, decorated in warm hues, fancy décor, and elegant colors. Here, you get the best of both worlds- the rustic countryside life merged with the classic British charm and sophistication.
There are 4spacious bedrooms inside the lighthouse, one of them is a family room which is dog-friendly. The curved staircase and wedged Lamp Room is pretty relaxing and makes you nostalgic of yesteryears. The garden and terrace space outdoors offer you a complete view of the charming Newport landscape. The place also has a wishing well, a wine cellar and a resident Dalek to welcome new guests, now that’s what we call a grand entrance!
There is never a dull moment at the West Usk Lighthouse. The place, though set in a quiet and peaceful countryside, offers a number of activities to tourists. You can take long walks along the beach and follow other trails such as the 47-mile Usk Valley Walk and considerable part of the historically important Celtic Way. There is the Wales Coast Path for you to explore. The Brecon Beacons is another pretty trail, a short drive away. And for those who need an urban fix, note that Cardiff, Newport, and Bristol are within reach for a quick and enjoyable day trip. You can even indulge in water sports like sailing, boating or sightseeing if you feel particularly adventurous.
The lighthouse has an open garden, a terrace space, fitness center, spa area and hot tubs in the terrace for you to pamper yourself and rejuvenate after a hectic day. The lighthouse is a popular spot during winters and offers an amazing view of the setting sun from the watchtowers above. The West Usk also hosts wedding parties, corporate meetings and private gatherings on the terrace or the gardens.
Check the Video:
How to Book:
Living in a lighthouse might not sound like an appealing idea but trust us when we say the West Usk is not your ordinary lighthouse. Imagine waking up to the smell of the crisp ocean air, to the cackling of seagulls, in plush beds. Imagine long walks along the beach with your partner or sailing along the rocky tides when you’re particularly adventurous. At the West Usk Lighthouse, you can experience all this and more. We have compiled a list of some basic facts and interesting trivia about the hotel which will make your stay all the more memorable here.
- The Lighthouse serves a scrumptious and hearty breakfast to its owners, whereas lunch and other meals have to arranged from outside.
- The West Usk is a delight for Doctor Who fans with a TARDIS on the roof and a resident Dalek downstairs.
- The spa, fitness center and hot tubs are open to all and especially pleasant after a hectic day of sightseeing.
- There’s a family-friendly bedroom that welcomes pets as well. Extra beddings and mattresses are available on request.
- The hotel property has free wi-fi and parking spots, however, you’ll have to chuck the cigarettes before you enter the premises as it’s a non-smoking zone.
- West Usk Lighthouse is available for hire as a venue space for weddings, conferences and private parties as well.
Finding the perfect accommodation can be quite a daunting task, not because there is a dearth of good hotels. No, on the contrary, the millennial traveler faces the problem of plenty. There are so many lodging spaces popping up every day, it becomes quite overwhelming to pick one. The West Usk Lighthouse in the UK is among the finest, fanciest and most peaceful hotels around Britain that take you far away from the cities and yet keeps you connected with the civilization. This bed and breakfast accommodation is the perfect option for couples and families alike that want to experience the tranquillity of the seas and the excitement of a coastal township.