The only lighthouse on Grand Turk, the Cockburn Town Lighthouse (also known as the Grand Turk Lighthouse) was built in the 1850s to help ships navigate the treacherous shallow reefs off the northern end of the island. Although no longer operational, the lighthouse is one of the top historical landmarks on Grand Turk. The Basics
The Cockburn Town Lighthouse features on many sightseeing tours of Grand Turk, whether by van or open-air tram. Standing 60 feet (18 meters) tall and 108 feet (33 meters) above sea level, it was pre-fabricated in Britain, then brought to the island in pieces and rebuilt. Originally designed to burn whale oil, it was later modified to burn kerosene, and eventually to run on electricity. Don’t miss the scenic coastal trail that leads to the cliffs north of the lighthouse, and stop at other top attractions on the island, including Governor’s Beach, Her Majesty’s Prison, the National Museum, and the Salt House. Or combine a sightseeing tour with snorkeling cruise to experience Grand Turk by land and by sea.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- There is an admission fee to enter the Cockburn Town Lighthouse grounds, which can be used as a credit for a purchase or a drink.
- On-site facilities include restrooms, a gift shop, and a bar.
- Don’t forget your camera to capture stunning views from the lighthouse grounds.
- Bring a hat and wear sunscreen; the Grand Turk sun can be intense.
- Wild donkeys and dogs may roam around the lighthouse.
Cockburn Town Lighthouse is located on the northern tip of Grand Turk Island, overlooking North Creek. For those not visiting as part of a tour, you can take a taxi, rental car, golf cart, scooter, or bicycle (if comfortable riding uphill) to the lighthouse. When to Get There
The lighthouse can be visited year-round and is a popular spot for whale watching during February and March. An hour should be sufficient time to wander around the site and take in the views. Visit on a clear day for the best vistas. First Landfall of Christopher Columbus
Although no one knows for sure, some historians believe that North Creek most resembles the body of water or lake that Columbus described as being on the bean-shaped island where he first made landfall in 1492. Find a Columbus Monument in Cockburn Town, and nearby, Columbus Landfall National Park.