Discover St Bees Fog Horn Station

Fog Horn Station, St Bees Head, Whitehaven

High up on the cliffs at North Head between Whitehaven and St Bees there is the majestic lighthouse for all to see, it’s marked on the Ordinance Survey map and everyone knows what a lighthouse is for. But what of the funny squat little building that sits right on the cliff edge nearby? Have you ever noticed its dalek-like frontage as you walk the coastal path and wondered what its function was?

Introducing the Fog Horn Station

For many years the Fog Horn Station on St Bees Head provided an audible warning to ships as they approached the headland.  With fog closing in and spray obscuring the visibility of the lighthouse this would have been a vital signal to mariners in the days before GPS and digital maps.

Fog Horn Station frontage, St Bees Head, Whitehaven


Now the fog horn at St Bees is silent, having been decommissioned, but the building remains, quietly standing guard over the head.  Inside, the speakers and machinery remain in place creating a nostalgic and somewhat eerie atmosphere.

Who can resist a big red button?
Detail of the Fog Horn Station signal controls, Whitehaven

A feast for the senses

With unbroken views over a wide expanse of sea towards the Isle of Man, smells drifting up from the sea birds nesting on the cliffs, the sound of the waves crashing against the base of the cliffs 300 feet below and the wind whistling through your jacket, a trip to the Fog Horn Station will really spark all of your senses.

The fog horn once blared out on dark and stormy nights
Fog Horn Station, St Bees Head, Whitehaven

Help us bring the Fog Horn Station to life

We were delighted to be able to open up this fantastic old building for Heritage Open Days in September 2016 complete with the de-activated speakers, buttons and signal control, welcoming around 150 people across the weekend.
If you have any pictures or memories that you are keen to share, about the Fog Horn Station or other areas of the Whitehaven to St Bees coastline, then we’d love to hear from you.

Please email Sophie or share your stories with us on our new Whitehaven Coast Facebook page.

Can you imagine how loud this must have been?
Speaker bank inside the Fog Horn Station, Whitehaven