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Things to do

Places of interest near East Sutton Lighthouse

The Lighthouse and Ships: Everybody loves a lighthouse. There is just something about them - perhaps the air of mystery and romance as well as the remote locations. Their role in saving ships from danger or guiding them home seems almost magical at times, bearing in mind how many miles the light beam can travel at night when using such a small light source (see Fresnel lenses). Many of these ships and sailors with their precious cargos of goods or passengers, will never ever be seen from the lighthouse as they pass in the dark but their debt to the lighthouse and it's keeper is no less for that. 

The East Bank Lighthouse together with its twin on the other side of the river, is a working lighthouse and whilst you are there, you are the lighthouse keepers! The light is on a time clock and must never be altered. 

If you would like to find out more about lighthouses around the UK and the world, or perhaps read about what it was like to be a lighthouse keeper on a rock far out to sea and perhaps even go on tours with like minded and friendly people, then joining the Association of Lighthouse Keepers is a great way to do so. Click here

The East Bank Lighthouse lantern is used to guide ships into the River Nene at night and around the notorious sand bars at the entry. Some years ago, a ship was caught out when turning at Sutton Bridge Docks on a falling tide, became wedged across the river and then broke into three parts. That navigation was blocked for some time (Click Here) and ever since then, if they are heading for Sutton Bridge Docks, the river pilots bring them in backwards. At this point, the twin lighthouse lights are essential to help the river pilots judge their location in the river. Ships heading for Wisbech docks, they come in forwards.

If you are lucky, there may be a ship or two pass the lighthouse during your stay and you can hear the deep thump, thump of their engines as they glide past. You can look them up on this website. You just have to put in the name of the port at the top right (search marine traffic) and you need to search under Wisbech and Sutton Bridge because they are both under different entries. Click here

The noisiest ship on the river is the twin hulled ‘Three Counties’ boat based at Sutton Bridge. This is a fisheries research vessel and it carries out vital work. To read more about what it does click here