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South Foreland lighthouse was bought by the National Trust in 1989. The building has been preserved and open to visitors since that time.
The lighthouse has an interesting history. It was the first lighthouse in the world to shine an electric light, and the site for the first international radio transmission. It retains a beautifully crafted Victorian clockwork mechanism, which used to spin the light, projecting a unique flash sequence visible for miles. Visitors can wind the machinery and see this marvel of engineering move in perfect time.
Being situated on the enigmatic White Cliffs of Dover, at 300 foot high, overlooking the busiest shipping lanes in the world, South Foreland enjoys stunning views across the English Channel. If you seek fresh air and to stretch your legs, there are walks along the cliffs and in the surrounding countryside.
Mrs Knott's Tea Room opened in 2012, set in one of the old Lighthouse Keepers cottages. It was named for the famous Knott family of lighthouse keepers who looked after South Foreland for generations. The tea rooms have period wallpaper, antique furniture and crockery donated by visitors. You can take your tea in style! For your younger visitors (and those who still feel young) you can fly a kite, dress up like a pirate and play one of the wooden outdoor games.