Old Higher Lighthouse Branscombe Lodge

Located in Portland Bill, Dorset

This detached cottage is located on the tip of Portland Bill in Dorset and can sleep four people in two bedrooms.

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Bedrooms: 2
  • Bathrooms: 1
  • Pet Friendly: No


Branscombe Lodge is a cottage in the grounds of the lighthouse. It is set in quiet unspoiled rural countryside and accessed by a private road. Originally it was the paraffin store for the lighthouse but has been converted into an ‘upside down’ house. The sitting room is upstairs with magnificent views of the sea and coast on all four sides. It is spacious and comfortably furnished. All other rooms are downstairs and all have sea views. The double bedroom enjoys morning sun and the twin room evening sun. The kitchen and bathroom both face south. The kitchen is fully equipped with all necessities of home and the bathroom has a bath with shower over, WC and basin. The whole cottage is kept up to date and very clean. Guests have access to the lighthouse tower/ observatory where they can enjoy sitting and watching the sky, sea, birds, and anything that passes, including dolphins! To give added interest and see more closely there is a large gun sight binocular in the observatory. Fran and Les (your hosts) live on-site and are always available to help and give advice.

The lighthouse has a long history. The first on this site was in 1716 and was a coal-fired beacon. The first one stone-built was in 1769 and later rebuilt in 1869 and worked in conjunction with the Lower lighthouse, which is now a bird observatory. It had a 16 wick burner and was the first lighthouse anywhere in the world to use Argon lamps and a true reflector. When it was new King George III was anxious to see ‘This new lighthouse’ and came for a visit. It became disused and went into private ownership in 1906 when the new red and white one was built. After which it had various owners including Dr Marie Stopes and it was during that time it was visited by some famous people including H.G.Wells, Thomas Hardy, G.B.Shaw and ballerina Margot Fontaine who later became a Dame.

Property Details

Situated just forty feet from the Old Higher Lighthouse, this upside-down detached Grade II listed cottage makes the most of the fantastic sea and coastal views, as the whole of the first floor is given over to a light and airy sitting and dining room with windows on all four sides.

Take advantage of shared access to the lighthouse tower and observatory from where there are breathtaking views of Dorset's World Heritage Jurassic Coast. Alternatively, take a dip in the shared heated pool and Jacuzzi, or take a stroll along the rugged coast. A memorable cottage whatever the weather!


  • Electric radiators, Electric oven and hob, microwave, fridge, washer/dryer, TV with Freeview, DVD, CD/radio, WiFi, selection of books, games, CDs and DVDs
  • Bed linen and towels inc in rent
  • Fuel & power included in rent
  • Ample off road parking for cars and boats
  • Lawned area and patio with garden furniture and ornamental fish pond
  • Shared seasonal outdoor heated swimming pool with Jacuzzi (available May - September inclusive)
  • Shared access to lighthouse observatory via steep steps
  • Sorry, no pets and no smoking
  • Shop 2 miles, pub 5 mins walk
  • Note: No children under 5 years due to ponds and proximity of cliff edge


Close to coast
Great View
Hot Tub
Linen and Towels
Near a Pub
Off road parking
Rural Location
Swimming Pool
Washing machine

Old Higher Lighthouse Cottages

A unique opportunity to stay in two Grade II listed cottages, situated in what must be one of the most peaceful and stunning locations on Dorset’s rugged Jurassic Coast at Portland Bill. Situated right beside the sympathetically restored 18th century Old Higher Lighthouse, once the home of Dr Marie Stopes and visited by George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells and Thomas Hardy, these Portland Bill cottages have been comfortably furnished throughout to offer visitors a home-from-home holiday experience. Together, they can accommodate up to eight people in comfort, where you have shared use of the seasonal outdoor heated swimming pool and Jacuzzi. There are superb opportunities for walking and bird watching as well as climbing and diving, or why not just simply relax in the lighthouse and take in the sensational sea views or unwind beside the swimming pool? A short stroll takes you to The Bill itself, craggy rocks jutting out into the sea dominated by the current Trinity House lighthouse. The Bill’s friendly cafe and local pub provide good food and refreshments should you wish to take time out whilst exploring the dramatic coast. The owner of these cottages can offer reflexology, spiritual and crystal healing, plus Emotional Freedom Technique on site by arrangement, making them a holiday experience you’ll never forget!



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Area Details

Portland Bill

Portland Bill is the most famous part of Portland and has three lighthouses. One is now a holiday cottage, one a bird observatory and one is the current lighthouse. The lighthouse is open to the public on certain days and is well worth a look round. The bird observatory is positioned well as Portland, and Portland Bill especially is a haven for birds. Other attractions include Pulpit Rock, the blowhole, passing whales and dolphins and so much more – just make time for a visit. Although many walkers make Portland Bill their end destination it actually works very well as a starting point. Head north-east along the coast to the beach at Church Ope and then up past Pennsylvania Castle to Portland Museum. Or head north-west, again along the coast, to Westcliff and stunning views across Lyme Bay. Although there are few houses at the Bill there is an excellent choice for food. The Lobster Pot is right next to the lighthouse and is open all day serving breakfasts, lunch, afternoon teas and dinners. The large grassy area also makes it an excellent place for picnics.

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