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Is this lighthouse featured in Alan Partridge's Big Beacon?

North Foreland lighthouse - possibly Alan's dream home (c) Getty
North Foreland lighthouse - possibly Alan's dream home (c) Getty

When beloved broadcaster Alan Patridge was based in Norfolk he somehow managed to find what was possibly the only oasthouse outside Kent to call his home. So, having long-favoured our buildings, it should come as no surprise to learn from the latest volume of his memoir, Big Beacon, that he’s now made the move lock, stock and barrel county. What compelled him to ‘emigrate’ to Kent? The answer lies in Abbot’s Cliff: a dilapidated lighthouse near Folkestone, first constructed in 1860: a 'camp Dalek with the prong snapped off’, according to Alan's description.

Within the book’s pages – clearly crafted by a writer at the very peak of his talents - Alan charts, as only Alan can, his adventures in restoring the lighthouse, his efforts to win over local action group the Friends of Abbot’s Cliff, even his encounter with classic Kentish delicacies, including huffkins (‘…you’re having a laugh if you think I’m going to eat something a baker’s shoved his thumb in’), Appledore chicken pie and Lamb’s Tail Pie – all rejected in favour of something a little, well, “safer” from Sainsbury’s. And then there’s scandal, misunderstandings, a love affair with the mysterious ‘Red’ – oh, and a rather special Royal visit. Little wonder Alan experiences a health-scare in the middle of it all. The question that will keep readers guessing until the very end is, does Alan really have what it takes to build a life in Kent?

Of course, Alan would have taken the guesswork out of his Kent experience, had he opted to test-run lighthouse living in advance – something we’d certainly advise anyone inspired by the broadcasting legend’s experiences (and who isn’t?) to do. Lodesman and Khina are two cottages that sleep four and two people respectively and come complete with fantastic views, both based at North Foreland Lighthouse, near Broadstairs. The lighthouse itself – today automated - dates back to 1499, when it was used, not as a navigational aid but as a beacon to warn of attack and piracy as opposed to a navigational aid. Details through bookalighthouse.com

Meanwhile, over at other-worldly Dungeness, Bloom Stays offers the chance for two people to escape if not to a lighthouse itself, to the stylishly kitted out Coast Guard’s Look Out, built in the 1950s. Or try the lighthouse keeper’s cottages nearby, for a magical glimpse, not only of nautical life, but of Alan Partridge’s, too… bloomstays.com

Alan Patridge: Big Beacon is published by Seven Dials, at £25.

Great British Life: The next installment of Alan's memoirs....The next installment of Alan's memoirs....



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