ILLW: International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend

ILLW International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend



This year’s event – 17-18 August 2013

Duration 48 hours from 0001 UTC 17.8.2013 

This annual amateur radio event was started in Scotland by John Forsyth, GM4OOU, and the late Mike Dalrymple (GM4SUC), both members of Ayr Amateur Radio Group (AARG). Through the years the event has grown probably far beyond what John and Mike envisaged for it all those years ago. The fact that some 85 countries have been represented in this event since inception clearly shows that it is well on its way to becoming a premier event on the ham radio calendar.

The event evolved from the Scottish Northern Lighthouses Award Weekend a biennial event which was first held in 1993 and became the ILLW in 1998. For the history of the event see this page and here for the original ILLW web site and 1998 list by Bob Dixon, GM3ZDH. Over the years it has continued to grow and to date more than 450 lighthouses and Lightships in some 50 countries around the world are participating in the event each year.

The event is usually held on the 3rd full weekend in August starting at 0001 UTC on Saturday and finishing at 2359 UTC on Sunday. It also coincides with the International Lighthouse Weekend an event organised by the Association of Lighthouse Keepers whereby many world lighthouses are open to the public for either the Saturday, Sunday or the whole weekend with tours, entertainment and functions for visitors. Please let them know if your lighthouse will be open to the public over the weekend and whether there are any special activities planned. Contact details are on the ALK web site.



The basic objective of the event is to promote public awareness of lighthouses and lightships and their need for preservation and restoration, and at the same time to promote amateur radio  and to foster International goodwill. Lighthouses are fast becoming an endagered species with the introduction of Global Positioning Systems and Satellite Navigation and the automation of the light source to solar power which has resulted in the withdrawal of mangement personnel (Keepers). It is hoped that this event will highlight this situation and help prevent further desecration of these magnificent structures all around the world.

So come and join us in the fun of the weekend, establish a station at a lighthouse, lightship or maritime beacon.  The more the merrier. If you decide to join us in the fun just fill in the official online entry form with your details. This will enable other stations to be aware of who is participating in the event. You may also send you entry, or any questions regarding the rules, via the “Contact Us” link in the main menu.


The logo appearing at the top of the web pages is a registered Trade Mark. It may only be used with the approval of the owners of the Trade Mark. Generally speaking, the entrants may use the logo without express written permission on their web sites, QSL cards or certificates as this usage is within the spirit of the event and to its benefit. For other uses, contact the Trade Mark owner through the “Contact Us” link.


The sponsors of the ILLW, the Ayr Amateur Radio Group Scotland, would like to thank all entrants for their loyalty and support of this web site and the fact that they have lodged entries via the official online entry form. We hope you have a very enjoyable weekend and we look forward to your participation next year.


It has come to our notice that there is confusing information on certain other web sites relating to the timing and duration of a similarly titled event. The ILLW is and always has been held on the third full weekend in August since inception in 1995. It is NOT a contest nor does it run for a week. If you have received email soliciting your participation in an week long contest purporting to be the ILLW, please be advised that it did not originate from the Ayr Group or anyone associated with the ILLW. Some of these other web sites are also claiming that another amateur radio organisation combined with the Ayr Group to create the ILLW. This is also untrue as the Ayr Group is not and never has been associated with any other group. Please see the page on this site regarding the history of the ILLW.


See where the lighthouses are located with Google Earth. Click on “download here” for the file.
You will need Google Earth (free) to view the here.


Sponsor: The Ayr Amateur Radio Group, Scotland.

Event Organizer and Webmaster: Kevin VK2CE

Lighthouse List Manager: Ted W8TTS

Publicity: Jim VK3PC

Google Earth file creator: Kenneth M1DZT