The ultimate vacation home: a lighthouse

Thinking of curing those recession blues by investing in a vacation home? Why go for the traditional beach-side bungalow or alpine chalet when you could get something a little more original?

Perhaps 76 acres of undeveloped beach and a famous lighthouse in the southwest of England would be just the thing?

Upton Towans beach in Gwithian, Cornwall, is up for sale. It was here that a young Virginia Woolf used to vacation with her family, and the broad beach and beautiful view of the offshore lighthouse are said to have inspired her 1927 novel To the Lighthouse.

The 86-foot tall Godrevy Lighthouse, pictured here, was built in 1858 after the SS Nile crashed into the nearby rocks and sank with all hands. It’s one of the most attractive lighthouses on the English coast and draws in thousands of tourists a year, who also stroll along the beach and surf in the rough waters.

Bidding for the land, which will benefit Hall for Cornwall theater, is expected to start at £50,000 ($81,000). The sale comes with a couple of conditions: the land must remain open for public use and it cannot be “developed” (i.e. ruined). That means visitors will still be able to enjoy this rugged stretch of Cornish coast and its literary associations.

So if you are looking for some real estate and you don’t want to wreck it, this may be the thing for you. You’ll have to get used to sleeping in a lighthouse, though.