One of the most treasured landmarks in Nova Scotia is Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse. The iconic image of a white lighthouse on barren rocks next to the Atlantic Ocean is famous across Canada, if not the world.
After more than 3 weeks on Our Great Canadian Roadtrip we were finally about to visit Canada’s most famous lighthouse.
We knew there would be amazing views once we reached Peggy’s Cove, but were surprised by the incredible scenery we were treated to on the drive. The road travels beside St. Margaret’s Bay, weaving around its many small coves. It takes you by idyllic fishing villages and summer cottages. A mix of fishing and sail boats reflect off the calm water.
Just before reaching Peggy’s Cove we stopped at the Memorial for Swissair Flight 111. On September 2, 1998 all 229 passengers and crew aboard the plane perished as it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean 8 km off-shore from Peggy’s Cove. The memorial has a natural setting and is a lovely tribute.
At the end of St. Margaret’s Bay is Peggy’s Cove. It likely received its name because Peggy is a nickname for Margaret. Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse has the perfect setting on smooth, water-worn rocks at the edge of Peggy’s Point. The image of this lighthouse is cherished across Canada.
Surrounding the lighthouse are smooth granite rocks that lead to the rough Atlantic Ocean. The area is large and walking on the rocks allows you to see the lighthouse and the rugged coast from many angles.
The granite rocks however can get very slippery when sprayed by large waves. There have been many accidents when tourists have slipped on the wet rocks so a large viewing deck was built. It recently opened in the fall of 2021. This accessible platform allows people to enjoy views of the lighthouse even when the rocks are wet. Apparently visitors will still be allowed to wander on the rocks, but it sounds like this is being strongly discouraged.
Behind this iconic structure is one of the most captivating scenes. Brightly painted wooden homes are scattered on the rocks around the small cove. Fishing boats bob in the water of the small harbour. Peggy’s Cove is the quintessential fishing village. Many of the buildings now are Bed and Breakfasts, but a few are still owned by local fishermen who live there year-round. It can get quite busy though as this small village of only 40 residents sees over 700,000 visitors a year.
After seeing Peggy’s Cove, we wondered how this province could have anything else nearly as cute. But just wait, it does.
Coming Next – Lunenburg, Canada’s Most Colourful Town
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