The Lighthouses were first designed and built from 1787, with the first being Kinnaird Head located in the town of Fraserburgh on the East coast of Scotland. The Cloch Lighthouse was built and designed by Thomas Smith and the first generation of Stevenson’s, Robert Stevenson in 1797.
Spanning over 150 years from Robert Stevenson through to his descendants they built over 200 lighthouses across Scotland.
It was an incredible feet in those times lacking technology and modern transportation. The Lighthouses were built in some of the remotest and difficult sites. Most building materials were transported by boat and off loaded to horse pulled carts. With no electricity the main lights in the tower were provided by oil lamps. As technology moved on so did the Stevenson’s and the National Lighthouse Board, bringing the towers up to date with gas, radio waves, computer monitoring systems and finally solar power. With so many lighthouses and the introduction of new technology the manned lighthouse began to be faded out. After 211 years of traditional manned lighthousing came to an end at Fair Isle South Lighthouse, Shetland Isles on the 31st March 1998.
Currently most operations of the National Lighthouse Board takes place at their headquarters in Edinburgh.
After learning about the Stevenson’s and there long lasting architectural legacies that have been left behind, I was curious to learn more and what better way than to stay in one of their Lighthouse’s.
There are several Lighthouses now guest houses available for nightly, weekly and private party reservations.
We decided to visit Rua Reigh Lighthouse built by David A. Stevenson in 1912, located on the West Coast of Scotland in the county of Wester Ross. The drive from Edinburgh can take up to several hours taking through the Scottish Highlands. Rua Reigh lighthouse is situated in one of the most dramatic and remote locations, with rugged sheer drop cliffs and views over looking the Inner Sound across to the Isle of Skye.
The drive approaching the lighthouse is one you wont forget! Delicate wooden bridges over steep drops, waves crashing on the cliff edges below.
We arrived in time to freshen up in time for dinner. The rooms are located on the first floor, with all having views out on to the dramatic landscape. Each of the rooms are named after the local wildlife including Otter and the Puffin. The rooms are spacious with comfortable and cosy décor.
Meals are served on the ground floor in the ample sized conservatory, with views out on to An Cuaidh. Homely hearty meals are served in the evening and a wide variety of choice for the continental breakfast including local cheeses and freshly made bread.
The area is great for walkers, nature enthusiasts and a quiet getaway. If the weather is bleak you can cosy up with a good book in the lounge, the real log burner kindling away and homemade short bread, tea’s/coffee available.
After a hearty two course meal in the evening with fellow holiday makers, we bid a good evening. Escaping the sounds of howling wind and returned to our room not hearing a peep. The room an ambient temperature, secure for a comfortable night’s stay.
There are local restaurants and eateries in the nearby village of Gairloch, which is twelve miles away. The journey can take up to forty minutes. After the long drive from Edinburgh, we were glad to have opted for the additional two course evening meal. The weather was very dreich the day after with low lying cloud and visibility poor, that we opted for the additional meal on our second and final night’s stay too. It was as good as the first night and saved the long, country road back to Gairloch.
On our drive back down the low lying clouds were persisting, until halfway down we escaped their hold. We breathed a sigh of relief at the clear blue skies, the suns rays bouncing off Loch Ewe’s waters below.
There are a number of attractions and sights to visit in the surrounding area including Inverewe Gardens and Estate, Scotland’s only perfumery – The Perfume Studio and a fifty foot Gorge – Corrieshalloch Gorge plus lots more!
I hope you have enjoyed my blog. Please do share. If you would like to hear more on Niche Escapes, have any comments or questions we would love to hear from you. Please comment below. Many thanks. I would also like to thank Volvo, the car was perfect! Happy Travels!