Neist Point Lighthouse in Scotland is one of the most photographed lighthouses on Earth. Located near the edge of a windswept cliff on the Isle of Skye, the stark white tower of Neist Point never fails to attract crowds of visitors. Although still fully functional, Neist Point Lighthouse does not allow tours of its interior. However, Neist Point’s captivating exterior is certainly worth admiring up close.
The lighthouse was designed by the celebrated engineer David Alan Stevenson in the early 1900s. Neist Point Lighthouse first began operating in 1909 and was operated manually by a lighthouse keeper until the 1990s, when the lighthouse switched to automation. The Northern Lighthouse Board in Edinburgh currently operates Neist Point. The lighthouse emits a flashing white light every 5 seconds, visible up to approximately 24 miles away.
The Isle of Skye is often celebrated as one of the most picturesque walking and hiking destinations in the world. The trek to view Neist Point Lighthouse is considered one of the Isle of Skye’s most scenic walks. Onlookers can gain a panoramic view of the surrounding cliffs, deep blue sea, and the solitary lighthouse from the parking lot at the start of Neist Point’s walking trail.
The trail leading to Neist Point Lighthouse is winding and uneven. Sturdy shoes are essential, and visitors should pay close attention to the terrain. There are no safety rails, so caution is advised when standing close to the edge of Neist Point’s sweeping cliffs.
It takes about 40 minutes to reach Neist Point Lighthouse from the parking lot. Visitors can step off the main trail to explore the surrounding cliffs. The trail is lined with lush green grass and pockets of wildflowers. After a rainstorm, you might even see a rainbow on the horizon.
Neist Point Lighthouse is an excellent spot for wildlife viewing. Whales, dolphins, and occasionally porpoises are often seen frolicking in the sea. Seabirds such as black guillemots are also plentiful.
For those who have dreamed of living the solitary, romantic life of a lighthouse keeper, a visit to Neist Point Lighthouse will certainly fuel your imagination. Although the interior is off-limits, you can still explore the grounds and walk in the footsteps of former lighthouse keepers who lived poetic lives at the edge of the sea.