Dunnet Head

Dunnet Head Lighthouse was established in 1831 and engineered by Robert Stevenson. The lighthouse marks the most northerly point of the Scottish mainland.


Dunnet Head Lighthouse stands on the 300-foot (91 m) cliff top of Easter Head on Dunnet Head and marks the most northerly point of the Scottish mainland. Only 6.75 miles across the Pentland Firth lies the nearest point of the Orkney Islands.

The lighthouse was built in 1831 by Robert Stevenson. James Smith of Inverness was the contractor responsible for the building of Dunnet Head. Erosion of the rock on which the original fog signal (built in 1899) stood, made it necessary to abandon it and to establish another fog signal nearer the lighthouse. A third fog signal was established in 1952, but this was discontinued in 1987.

All new lighthouses, beginning with Little Ross in 1843, were lit on the dioptric system, the latter being a combination of lenses with reflectors. Dunnet Head changed to a dioptric lens in 1852.

The Queen Mother visited the lighthouse on several occasions. Her last visit was on 8 October 1979, when she was given a tour of the station by Mr Malcolm, Principal Lightkeeper. She then  had tea with Mr Malcolm and his wife and met with the other lightkeepers and their families who were living at the station.

The lighthouse was automated on 31 March 1989 and is now remotely monitored from our headquarters in Edinburgh.

At some sites we have sold redundant buildings within the lighthouse complex and are not responsible for the maintenance of these building.


Year Established



Robert Stevenson


Latitude   58°40.287'N
Longitude 003°22.594'W


Flashing (4)White every 30 Seconds


105 metres


23 nautical miles


White stone tower, 20 metres high. There are 51 steps and 9 ladder steps up to top of lighthouse tower.

Public Access


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