Visitor Safety at our Lighthouse Stations

Visiting our Sites Safely

The lighthouses in our care are vital aids to navigation and situated in remote and often inaccessible locations. We have several sites that are open to the public and these have been risk assessed and modified to provide a greater degree of control and safety for the public.

For non-public access sites, we don’t actively encourage visitors, but we understand people will still want to visit our lighthouses even if that involves a long walk out to the site.

We have reviewed all of our lighthouses to identify any risks and have investigated the benefits and risks to provide overall benefit to society and individuals. This isn’t about creating a totally risk-free environment or society, or stopping important recreational and learning activities where the risks are considered and accepted. Where we have identified unseen hazards, we have put up safety signage to highlight those dangers. This isn’t possible at all our sites.

Be Aware

To keep you as safe as possible, please follow these guidelines:

  • Being aware of hidden dangers and potential risks at our sites will help you to look after your personal safety. This includes checking tide times and weather forecasts as well as wearing appropriate footwear and clothing
  • The long walk out to a lighthouse should prepare you that there are inherent risks
  • If the lighthouse is next to a cliff edge, the danger should be apparent. The cliff edge could also be unstable and prone to collapse or subject to erosion so please avoid cliff edges or walking on terrain you are unsure of
  • You should also be aware of unfenced areas where there could be a drop
  • Always keep an eye on children and pets and always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code
  • On occasion, it might be necessary for us to deny you access to our properties or even to be in the vicinity of the properties due to maintenance work, helicopter operations or working at height on the lighthouse dome.

Many of our lighthouses are situated in Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Special Areas of Conservation for seabirds, plants and coastal habitats.  Drones can cause disturbance to nesting birds and other wildlife and as a general principle, the RSPB does not allow recreational use of drones on their estates.

  • If you need to film with a drone, please contact us or, the RSPB if the site is an RSPB estate, or NatureScot if the area is a National Nature Reserve.
  • If you are flying a drone, you must comply with the Civil Aviation Authority’s guidance including the Drone Code. You must also take extra care to avoid disturbing wildlife, which may be an offence.
  • If you have permission to fly the drone, it must remain a safe distance of 50 metres away from the lighthouse tower and never fly the drone in adverse weather conditions. Our lighthouses are vital aids to navigation and any damage to the tower could result in compromising the safety of mariners.
  • Please also respect the privacy of our neighbours.