Lighthouses in Aberdeenshire

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will wait for you, #ABDNwillwait #stayathome. 

A visit to Aberdeen City and Shire promises lots of lovely experiences from fabulous local food and drink (we have lots of lovely restaurants and an abundance of whisky distilleries) to fabulous scenery and one of the most beautiful coastlines in Scotland. One thing not to miss is the many Iconic Stevenson lighthouses along our coast, we have four fabulous Stevenson Lighthouses in our area, amazing feats of engineering and physics.

There is also something about lighthouses which makes them very special, they evoke many emotional responses from people. There are a number of reasons why I think lighthouses have been taken to the heart of many visitors. Lighthouses signify safety, security and warmth, a light in the darkness lighting the way home, a job which they do particularly well saving many mariners from shipwreck. They are often seen as slightly mysterious too as not many people get the opportunity to go inside them.

They are always in beautiful parts of the coastline, close to or in the middle of the sea. Many stand tall and proud in beautifully isolated spots in stunning scenery worthy of some photography. Wildlife flourishes around them often the flora and fauna is very special with an abundance of wild flowers and plants particularly in the more remote areas.

Around the lighthouses you can regularly see seals, dolphins, and many seabirds including gannets and others fishing for their dinner. Every year at Kinnaird Head (last on your way north) we see the most wonderful wild life from our café which overlooks the entrance to the Moray Firth. Seals fish and play close to the rocks, dolphins often pass on their way north or south, minke whales can be seen less often but last year we were even lucky enough to see orca very close to the foghorn by the rocks in front of our Castle and Lighthouse.

In Aberdeenshire we have four wonderful Stevenson lighthouses, heading north from Aberdeen there is Girdleness, built in 1833 by Robert Stevenson it’s a shore station which flashes two white flashes every 20 seconds. The design of this lighthouse is unusual in that it had two lights one half way up the tower and one at the top, the middle one is defunct now.

VisitScotland image Aberdeen beach VA use only for Lighthouse blog May 2020 low resNext up the coast at Peterhead comes Buchaness, which flashes white every five seconds. Designed and built by Robert Stevenson on a rock close to shore, it is joined to the mainland by a bridge, this is the most easterly lighthouse on the Scottish mainland and it displays red and white bands.

BODDAM Buchan Ness Lighthouse low res2

10 miles further up the coast in a very beautiful part of North East Scotland just off a stunning beach comes Rattray Head, this unusual lighthouse was designed and built by David A Stevenson and flashes three white every 30 seconds. 

Rattray Head video still low res3

Finally 12 miles further up the coast you can visit Kinnaird Head Castle and Lighthouse (the only 16th Century castle in the world with a lighthouse built through its heart). Alongside the castle and lighthouse is The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses which tells the story of Scottish Lighthouses, the Stevenson engineers, the Northern Lighthouse Board and Lightkeeping in Scotland. This is the only one of the four that is open to visitors and the experience is fabulous check out the link below for more information.

Kinnaird Head Castle Fraserburgh 4

The museum holds the largest collection of Fresnel lenses and other lighthouse objects in Europe, maybe even the world and our collection is of national and international significance. There are around 208 major and minor lights on the coast of Scotland so if you’re near the coast then there may be one or more close by, our museum has a guide book which includes a loose A4 map of the many lighthouses and it includes the major roads to help you find them, check out our FaceBook or website at www.lighthousemuseum.org.uk  in the coming week or two to see how to purchase that and other items. The Aberdeenshire Lighthouse Trail provides a wonderful day (or two) out with an abundance of restaurants and coffee shop etc. to visit on the way. Between the lighthouse at Girdleness and Buchaness you will be passing close to the seal colony too, look it up.

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will wait for you, #ABDNwillwait #stayathome. 

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