Eilean Glas Lighthouse, Harris
Where Is Eilean Glas Lighthouse?
The photograph above shows the cover of one of the Ordnance Survey maps for the Isle of Harris. The cover picture on the map is of a distinctive red and white striped lighthouse, but where is it?
Isle of Scalpay
Eilean Glas Lighthouse is on the Isle of Scalpay, a small island just off of the south east coast of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. It’s a short drive from Tarbert, with entry to the island by an impressive bridge that was introduced in 1997.
Once on the island follow the signs initially for the village and then for Outend. Look out for some parking spaces on the left hand side. If you reach a turning circle you’ve gone too far!
Close to the parking place is a sign showing the walking route to Eilean Glas Lighthouse, the walk is 2.1 km along a good footpath.
Eilean Glas Lighthouse
The original light was introduced in 1789, one of the early lights in Scotland and the first in Outer Hebridies. The original light is still intact but now dwarfed by the current light that was installed by Robert Stevenson in 1824.
As you get closer to the lighthouse there are lots of different vantage points to give you different views of it. The path takes you over a beach and up into the lighthouse grounds and the buildings around it. You can walk all around the outside of the building. It is a bit tight at the end closest to the sea, which is where you can see the old fog horn.
Walking around to the other side on the side where the harbour is there are further angles for views. There is also an ‘H’ for helicopters, which seems to me quite a tight space to land in blustery conditions!
The buildings and grounds have been neglected in the years since the lighthouse became automated. Whilst we were there the Lighthouse Board were updating parts of the facility that they are still responsible for.
There is an excellent bothy, owned by the North Harris Trust. There you can shelter if the weather is bad and find out about the lighthouse and the whales and dolphins that can be spotted swimming in the waters around the lighthouse. There is also free wi-fi access!
Rather than retracing your steps you can take a longer coastal walk back to your parking spot. Follow the markers, but be prepared for wetter ground, so make sure you’re wearing good boots. The walk is worth following even for a little way as you get further good views of Eilean Glas Lighthouse.
If you’re visiting Harris and want to visit Eilean Glas Lighthouse I would thoroughly recommend it. For photography there are many different angles and views to capture it.
Paul Saunders is a Professional Photographer. Based in Loch Lomond he photographs weddings, people and businesses throughout Scotland. See also his Marketing and See Loch Lomond websites. Scroll through the series of Scottish photography blogs below.