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Dunnet Head Lighthouse


Location Guide

Aerial Photo Marinas.com (more images available)

This is situated at the most northerly point of the Scottish mainland, 2.4 miles north of John O' Groats. Only 6.75 miles across the Pentland Firth lies the Orkney Isles. 

The lighthouse is 20 metres tall and stands on the 300ft cliff top of Easter Head. It was built in 1831 by James Smith of Inverness, who worked with Robert Stevenson who designed it.

It was automated in 1989 and is now remotely monitored.

Erosion of the rock on which the first fog horn stood, built 1899, led to the building of a second nearer the lighthouse. However this too was replaced in 1952 and today the fog horn is no longer operational.

A special visitor in October 1979 was the Queen Mother, she had visited before, but this was the last time. On this occasion she was given a conducted tour by the Principal Lightkeeper of the time and then had tea with him and his wife. She also met with the other keepers and their families who lived there.



The photo on the right shows Dunnet Head Lighthouse being illuminated by the sun through a gap in the clouds.

Photo by E Asterion

Lighthouse information Grid


Dunnet Head Lighthouse, Caithness

Current status:


Geographic Position:

58 40.287'N   003 22.594'W

Grid Reference:


Ceremonial County:



White stone tower with 51 steps and 9 ladder steps up to top of lighthouse tower.

Map Link:


Aerial photo:


Other photos:


Originally built:


Current lighthouse built:


Height of Tower:

20 metres

Height of light above mean sea level:

105 metres

Character of light:

Flashing (4)White every 30 Secs

Character of fog signal:


Range of light:

23 nautical miles

Owned / run by:

Northern Lighthouse Board

Getting there:






Other Useful Websites:


Other Relevant pages:

For more articles, lists and other information see the Lighthouses Section

Lighthouse Map of Scotland

Featured List of lighthouses - Scotland 

List of minor lighthouses and lights - Scotland  



Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Grid or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Tracey Park Section:  Lighthouses Section Key:
Page Ref: Dunnet Topic: Lighthouses Last Updated: 06/2010


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