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St Abbs Head Lighthouse

nr Eyemouth, Berwickshire

Location Guide

This lighthouse is situated at the very tip of a rocky headland, known as St Abbs Head, north of Eyemouth.

Photo by Iain Lees

A signal station was first established on the cliffs before 1820. The lighthouse designed and built by David and Thomas Stevenson, became operational here in 1862, after a number of disasters. Originally the light was oil powered and was converted to electric operation in 1966. The light is at 255 feet and is reached by a flight of steps leading down the cliff from the lightkeepers' house above. The lighthouse was staffed by three full time keepers whose duties included keeping detailed weather records. Once it was automated in 1993 then the light keepers left.

A foghorn was established at the head in 1876 and was the first audible fog signal in Scotland. It was discontinued in 1987.

The land around the lighthouse is a National Nature Reserve and is managed by the National Trust for Scotland, who have a visitor centre with an exhibition about the head, a coffee shop, art gallery and textile shop. It was classed as a National Nature Reserve because of it's 60,000 seabird colony, which nests on ledges on the sheer cliffs, with Kittiwakes and Guillemots the largest colonies to nest (April-August), but also there are Razorbills, Shags, Herring Gulls, Fulmars and Puffins. But also because of its rich habitat of flora such as Wild Thyme and Rock Rose, which around 10 different kinds of butterflies like to feed on.

The lighthouse has 2km of single track road leading to it from the main road near St. Abbs village, however it is suggested by the National Trust of Scotland that it is only used by disabled visitors as there is limited parking. Visitors can walk to the Head where the lighthouse's buildings, though still in good repair, are not open to the public.

Lighthouse information Grid


St Abbs Head Lighthouse, Berwickshire

Current status:


Geographic Position:

55 54.979'N   002 08.286'W

Grid Reference:


Ceremonial County:



White tower

Map Link:

Get A Map

Aerial photo:


Other photos:


Originally built:


Current lighthouse built:

Height of Tower:

9 metres

Height of light above mean sea level:

68 metres

Character of light:

Flashing White every 10 secs

Character of fog signal:

Range of light:

26 nautical miles

Owned / run by:

Northern Lighthouse Board

Getting there:

From At Abbs village once parked up follow the marked foot paths.


site open all year, no access to lighthouse tower and buildings.



Other Useful Websites:

Wikipedia    National Trust for Scotland

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.

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


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